Adoptive mother cannot be deprived of the custody of her child without following due process of law: Delhi HC [Read Judgment]

Adoptive mother cannot be deprived of the custody of her child without following due process of law: Delhi HC [Read Judgment]

Terming the action by Child Welfare Committee, in forcibly taking a child from the custody of adoptive mother, as “extremely unusual and dangerous”, the Delhi High Court said that an adoptive mother cannot be deprived of the custody of her child without following due process of law.

The petitioner had filed a Habeas Corpus petition in Delhi High Court alleging that CWC, through an order passed, has illegally handed over custody of her adopted child to a NGO. The petitioner submitted before the Court that, in 2008, when the minor child was four days’ old, her custody and guardianship was given by a lady to the petitioner and thereafter an Adoption Deed dated was also executed.

The petitioner said that CWC has Suo motu (upon learning about the complaint made by real mother before magistrate court) ordered the petitioner and her child to be present before it, and custody of the minor child was forcibly taken by CWC and handed over to an NGO in the presence of real mother of the Child. According to the real mother, she was forced into sex trade on account of her vulnerable condition of having lost her husband and none to support her family and on account of herpitiable condition, she was also forced to part with the child and made to sign various documents, which were not even explained to her.

Directing the custody of child to be handed over to petitioner, the Court observed “While respondent no.5 (real mother) claims to be forced into sex trade taking into consideration her weak condition of having lost her husband and also forced to part with the child, we find the procedure which has been adopted by CWC to be extremely unusual and dangerous and not in the interest of the child as the investigation carried out by the Police as well as the CWC is in favour of the petitioner and the petitioner, thus, cannot  be deprived of the custody of her child without following due process of law.”

The Court however has clarified that if the real mother seeks cancellation off the Adoption Deed, this order would not come in the way.

Read the Judgment here.