Indian kids being exploited by foreign parents, Centre to Supreme Court
The Centre today told the Supreme Court that a lot of “disturbing material” about exploitation of abandoned Indian children adopted by foreign parents have emerged and opposed the move by a US couple to adopt a nine-year old dyslexic child. Solicitor general Gopal Subramanium told a bench of justices Markandeya Katju and TS Thakur that government was of the view that Indian children adopted by foreign parents are vulnerable to various forms of exploitation and said once they leave the country’s shores it would be difficult to protect their interests.
“I have made enquiries. Lot of disturbing material have come out. There are many cases of exploitation of such children in the foreign countries. These material have emerged from the civil society groups also. “We need to have a balanced approach on such issues. These children (abandoned) have no voice of their own. Nobody can speak for them if the child is abused in the foreign country. There is very little we can do once they leave the country and go to the foreign countries,” the solicitor general submitted.
The solicitor general made the submission during the hearing of a US-couple’s plea for grant of permission to adopt an Indian dyslexic boy. The Delhi high court had on August 31 last year rejected the plea of cerebral palsy-afflicted Craig Allen Coates and his wife Cynthia Ann Coates, residents of Winnebago, USA, to adopt the boy after holding that the couple, who are already having two sons and a daughter, intended to exploit him as a domestic help. It had concurred with the findings of a district judge that the intention of the couple did not appear to be bonafide. Aggrieved by the rejection, the couple have appealed in the apex court.
The apex court too had at the last hearing expressed apprehension that Indian children could be exploited for various purposes, including sexual acts, and wanted the government to explain whether it has proposed any legislation to deal with inter-country adoptions. This was because presently in the country there is no legislation on inter-country adoptions. At today’s hearing, Subramanium said there was disturbing material on exploitation of Indian children and the government was in the process of examining the issue at length before formulating a suitable response.
However, the bench which briefly spoke to Cynthia Ann Coates, in the court room, said it was “prima facie” satisfied with the bonafide of the couple but yet it was for the government to decide on their plea.