Bombay High Court annuls adoption after adoptive parents say they could not bond with child

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The Bombay High Court recently annulled the adoption of a three-year old child after the adoptive parents informed that they were not able to bond with the child emotionally [Bal Asha Trust, Mumbai v. Ashu Singhal, Riddhi Singhal].

Justice RI Chagla passed the order on an application filed by the orphanage seeking to declare the child ‘Free for Adoption’ after he was returned by the adoptive parents.

Justice Riyaz Chagla with Bombay HC
The adoptive parents had been permitted to adopt the child from Mumbai on August 17, 2023 by the High Court on a joint petition filed by them and the orphanage, Bal Asha Trust.

Five months into the adoption, the adoptive parents approached the orphanage about the “uncontrollable bad behaviour and habits” of the child.

The orphanage advised the adoptive parents to undergo counseling sessions to understand the minor’s behavioural issues better and try remedial measures to address the alleged behavioural issues of the child.

During the second counseling session, the counselor found that the adoptive parents were not ready to keep the minor child as their own or take the required remedial measures to rectify the child’s eating habits

The counselor also found that the adoptive parents were not emotionally attached to the child, although the child was fond of the adoptive parents and their biological child.

On December 2, 2023, the adoptive parents submitted in an affidavit that they have not bonded with the child, and that they would like to ‘return the child.’ They returned the child to the orphanage on December 28, 2023.

After this, the orphanage approached the High Court seeking the annulment of the adoption in the interest of the child. The Court was urged to do so in order to allow the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) and the orphanage to commence the process of finding another adoptive home for the child.

On January 25, the Court concluded that it would be in the best interest of the child to annul the adoption and ordered accordingly.

The Court also directed that an amount of ₹2 lakhs that was invested by the adoptive father earlier for the minor child’s benefit be returned to the couple.

Advocate Rakesh Kapoor appeared for the former adoptive parents.

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