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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

single and working women can adopt a child : bombay high court

Calling it a reflection of medieval mindset, the Bombay high court last week struck down a lower court order, which had rejected the plea of a woman to adopt a daughter of her relative only on the ground that she was single and working, and therefore, will not be able to take proper care of the child.

The court took strong exception to the comparison between a working woman and housewife, “The comparison done by the Competent Court between the biological mother being a housewife and the prospective adoptive mother (single parent) being a working lady reflects a mindset of the medieval conservative concepts of a family. When the statute recognises a single parent to be eligible for being an adoptive parent, the approach of the Competent Court defeats the very object of the statute.”

The bench of Justice Gauri Godse, while making this observation, allowed 47-year-old Shabnamjahan Ansari, who works as a teacher, to adopt her four-year-old niece. Ansari had challenged an order passed by a civil court in Bhusawal in March 2022, rejecting her application to adopt a minor girl because she was a divorcee and a working woman.

Godse also observed that the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act recognises single parents as an adopter. She noted, “The comparison done by the (district) court reflects a mindset of the mediaeval conservative concepts of a family.”

She emphasised that the previous judge assumed that the biological mother was a housewife and assumed that all biological parents are capable of taking care of and raising kids.

The previous decision was biassed towards single and working women in India.
It reflected the age-old concept that a child must be raised a married couple only.

This was, however, not the first time that a single and working woman approached with an appeal to adopt a child. There have been many such battles fought in courts.

Actor Sushmita Sen had accepted in an old interview that she fought a battle in court to adopt her second daughter Alisah because she was told that she could not adopt another girl child after the first one.

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