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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

‘Unheard in law’: HC junks ‘pact’ to adopt unborn child | India News – Times of India

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BENGALURU: An agreement to adopt an unborn child is “shocking” and “unknown to law”, the Karnataka high court has said, refusing to give relief to a Muslim couple who sought a declaration that they are the adoptive parents of a two-year-and-eight-month-old girl born to a Hindu couple.
A division bench of Justices B Veerappa and KS Hemalekha said in a recent order that the biological parents “have sold the child in the name of adoption, which can’t be tolerated” after the couple claimed they were too poor to look after the child.
“It is shocking that an agreement has been entered into between the parties in respect of an unborn child,” the bench said, holding that the action of both the biological and the adopted parents amounted to an infringement of the fundamental right of the kid’s liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution.
The couple, from Udupi district, had entered into an unregistered agreement with the Hindu couple on March 21, 2020, to adopt the latter’s yet-to-be born child.
The girl was born five days later and is now in a government home after an Udupi lower court refused to recognise the agreement in May this year, triggering an FIR that led to the child being taken away by the authorities. The Muslim couple then appealed in the HC.
“If the unborn has life, though it is not a natural person, it can certainly be considered as a personn, for there is absolutely no reason to treat an unborn child differently from a born child,” the bench added.
The HC refused to accept the contention of the biological parents’ counsel that his clients entered into the agreement due to poverty. The parents could have surrendered the girl to the authorities for her welfare, it said.
While observing that Muslim personal law does not recognise adoption, the HC said if the biological parents really want their kid back, it is for the government-run child welfare committee to pass orders.
The Muslim couple argued that the child was worse off in the government home. “The petition was dismissed only on the ground that the biological parents were Hindus,” the appellants said.
On the other hand, the authorities had pointed out that the agreement was an unregistered document, pertaining to an unborn child, and that Muslim law doesn’t recognise adoption.





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