SC allows US couple to adopt slow-learner child

The expert committee in its report told the court that the prospective parents, Craig Allen Coates and Cynthia Ann Coates, were financially and emotionally sound and the child would be extremely comfortable with them.

The expert panel was appointed by the apex court bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice T S  Thakur following a suggestion by the Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium during the course of the last hearing August 30. Subramanium was amicus curiae in the case.

The suggestion came in the wake of the court expressing some reservation vis-à-vis welfare of the child as the prospective parents already had three children. The expert committee was mandated to speak to the mother and the child before giving its opinion to the court. 

Earlier, the high court and guardianship court had rejected Coates’ plea for the adoption of Anil. The adoption procedure was started on June 19, 2006, when Cynthia, on her and her husband’s behalf, gave in writing that she was willing to adopt a slow learner child.

The court was told that the Coates couple knew what would be required of them once they adopt Anil. Cynthia, the court was told, knew how to nurture such children as her husband too was a slow learner by birth and at the time of their marriage Cynthia knew about it and took good care of him.

The court was told that Coates’ three children were all grown up and were living independently and now they wanted to bring up a child who was a slow learner. In the intricate process of adoption, Cynthia had to submit a sterility letter saying that she was not able to have a biological child.

The Illien Adoption International Agency—sponsoring agency in the US—gave an undertaking that Coates would adopt the child within two years and if there was any disruption then the agency would take care of the child till it found a “suitable and qualified” alternative family. Anil, who will soon have the Coates to care of him, was born on Oct 19, 1999, and was found abandoned by the Okhla police. He was handed over to a placement agency Welfare Home for Children.

Land acquisition policy

The apex court on Wednesday upheld a ruling of the Allahabad High Court that had allowed the Mayawati government to acquire land for the Yamuna Expressway connecting the national capital with Agra.

“The land of the farmers acquired for the road project was legal and in better interest of public good,” said a bench of Justices V S Sirpurkar and Cyriac Joseph. Petitioners Nand Kishore Gupta, J S Horticulture Private Ltd and Balbir Singh had challenged Allahabad HC  decision saying the land acquired for the project was not for public interest but for a business group executing the project between Noida and Mathura.

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