The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) to ensure that an 18-month-old boy who was given up for adoption by his mother be handed over to his biological father.
The mother, then a 17-year-old, eloped with 19-year-old Ramu Gadivdar (the biological father) on October 1, 2021 to Karnataka from Mumbai to hide her pregnancy from parents. Soon, her father filed a police complaint under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
On November 26, 2021, she gave birth to a boy and the CWC sent both the mother and the child to St. Catherine’s Home in Mumbai. On March 5, 2022, Mr. Gadivdar was arrested and granted bail the next month.
The mother then initiated proceedings to send the child for adoption, but Mr. Gadivdar expressed his desire to meet the child and take his custody. In January this year, he moved the court seeking a direction to the CWC to give him the child’s custody.
On May 4, a Division Bench headed by Justice Revati Mohite-Dere stayed the order of the child’s legal adoption proceedings. “It is a case of a minor child being given up for adoption when the biological father of the child is willing to take custody of the child. We direct that the adoption proceedings not be completed,” the court had said.
The woman, meanwhile, got married to another person on July 17.
After the CWC last week passed an order rejecting the father’s application for the custody of his child, the court on Wednesday gave it an ultimatum. The court asserted it would pass an order on July 28 to ensure custody to Mr. Gadivdar if the CWC does not do the needful.