The Hindu (Mumbai)

HC backs adoption rules, says parents with two biological children can’t demand choice

- Soibam Rocky Singh

The Delhi High Court has come out in support of the Centre’s adoption rules, which bars prospectiv­e adoptive parents (PAPs) from adopting a ‘normal child’ if they already have two biological children.

Notified by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Developmen­t, the Adoption Regulation­s, 2022 came into force on September 23 that year. They replaced the 2017 regulation­s, which included a section stating that couples with three or more children may only opt for the adoption of special needs or hardtoplac­e children.

Under the 2022 rules, this condition will apply on couples with two or more children.

Some PAPs with two biological children had last year moved the High Court against the 2022 rules being implemente­d retrospect­ively. They argued that they had applied for adoption of a third child under the 2017 regulation­s.

In its February 16 judgment, the court reminded them that “the right to adopt cannot be raised to the status of a fundamenta­l right within Article 21, nor can it be raised to a level granting PAPs the right to demand their choice of who to adopt”.

“The adoption process in entirety operates on the premise of welfare of children and therefore the rights flowing within the adoption framework does not place the rights of the PAPs at the forefront,” it noted.

Taking note of the Centre’s motivation behind the policy, the court said, “The long wait for prospectiv­e parents, including those who are devoid of even one biological child, must be seen in the backdrop of a grave mismatch between the number of normal children available for adoption and the number of PAPs in expectatio­n of adopting a normal child.”

“A balanced approach therefore ought to be welcomed which attempts to reduce the wait for parents with a single child or devoid of even that, in anticipati­on of adoption and the interests of the child while being matched with a family with lesser number of already existing biological children,” the order read.

Best interest of child

“The best interest of the child and their right to be adopted into a suitable family triumphs all accruals of expectatio­ns of PAPs corollary to adoption of a child,” it added.

 ?? FILE PHOTO ?? Some prospectiv­e parents had moved the court against the 2022 adoption rules.
FILE PHOTO Some prospectiv­e parents had moved the court against the 2022 adoption rules.

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