Section 58 and 59 provides for two different mechanisms for adoption. As per Section 59(1), if an orphan or abandoned or surrendered child could not be placed with an Indian or non-resident Indian prospective adoptive parents despite the joint effort of the Specialised Adoption Agency and State Agency within sixty days from the date the child has been declared legally free for adoption, such child shall be free for inter-country adoption. Thus, sixty days period has to be elapsed from the date when the child has been declared legally free for adoption. In the present case, child was declared free for adoption on 14.12.2017 by Child Welfare Committee, Patna, Bihar. Before expiry of sixty days, child could not have been offered for adoption to parents, who are 22 eligible for adoption under Section 59. We are, however, not oblivious to the fact that respondent Nos.1 and 2 had been bonafide pursuing their applications for adoption, initially as resident Indians and thereafter even as overseas citizens of India. As per Section 57, both the respondent Nos.1 and 2 are fully eligible and competent to adopt the child. It was under the circumstances as noticed above that the child Shomya was offered to respondent Nos.1 and 2, who rightly communicated their acceptance and communicated with the child and are willing to take child in adoption and to take all care and provide good education to her. We have no doubt in the bonafide or the competence of respondent Nos.1 and 2 in their effort to take the child in adoption, but the statutory procedure and the statutory regime, which is prevalent as on date and is equally applicable to all aspirants, i.e., Indian prospective adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents for inter-country adoption, cannot be lost sight. However, by virtue of Section 59(2), the respondent Nos.1 and 2 can at best may be given priority in inter-country adoption, they being 23 eligible overseas citizens of India and further due to consequences of events and facts as noticed above.
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2017-2020 OF 2019 (arising out of S.L.P.(C) Nos.1476-1479 of 2019) UN…
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