J J Act : Child born out of live in relationship to be treated as child born to married couples
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The Kerala High Court on 10 April 2021 held that a child born to a couple in a live in relationship will be treated as a child to be married couple for the purpose of the Juvenile Justice Act and Adoption Guidelines.
Moving to the factual matrix of the case at hand, the court noted that names of both petitioners were recorded in the birth certificate and that the child’s surname also reflected the name of the father.
Since, the couple acknowledged their relationship, it was not for the committee to inquire about the legal status of the marriage.
Therefore for surrendering a child for adoption, live in couples to be treated as married couples.
A woman in a live in relationship, acknowledging the biological father of the child, out of such a relationship, will have to be treated as married women for the purpose of J J Act and Adopts regulations 2017.
Only if a mother does not acknowledge any sort of relationship with the biological father, such mother to be treated as an unmarried mother.
Only after an inquiry about whereabouts of parents was fulfilled could the child be deemed fit for adoption.
Therefore, the court ruled that the entire process followed in giving the child up for adoption was vitiated, since only Anitha signed the surrender deed.
Holding that the newly adoptive parents accrued no right since, the process itself was illegal, the court set aside the adoption and ordered that the child be restored to the couple.