Laxmi Kant Pandey vs Union of India : Clarification of some of the directions in regard to Inter-Country Adoptions

Through this application, the Union of India seeks modification and/or clarification of some of the directions given by this Court on 6-2-19841 in regard to inter-country adoptions. The submission of the learned Attorney General for India is that the period of three months which has been permitted for the biological parents to take a decision to relinquish the child for giving in adoption, needs to be reduced because according to him, the experience has shown that only 10-15 days' period is generally taken by the parents to make up their mind and it is not more t:han three per cent of the relinquished children who have been taken back by the biological parents in the period already prescribed under directions of this Court.

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SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

Before :- Dr. A.S. Anand, C.J. And M. Srinivasan And R.C. Lahoti, JJ.
Crl. MP No. 5969 of 1998 and 4744 of 1999 in Writ Petition (Crl.) No. 1171 of 1982. D/d. 30.8.1999.

Laxmi Kant Pandey - Petitioner
Versus
Union of India and others - Respondents

ORDER

Crl MP No. 5969 of 1998
1. Through this application, the Union of India seeks modification and/or clarification of some of the directions given by this Court on 6-2-19841 in regard to inter-country adoptions. The submission of the learned Attorney General for India is that the period of three months which has been permitted for the biological parents to take a decision to relinquish the child for giving in adoption, needs to be reduced because according to him, the experience has shown that only 10-15 days' period is generally taken by the parents to make up their mind and it is not more than three per cent of the relinquished children who have been taken back by the biological parents in the period already prescribed under directions of this Court.
It is stated that if this period is reduced, it would accelerate the process of adoption and the period of uncertainty would be curtailed even insofar as the child is concerned, who, we are informed is kept in the institutional care during that period. Keeping in view the best interest and welfare of the child, which is of supreme consideration in matters of adoption, more particularly inter-country adoptions, we find force in the submission of the learned Attorney General. It, therefore, appears appropriate to us to reduce the period of three months for the biological parents to take the decision regarding relinquishment of the child for giving in adoption to a period of two months.
2. With the aforesaid reduction in the period, the earlier directions given by this Court shall stand modified to that extent.
3. So far as the other prayers mentioned in this application are concerned, the learned Attorney General does not press the same. We, however, have no doubts that the District Courts and the Juvenile Courts/Homes would give their earnest attention to the matters and dispose them of expeditiously.
Crl MP No. 4744 of 1999
4. Vide order dated 30-11-1998 rate or expenses to be recovered from the prospective adoptive parents to cover the costs including legal expenses, administrative expenses etc. were raised from Rs. 78 per day per child to Rs. 100 per child and the lump sum amount of Rs. 6000 payable by the prospective adoptive parents towards the costs was also raised to Rs. 10, 000 per child.
5. Through this application, Respondent 2 seeks revision of the scrutiny fee, which had been fixed at the rate of Rs. 450 per child for inter-country adoptions and Rs. 150 per child in case of in-country adoptions.
6. After hearing learned counsel for Respondent 2 and the learned Attorney General for the Union of India, we revise the rate of scrutiny fee which was fixed as early as in 1986, insofar as inter-country adoptions are concerned from Rs. 450 to Rs. 2500 per child and insofar as in-country adoptions are concerned from Rs. 150 to Rs. 500 per child.

7. Copies of both the orders be sent to all the High Courts and the institutions concerned.
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