Chh HC | Inter-country adoption of a surrendered child allowed to prospective adoptive parents in Italy in accordance with JJ Act and Adoption Regulations

Chhattisgarh High Court: A Division Bench of Prashant Kumar Mishra and Vimla Singh Kapoor, JJ. allowed an appeal filed against the order of the Family Court whereby it had rejected the appellant’s application under Section 59 (7) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 thereby refusing to allow inter-country adoption of the “surrendered child”, namely, Princy, aged about 1 year and 7 months.

The subject child was declared available for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee, Jashpur. The child was provided with a registration number under the Adoption Regulations, 2017 framed in exercise of powers under Section 68(C) read with Section 2(3) of the JJ Act. The adoptive parents in Italy were found to be fit and suitable for adoption of the subject child in the Home Study Report prepared by the CIFA, an NGO. The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) under the Ministry of Woman and Child Development, Government of India, has maintained a file authorizing Italian NGO CIFA to process inter-country adoption case originating from Italy. CARA had issued no objection to the adoption of the subject child by his Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs). The said NOC was issued as per the Regulations and Article 17(c) of the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of Inter-Country Adoption, 1993.

The Family Court rejected the application mainly on the ground that the prospective PAPs never appeared before the Court. The High Court noted: “Under sub-section (7) of Section 59, the application for adoption has to be filed in the manner provided in the Adoption Regulations. The present application has been filed in accordance with law as per Regulation 12  of the Regulations. Therefore, it was a case where the Family Court should have allowed the application for adoption.” Also, the PAPs appeared before the High Court and the amicus curiae interacted with them. Also, it was considered, in accordance with the decision in Laxmi Kant Pandey v. Union of India, 1985 Supp SCC 701, whether any PAPs were available within India; but PAPs could be found.

Accordingly, the Court directed that the child be given in adoption to the PAPs. CARA was directed to complete the formality regarding passport and visa and shall do the needful as required under Regulation 18 of the Regulations. Before parting with the case, the court recorded appreciation for the valuable assistance of the Amicus Curiae Shashank Thakur, Advocate. [Sarbjanik Vikas Vahini v. Baruffaldi Enrico Baruffaldi Danilo, 2019 SCC OnLine Chh 43, decided on 17-05-2019]

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