Karnataka High Court Facilitates Cross-Border Adoption

Indian High Court on Cross Border Adaptation

In a notable legal manoeuvre, the Karnataka High Court intervened in a unique cross-border adoption case, urging the Indian government to adapt to the circumstances.

The case involved the adoption of a Ugandan child by a non-resident Indian (NRI) couple, who had received approval from the High Court of Uganda as per Ugandan laws.

While the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) proposed issuing a support letter under Regulation 41 of the Adoption Regulations, 2022, the court highlighted its limitations, as it primarily applies to in-country adoptions. Justice M. Nagaprasanna pointed out the absence of provisions in Indian laws for cross-border adoptions, complicating the situation.

Karnataka High Court New

Notably, India is a signatory to the Hague Convention on Adoption, unlike Uganda. Thus, legalizing the adoption left the child’s citizenship rights in uncertainty.

In response, the court urged the Union of India to extend its generosity beyond a support letter, advocating for an approval or no objection certificate under the Hague Convention.

The court emphasized the need to address legal ambiguities without altering existing statutes. Recognizing the couple’s definitive status as adoptive parents, as determined by Ugandan courts, the High Court asserted the enforceability of foreign court orders in India under Section 13 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

The couple, who initially adopted the child in Uganda during their tenure there, sought approval from CARA upon relocating to Kenya.

The court’s intervention underscores the complexity of cross-border adoptions and the necessity for adaptive legal frameworks to safeguard the rights of adopted children and their parents.

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