LCI Learning

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Share on LinkedIn

Share on Email

Share More

Roshni B.. (For justice and dignity)     13 December 2010

Indian orphan's life ruined after adoption by US couple!

Dream turns sour for Indian orphan
December 13, 2010   12:27:51 AM

Abraham Thomas | New Delhi

Twenty-one years after she was adopted by an American family, physically abused and deported back to India, Haynes knocks at Supreme Court for justice

The frills and fancies attached to an inter-country adoption by an American family was the dream with which Jennifer Edgell Haynes arrived at Michigan, United States, as an eight-year old. But little did she know about the fate awaiting her on the foreign shores. She was physically abused by her foster father and passed on to other families in the alien land. She got married to an American national. However, her ordeal continued. And it continues till date.

Twenty-one years after she landed in the US, Jennifer has now returned, rather has been deported back to India. A US court found her guilty in two drug offences and declared her an alien even as it disclosed in the process for the first time that the Indian and foreign adoption agencies involved in her case carried out an incomplete procedure, as a result of which she could not be called an American citizen.

Standing at the crossroads of time, her condition in India (she is in Mumbai now) is worse than that it was in the US. She has been weaned away from her husband and two children settled in the US as the deportation does not permit her an entry for another 20 years.

Adding insult to injury, the Indian authorities have even seized her travel documents. With nowhere to go and nothing to eat, a destitute Haynes has knocked the doors of the Supreme Court claiming compensation against the Indian Government and its agencies for causing her this fate.

As the matter stands, the Bench of Justices JM Panchal and HL Gokhale is expected to hear the petition in January next year. On the previous date of hearing on November 19, the apex court took note of her plight and allowed her prayer to include financial assistance from the Government for stay and legal expenses in India, and monetary compensation upto Rs five lakh from the Indian and foreign adoption agencies to ensure that such agencies are warned against repeating similar mistakes in future.

There is also a ray of hope which her lawyer is pursuing before the apex court. According to her lawyer Senthil Jagadeeshan, Haynes has a chance to enter the US despite a ban operating against her entry. She can apply for “Humanitarian Parole” for a brief period during which she can apply for a reopening of her deportation case, he said. But for this, the Indian authorities must issue her necessary documents to apply for the same.

This request was turned down by the Bombay High Court earlier in April 2010. Haynes told the court that humanitarian grounds permitted the court to consider her case as a one-time exception. One reason that she has contested the case in court is to fasten culpability on the two adoption agencies involved in her case — Americans for International Aid and Adoption (AIAA) and one Clarice D’Souza, trustee of Kaun-Yin Charity Trust, who furnished an Abandonment Certificate based on her personal knowledge. This paved the way for the Bombay HC in 1989 to hand her over to the family of George Edward Hancox, who turned out to be her abuser.

The physical abuse continued for several years as Haynes was shifted from one family to another. A report prepared by the Department of Social Service, State of Michigan recorded her ordeal in its report prepared in October 1993. It was in 2002, she married an American national and she has two issues out of the wedlock.

Though the Department of Justice convicted her twice for possession of drugs, Haynes has a grievance with the Indian Consulate in the US which acted in haste to issue her an Emergency Certificate for deportation without acknowledging her desire to stay in the US and pursue legal remedies. With the case now being heard by the Supreme Court, this is the only hope she has to cling on to.


 5 Replies

Bhartiya No. 1 (Nationalist)     13 December 2010

All that Glitter is not gold.

Very sad story. Indian authorities aredo not have humanistic approach.

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     13 December 2010

As pointed out by Ashutosh Bhartiya, everything that glitters is not Gold. Yes this should also be an eye opener for the Indian inter country adoption agency. Please also note the Classic case of Supreme Court Guidelines on inter country adoption case of Laxmikant Pandey vs Union of India: AIR 1984 SC 469, read with article 39 and 44 of the Constitution of India and the International Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989. let us look upon SC to pull her out from this nightmare. Thnks for posting this important issues in the forum.

1 Like

Suchitra. S (Advocate)     13 December 2010

I suppose the error in proper adoption is the genesis of all these problems here. Though on humanitarian ground authorities should try resolving this, we cannot neglect the fact that failure to follow proper adoption procedure was the only reason for her plight now. It was the duty of the agency who had given her in adoption to US couples to be responsible to see she is properly adopted as per rules. 

Sorry state of affairs.

1 Like

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     13 December 2010

Absolutely right Suchitra. time for Indian adoption agency for looking back, for thinking ahead.

manoj (Lawyer)     14 December 2010

But there are cases like this, but we should not generalize this incident and associate it with all such adoptions, while I was in US, I knew a Family in Minnesota, who had adopted two abandoned girls from Delhi, while one Girls is physically challenged and the other kid has autism. These kids were adopted in their infancy, but now they are grown up kids with a very good future and they have received great care and attention from their adopted mother. Even in Jennifer's case things took a bitter turn when she was deported, and I feel that the right forum to agitate this issue would be American Supreme Court, as the technical discrepancy in processin

g in her adoption papers took place while she was an infant and for the mistake of adoption officials she should not be penalized, I am sure that American federal Courts still recognize the principals of Right to live with dignity

Leave a reply

Your are not logged in . Please login to post replies

Click here to Login / Register  

Popular Discussion

view more »

Post a Suggestion for LCI Team
Post a Legal Query