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Saturday, December 04, 2021

Kerala adoption row: Samples of couple, child collected for DNA test

According to Chandran, she gave birth to a boy in October 2020. Days later, her parents allegedly took away the child from her forcibly and left him at a state facility for adoption.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: November 23, 2021 7:32:18 am
Anupama S Chandran and Ajith Kumar. (Express)

The results of a DNA test could possibly put an end to a months-long custody dispute of a one-year-old child in Kerala.

If the results return positive, former SFI leader Anupama S Chandran could be reunited with her son, who was allegedly put up for adoption by her parents without her consent.

On Monday, officials of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) in Thiruvananthapuram collected samples from Chandran and her partner Ajith Kumar to conduct a DNA test that will confirm whether they are the infant’s biological parents. Earlier in the day, the child’s samples were collected from a shelter home in Thiruvanthapuram.

The results of the test, to be conducted at RGCB, are likely to be known within two days.

The DNA test was mandated by a family court, which temporarily stayed the adoption process after the government said there was a dispute regarding the custody of the child.

According to Chandran, she gave birth to a baby boy in October 2020. Three days later, her parents — who were unhappy about her relationship with Kumar, who was at the time not yet divorced from his first wife — allegedly took away the child from her forcibly and left him at a state government facility for adoption.

In August this year, the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare gave the baby to adoptive parents in Andhra Pradesh, despite a pending decision from the family court.

Chandran approached police in April this year, and alleged there was no action on her complaint for her missing son. Last month, police registered a case after Chandran went public, raising allegations against her parents and alleging that CPI(M) leaders had helped her parents separate her from her child. Subsequently, the government approached the family court pleading to stay the adoption process.

The Thiruvananthapuram District Child Welfare Committee directed last week that the child be brought back to Kerala from Andhra Pradesh as the controversy gained media attention, and put the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) government in a spot. Chandran is a former member of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) — the youth wing of the CPI(M).

Chandran on Monday said she suspected foul play and questioned why her samples were not collected at the same time as that of the child. “The authorities should reveal why they were reluctant to collect the samples of the child along with that of us (Chandran and her partner Ajith Kumar). There is still room for manipulation,” she said.

State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Veena George, however, denied the accusation and said the process was being held in a transparent manner.

The child is currently in the custody of the district child protection officer. The family court may take up the case on November 30 next.

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