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Trace parents of abandoned children before declaring them free for adoption: Bombay high court

The couple, which wishes to adopt the two-and-half-year-old girl, approached the high court after finding the CWC was reluctant to declare the child free for adoption

mumbai Updated: Feb 07, 2018 21:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,abandoned children,Bombay high court
The judges were surprised to note that absolutely no attempts were made to trace the biological father of the girl, after her mother failed to report back(FILE)

The Bombay high court on Wednesday said child welfare committees must attempt to trace biological parents of abandoned children before declaring them free for adoption.

“With the advancement in technology, it is not difficult today to trace a person,” said a bench of justice Naresh Patil and justice Nitin Sambre. The bench was hearing plea filed by a city couple seeking direction to the child welfare committee (CWC) of Mumbai suburban district to declare a child put in their foster care free for adoption.

The couple, which wishes to adopt the two-and-half-year-old girl, approached the high court after finding the CWC was reluctant to declare the child free for adoption. The CWC has placed the girl in foster care of the petitioner couple ever since she has been surrendered by her biological mother.

Government pleader Purnima Kantharia told the bench the CWC was reluctant because her biological mother did not report back to the CWC to execute the formal surrender deed. Attempts were made to trace the woman, to no avail.

Kantharia said the CWC on February 5 declared the child free for adoption by issuing a certificate and the adoption process can go ahead.

However, the judges were surprised to note that absolutely no attempts were made to trace the biological father of the girl, after her mother failed to report back. When the judges inquired as to why no attempts had been made to trace the man, they were told that most likely the woman was an unwed mother.

The judges then asked what if the biological father of the child comes forward in the future and seeks custody of his daughter.

First Published: Feb 07, 2018 21:18 IST