• Sunday, July 14, 2024

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Mumbai court slams ‘mindset’ that refused adoption request of divorced working woman

The court allowed a 47-year-old woman to adopt her four-year-old niece, stating that a single parent is typically a working person and should not be deemed ineligible for adoption on this basis

A lower civil court had denied Ansari’s adoption application, citing her status as a working woman and a divorcee (Photo: iStock)

By: easterneye.biz Staff

The Bombay High Court has criticised the mindset of refusing a divorced woman’s adoption request on the basis of her being a working person, calling it “medieval conservative concepts.”

The court in its order on Tuesday (11) allowed a 47-year-old woman to adopt her four-year-old niece, stating that a single parent is typically a working person and should not be deemed ineligible for adoption on this basis.

Shabnamjahan Ansari, a teacher, challenged a civil court order from March 2022 in Bhusawal (in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra) that had denied her adoption application based on her divorce and employment status.

She had filed a petition in court seeking to adopt her niece (her sister’s daughter).

The Bombay High Court ultimately ruled in her favour, overturning the previous decision.

The lower civil court had denied Ansari’s adoption application, citing her status as a working woman and a divorcee, stating that she would not be able to provide personal attention to the child and that the child should be with her biological parents.

Ansari challenged this decision in the High Court, arguing that the lower court’s reasoning was unfair and unjustified.

In its ruling, the High Court found the lower court’s reasoning to be “unfounded and baseless”.

“The comparison done by the 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,” Justice Gauri Godse observed.

The High Court ruled that the approach of a lower court in rejecting an adoption application on the grounds that the prospective adoptive parent is a working woman defeats the very object of the adoption statute.

The court stated that a single parent cannot be held ineligible to be an adoptive parent simply because they are a working person.

All statutory compliances for adoption in the present case have been done, and the lower court rejected the application only on one ground, the High Court noted.

In its order, the court declared the lower court’s reasoning for rejecting Ansari’s adoption application as unfounded, illegal, perverse, unjust, and unacceptable.

The HC quashed the lower court’s decision and permitted Ansari to adopt the minor girl. The court declared Ansari as the girl’s parent and also directed the Bhusawal Municipal Council to modify the child’s birth certificate to reflect Ansari’s name as the parent.

(With inputs from PTI)

 

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