Three-yr-old Punjab kid adopted by Britons wins legal battle to get Indian passport, fly to UK


What you need to know?

  • A three-year-old child, adopted in 2018 by a Sikh woman who is also a British national, will finally be able to fly to United Kingdom with her to join the rest of the family following a prolonged legal battle with the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday clearing the way.
  • The high court directed the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) to grant no objection certificate (NOC) to the adoptive parents for taking the child to UK and further ordered the MEA to immediately issue her a passport.

Facts of the case:

  • The order came on a petition that the HC had been hearing since 2019. The petition filed in the name of a minor, born in November 2017, challenged the MEA decision of denying her the passport for lack of an NOC from the CARA, a statutory authority for regulation of inter-country adoptions.
  • The child was adopted by her mother’s sister and latter’s husband in 2018. The adoptive parents are British nationals while the biological parents are from Jalandhar. A registered deed was also got prepared by them following the ceremonial adoption at a gurdwara in Phillaur.
  • The parents’ name was also got changed on the birth certificate. The adoptive mother — who is an OCI card holder also — has remained in India since the adoption due to the NOC hurdle.

The judgement:

  • In the verdict pronounced, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur ruled that a valid adoption under Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (HAMA) — the law governing adoptions made by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs — cannot be revoked until disproved.
  • Justice Kaur further held that it is not mandatory to invoke Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act in this case of the inter-country adoption when the adoption is a direct adoption by the parents to known adoptive parents or relatives under HAMA.
  • Justice Kaur in the ruling said JJ Act is special law for a limited class of children — those in conflict with law, in need of care and protection, orphaned, surrendered or abandoned — but the child in this case is being given by the biological mother to her sister.

What are your views on invoking  JJ Act in case of inter country adoption? Let us know in the comments below.

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