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Right to Adopt is not a Fundamental Right |

Right to Adopt is not a Fundamental Right

Context

∙ The Delhi High Court has said that the right to adopt a child is not a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Background

∙ The Adoption Regulations, 2022 was notified by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.

∙ They replaced the 2017 regulations, which included a section stating that couples with three or more children may only opt for the adoption of children who have special needs or are hard to place. 

∙ However, under the 2022 rules, this condition will apply to couples with two or more children.

Concern of prospective adoptive parents (PAPs)

∙ PAPs with two biological children had moved the High Court against the 2022 rules.

∙ The petitioners contended that retrospective application of the Adoption Regulations 2022 was arbitrary and violative of Article 14 (equality before law) of the Constitution.

High court Judgment

∙ The court said that “the right to adopt cannot be raised to the status of a fundamental right within Article 21 nor can it be raised to a level granting PAPs the right to demand their choice of who to adopt”.

∙ The adoption process in entirety operates on the premise of welfare of children and, therefore, the rights flowing within the adoption framework do not place the rights of the PAPs at the forefront.

Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)– It has been set up as a statutory body of the Ministry of Women and Child Development.– It functions as a nodal body for the adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoption.– It deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated adoption agencies.– It is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Conventions on Inter-Country Adoptions, 1993, ratified by the Government of India in 2003.
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