High Court orders return of live-in couple's baby given for adoption

High Court

Kochi: The Kerala High Court has directed that a one-year-old girl who was given to the Child Welfare Council for facilitating adoption should be returned to her parents.

Even though the child, which was born to a couple in a live-in relationship, was handed over by the mother to the Child Welfare Council, later the couple approached the high court seeking the baby back.

The order passed by a division bench comprising Justice A Mohammad Mushtaq and Dr Kausar Edapagath directed the authorities concerned to initiate the legal process for returning the baby within a month.

The court also held that the baby born during a live-in relationship should be considered as a child born to a married couple as per the Juvenile Justice Act.

The origins of the case

The couple who are social activists were in a live-in relationship. The baby was born to this couple in February last year. After their break-up, the mother handed over the baby to Child Welfare Council, Ernakulam, on May 8, 2020. She even signed the agreement for giving the baby for adoption.

The Council after considering the woman as unmarried completed all formalities before accepting the baby.

In February this year, another couple had adopted the baby based on an order from a family court. However, the parents filed a habeas corpus petition in the High Court to get the child back. Subsequently, the court considered the petition as a suo motu revision petition.

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