Bengaluru: Opining that an ‘agreement for adoption’ of an unborn child is unknown to law and terming it as ‘adoption for money’, the Karnataka High Court has dismissed a joint plea filed by both, the biological and adoptive parents of a 2 years and nine months old girl child.
The Hindu biological parents and the Muslim adoptive parents had approached the High Court after their plea seeking custody of the child from a child care unit had been turned down by the Udupi District court.
A division bench comprising Justice B. Veerappa and Justice K. S. Hemalekha observed that the right to life of an unborn shall also be considered as one falling within the scope of Article 21 of the Constitution, and upheld the Udupi District Child Protection Unit’s (DCPU) move to register a criminal case against both, the adoptive as well as the biological parents. The DCPU had contended that the child was exchanged illegally for in return for money.
The court also ruled the ‘agreement’ as invalid even under the Mohammedan law, since the ‘agreement’ was entered between Muslim and non-Muslim parents.
Noting that the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 can protect the welfare of a child whose parents are unable to take care of their children due to financial constraints, the High Court bench stated that the ‘agreement’ cannot be sustained.
While the child was born on March 26, 2020, the two couples had signed the ‘unregistered agreement for adoption’ on March 21, 2020.
They had entered into the agreement as the biological parents were too poor to care for their unborn child.
Thereafter, the adoptive parents, who are childless had brought up the child as their own. However, the child’s custody was handed over to a child care unit by the DCPU who had lodged a complaint in 2021.
The adoptive parents, supported by the biological parents had then moved the district court seeking the child’s custody along with a plea to declare them as guardians of the minor child. However, their plea was rejected by the District court.