Foster parents lose battle for girl’s custody

Foster parents lose battle for girl’s custody

DH file photo for representation.

Bengaluru-based foster parents of a special child, born in Canada, finally lost their battle for her custody as the Supreme Court on Wednesday decided in favour of the real mother of the eight-year-old girl.

The girl was born on June 4, 2010 at Ontario, Canada to Deepa (name changed). But after the birth, her relations with husband turned sour and their marriage was ultimately dissolved on January 18, 2012.

During this period, as the child was born with special need, and the mother had to fight her matrimonial case in a foreign court and manage her career as well, she handed her over to her own mother in India. She appointed her mother as guardian of her child during her absence in India.

Deepa’s mother lived with her younger sister and her husband in Bengaluru. They were issueless and used to take care of the child. The email communication between Deepa and her sister even showed that the child’s mother proposed to give the child in adoption.

But when Deepa sought to take back her child, her sister refused. She was even denied meeting with the child on her visit to India in March, 2015. Her mother was also turned away from their home in March, 2016.

Deepa ran from pillar to post and even approached the police authorities to get her child back. She then moved the Karnataka High Court with habeas corpus petition.

The high court’s division bench on April 19, this year directed Deepa’s sister and her husband to hand over the custody of child to her, saying it was in their illegal detention.

Challenging the high court’s order, Deepa’s sister and her husband through advocate Sanjay M Nuli contended before a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Mohan M Shantanagoudar that the petitioner-couple had developed a bond with the child in all these years of her special educational and medical care.

he counsel also tried to the convince the bench that the couple had legally adopted the child as per community custom.

The top court, however, dismissed the plea and upheld the high court’s order restoring the child in custody of her mother, a legal and natural guardian.