HC allows 66-year-old to adopt 22-yr-old woman
The Bombay high court (HC) allowed a petition filed by a 66-year-old man who wanted to legally adopt a 22-year-old woman who was previously under his guardianship.
A bench of justice GS Kulkarni, while hearing the petition filed by a Santacruz (East) resident, was informed that in 1998, he and his wife were given guardianship of a girl born in June 1997, through an HC order. Thereafter, the girl lived with them.
The petitioner, through his advocate Rakesh Kapoor, informed the court that after their guardianship came to an end (when the girl became an adult), she continued to live with them as their daughter.
Kapoor submitted that though his client and wife should have applied for adoption during the guardianship period, the woman is a member of the family and the adoption petition should be allowed so that the woman may be conferred the legal status of being their daughter.
This, Kapoor submitted, would enable the woman to lead her life with dignity and confidence, when the petitioner’s right to adopt her is recognised and reciprocally her right to be adopted by the petitioner also finds legal recognition.
The petitioner further submitted that his wife had expired in 2018 and he had been diagnosed with cancer.
The woman, along with his sister, was taking care of him and he wanted her to have the legal right to be called his daughter.
The scrutiny officer of the Indian Council for Social Welfare submitted a report that the woman was well integrated into the family.
The same was confirmed by a social worker who added that the woman was committed to the adoptive father and due to his ailment, he is in need of his daughter’s love and care.
After hearing the submissions, the court held, “It is thus necessary that these basic human rights, as guaranteed and recognised by the Constitution, are enforced and implemented.”
“Hence, it is imperative to permit adoption of the woman by the petitioner even when the woman has now attained majority, by applying the principles as laid down by this court.”