Child Welfare Committee and an infant’s paternal grandparents came together to save the child from having to spend the rest of his life with strangers. The baby boy yesterday was finally handed over to his grandmother after successful intervention of CWC members. Previously, the child’s maternal relatives had almost decided to relinquish him, without taking consent from his paternal grandparents, mulling that it would be difficult for his widowed mother to take care of him alone.
This matter came to light after an adoption agency contacted the paternal grandparents to seek their approval for relinquishment of the child, which would have later facilitated his adoption. The shocked grandparents then approached Bharati Vidyapith police station, last Monday to stop the adoption. Cops then contacted Child Welfare Committee members, seeking intervention.
Following this, on Thursday, the 21-day-old boy was handed over to his paternal grandparents, as per his mother’s wish. The grandfather of the child, who wishes complete anonymity for the family, considering the baby and his mother’s future, told MiD DAY that the kid’s father passed away in November last year, and within days his wife’s pregnancy was revealed.
He said, “We were in touch with our daughter-in-law over the phone and my wife went to meet her after the delivery. My wife told me they were openly discussing the baby’s adoption plans on the very first day of his birth. After losing my son, I didn’t want to lose my grandchild. We explained to them that even if the baby’s mother wants to start life afresh, we would take care of the child.”
He added, “We were more shocked when we received a call from the adoption agency, seeking our approval for the relinquishment. Last Saturday, around midnight, we went to the adoption agency only to find that the baby’s maternal grandparents had decided to hand over the child to the adoption agency.”
Child Welfare Committee member Anita Vipat said, “The baby’s grandmother approached us on March 1. We counselled the child’s mother, who is a law graduate, and told her that for giving up the infant, approval of all relatives is necessary, and if the paternal grandparents want to take care of the baby, she cannot stop them from doing so. Finally, the mother agreed and the a baby was saved from getting uprooted.”
What the law says
Anjali Pawar, child rights activist, said, “Under section 317 of IPC, biological parents cannot abandon a child, as it is a crime. But shockingly Central Adoption Resource Agency’s guidelines regarding relinquishment are not clear, which means there is no clarity on when and how parents can relinquish their child and whether it is necessary to get the permission from other relatives. But due to responsible intervention from CWC, a child was saved from being uprooted.”