A couple alleged to have “bought” a baby from a children’s home in Nanded was given temporary custody of the child by the Bombay High Court on Wednesday.
A division bench of Justice A S Oka and Justice A A Sayed directed that the couple be granted custody of the one-and-a-half-year-old child for nine months.
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In 2014, the childless couple based in Mumbai was planning to adopt a child after 10 years of their marriage. They were told by a friend to get in touch with a woman working at a children’s home in Nanded for adoption.
When the couple went to the children’s home, they were told to pay Rs 1.9 lakh and given a ten-day-old boy. Over a year after that, in December 2015, it came to light that the child had been ‘purchased’ by the couple without completion of legal adoption formalities. The Tardeo police filed an offence in the case and the child was sent to an orphanage, pending investigation. The couple approached the Bombay High Court seeking quashing of the offence registered against them.
The court in subsequent hearings checked details of the case, including establishing the identity of the biological mother of the child. “The police have been able to establish the identity of the child’s biological mother. She is not willing to come forward and take the child’s custody. We are not dealing with the legality of the case or the manner in which the couple got the custody of the child. We are only concerned about the welfare of the child,” it said.
The couple had been taking good care of the child and for that reason, they would be permitted them to take his temporary custody, the court said, directing the couple to begin the process to become the guardians of the boy or formally adopt the child. The court has also directed the couple to undergo counselling sessions and a woman constable to visit their home to ascertain that proper care is being taken of the child.