Updated: November 25, 2021 7:27:27 am
JUST over 13 months after she gave birth to him, Anupama S Chandran on Wednesday walked out of a family court here holding her son close, draped in a shawl, and protected by an umbrella against the rain. A family court earlier handed over the infant, given up for adoption against the will of the former leader of the CPM students’ wing SFI and her partner, Ajith Kumar.
A DNA test confirmed that the baby was the child of Chandran and Kumar, thus ending the 23-year-old mother’s long search for him — against resistance put up by her own parents, police and the ruling CPM.
Chandran’s parents, both CPM leaders, are alleged to have given up the baby for adoption soon after he was born, keeping her in the dark. They were opposed to her relationship with Kumar, a former member of the CPM youth wing DYFI, who was at the time married to someone else.
On Wednesday, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) told the family court that a DNA test had confirmed that the couple were the biological parents of the boy. An Andhra Pradesh couple had adopted him three months ago.
Chandran and Kumar went to a friend’s house from court, before heading to his home, where they were welcomed by his parents.
Fighting tears, Chandran said that for them, their boy was a “newborn”. “I got separated from him three days after delivery. I can’t express my happiness, and my gratitude to all those who stood with me in this fight for justice.”
They were not very rich and couldn’t give the baby a “luxurious life”, Chandran added, but “we will rear him as a good human being”. “We are obliged to the Andhra Pradesh couple who looked after him for the last three months,” she said.
An official who had gone to fetch the baby from the Andhra couple told Malayam daily Mathrubhumi that the foster parents were inconsolable. “They started crying when they saw the Kerala officials. The mother said the baby had filled their life with happiness and they had shifted to a city just to ensure he got the best of care and facilities,” the official said, adding that the mother was broken as she handed over the boy with his toys, dress and medical records, and bed him goodbye with a kiss on his forehead.
Recalling her ordeal that began in August last year when her parents came to know of her pregnancy, Chandran said: “They tried to convince me my baby was illicit, that I could not rear him. They tried to force me to terminate my pregnancy twice, took me to a hospital in faraway Malappuram… At one time, they told me the baby was only a mass of flesh. I was denied normal delivery to convey the impression that he had health issues.”
Chandran tested positive for Covid twice during her pregnancy, including at the time of delivery. She was kept locked up and not allowed to meet Kumar for a long time.
She gave birth on October 19 last year, and three days later, as she was returning from hospital, the baby was forcibly taken by her parents, she said. Chandran said she was then promised that the baby would be given back after the marriage of her elder sister, but this never happened. Soon after, Chandran was sacked from the SFI and Kumar from the DYFI.
Despite a police complaint filed by Chandran pending since April 19, the baby was given up for adoption on August 7, with the process allegedly expedited. This happened three days after Chandran approached the CWC looking for her child.
The administration got into action only last month after Chandran went public with her allegations. Since November 11, Chandran and Kumar have been sitting in protest in front of the office of the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare (KSCCW), whose president is Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, demanding the child be returned to them.
On November 18, the CWC directed the KSCCW to bring the child back to Kerala. A team led by KSCCW officials received the child from the adoptive parents on November 20 and brought him to the state.
Kumar said they were all set to receive their son. “Months back, we fixed a name for him. We have done shopping for what he will need.”
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