South Asia

Indian adoption agency petitions High Court over abandoned Afghan child

Photo: Reuters

The Bombay High Court this week issued notice to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on a petition filed by an adoption agency seeking an Indian passport for an abandoned one-year-old child of Afghan origin so that she could be put up for adoption.

The court also sought the assistance of Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh or any advocate from his office to resolve the issue, Indian Express reported.

The Pune adoption service, Bharatiya Samaj Seva Kendra (BSSK), brought the plea via its executive director on February 14, seeking direction for the child to be given an Indian passport.

The agency’s advocate Radhika Samant submitted court documents stating the infant was born to a couple from Afghanistan on September 8, 2021. The following day, the biological parents of the newborn surrendered her to the agency.

In the plea, the agency said the child was born in India and therefore was entitled to an Indian passport. The agency also stated the child “has not yet been declared free/fit for adoption” and that the process might be hindered for want of a citizenship document in the child’s name.

The court heard that going forward, if adoptive parents lived abroad, they would find it impossible to take the infant out of the country unless she had a valid travel document such as a passport in her name.

The court stated that the “legal issue appeared to be narrow, and in all probability not contentious,” and that the matter could be resolved with the cooperation of all concerned.

The court also directed a copy of the petition along with the order to be forwarded to the office of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. The court will reconvene on March 1.