December 9, 2022

Why it is not desirable to inform about the adoptive parents to biological parents?

The supreme court got the chance to laid down principles and norms relating to Inter-country adoption in case[1] where a petition was filed a lawyer complaining of malpractices indulged in by social organisations and voluntary agencies engaged in the work of offering Indian children in adoption to foreign parents.

While forming the principles, court also sat the norms for informing the whereabouts of adoptive parents to biological parents.

The court stated-

  • we are definitely of the view that no notice under this section should be issued to the biological parents of the child, since it would create considerable amount of embarrassment and hard ship if the biological parents were then to come forward and oppose the application of the prospective adoptive parent for guardianship of the child.
  • Moreover, the biological parents would then come to know who is the person taking the child in adoption and with this knowledge they would at any time be able to trace the whereabouts of the child and they may try to contact the child resulting in emotional and psychological disturbance for the child which might affect his future happiness.
  • The possibility also cannot be ruled out that if the biological parents know who are the adoptive parents they may try to extort money from the adoptive parents.
  • the biological parents of a child taken in adoption should not under any circumstances be able to know who are the adoptive parents of the child nor should they have any access to the home study report or the child study report or the other papers and proceedings in the application for guardianship of the child.
  • There can be no objection in furnishing to the foreign adoptive parents particulars in regard to the biological parents of the child taken in adoption, but it would be entirely at the discretion of the foreign adoptive parents whether and if so when, to inform the child about its biological parents.
  • Once a child is taken in adoption by a foreigner and the child grows up in the surroundings of the country of adoption and becomes a part of the society of that country, it may not be desirable to give information to the child about its biological parents whilst it is young, as that might have the effect of exciting his curiosity to meet its biological parents resulting in unsettling effect on its mind.
  • But if after attaining the age of maturity, the child wants to know about its biological parents, there may not be any serious objection to the giving of such information to the child because after the child attains maturity, it is not likely to be easily affected by such information and in such a case, the foreign adoptive parents may, in exercise of their discretion, furnish such information to the child if they so think fit.

It is therefore absolutely essential that the biological parents should not have any opportunity of knowing who are the adoptive parents taking the child in adoption and therefore notice of the application for guardianship should not be given to the biological parents.

We would direct that for the same reasons notice of the application for guardianship should also not be published in any newspaper.

Reference

lakshmi Kant Pandey vs Union Of India; 1984 AIR 469, 1984 SCR (2) 795


[1] lakshmi Kant Pandey vs Union Of India; 1984 AIR 469, 1984 SCR (2) 795