Rebecca Samervel / TNN / Mar 13, 2023, 04:10 IST
MUMBAI: Observing that as the biological mother she had the right to custody of her child, a civil court last week directed the "adoptive parents" to hand over a boy to a 25-year-old woman.
The biological mother, who was unwed when she gave up her son for adoption in 2021, ran into a baby selling racket and when she realised it, she wanted the boy back. She had also married his father. Last year, in a plea through advocates Edith Dey and Mikhail Dey, she approached the court to take custody of her then year-old baby.
While the adoptive parents were opposed to returning the child, the court in its order said, "The respondents (adoptive parents) have not brought on record reliable and conveyancing evidence to establish fact regarding giving and taking of child in adoption. In such circumstances, merely custody of child is with respondents is not sufficient to come to the conclusion that the child was validly given in adoption," the court said.
The court also pointed out that the adoption petition filed by the adoptive parents was earlier dismissed. "Actual giving and taking of child in adoption is not proved in present case," the court said.
Following the court's order, the adoptive parents moved a plea seeking a stay to enable them to file an appeal. The civil court granted a stay for four weeks.
In her 2022 plea, the biological mother had said that due to personal and financial difficulties, she was unable to raise the baby and was advised to approach one Julia Fernandez. The mother said that Julia informed her that she had an NGO and would help look after the baby until things settled down and she was in a state to take back the child. The mother said that Julia facilitated adoption of her baby and informed her that the adoptive couple was wealthy and would look after him well.
Last year, Fernandez was booked in a criminal case with an alleged aide, Shabana Sheikh, for trying to sell a newborn girl for Rs 4.5 lakh.
The mother further said the adoptive parents filed the adoption petition in court in 2021. However, the mother said her husband and she informed the court then that they did not want to give their child in adoption. In March 2022, the court dismissed the adoption petition. The mother said that when her husband and she approached the adoptive parents for custody of their child, they refused. The mother said that she approached police to rescue the child, but they did not help them. Hence, she moved the plea for custody of the child.
The adoptive parents opposed the plea and submitted that the child was validly adopted by them.