New Delhi: 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 T S 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
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
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.