The Bombay High Court has ruled that child welfare committees are required to attempt to trace out the biological parents of abandoned children before declaring them to be available for adoption.
A bench comprising Justices Naresh Patil and Nitin Sambre said that with the advancements in technology, it was today not “difficult to trace a person.”
Plea To Adopt Foster Child
The ruling was passed by the bench while hearing a plea filed by a couple from the city that asked the court to direct the child welfare committee (CWC) of Mumbai suburban district to declare a child given to them for foster care free for adoption.
The couple desirous of adopting the two-and-half-year-old girl, had moved the high court after discovering that the CWC was not willing to declare the child free for adoption.
The girl had been placed in foster care by the CWC ever since she was surrendered by her biological mother.
Government pleader Purnima Kantharia informed the bench the CWC was reluctant to make the declaration as her biological mother had not reported back to the CWC to execute the formal surrender deed.
All attempts made to trace the woman have not been successful so far.
No Attempts To Trace Father Of Child
Kantharia further stated that on February 5 the CWC had declared the child free for adoption and had issued a certificate to that effect, allowing the adoption process to go ahead.
But the judges however expressed surprise that no attempts had been made to trace the child’s biological father after her mother did not report back.
The judges enquired as to why no attempts had been made to trace the man, to which they were informed that most likely the woman was an unwed mother. The bench then enquired as to what would happen if the biological father of the child came forward in the future to claim him/her for custody.