Private Contracts Vs The Legal System?
Contributed by Sunil K. Arora
Having worked in adoption for 7 years
now, I get cold and worried whenever I hear of cases where the prospective
adoptive parents want to contact the birth mother directly or even give
money to a parent to have a child for them.
In circumstances such as these, I
always wonder if the people who are considering this kind of a measure
have given serious thought to how this could turn out. At the end
of the day after having put in thousands of rupees or dollars to get through
the process, endless time and also suffering the hardship from the emotional
waves which you are subjected to every minute - finally, what it the result?
I have heard of a number of such
cases in my work in this field but there was one case, which I came across
personally. The family in question had opted to enter into a private contract
directly with a mother, who was paid a good amount. They engaged a lawyer
to help them through the process, who made them promises and charged them
a heavy fee in advance, but turned out to be nothing other than a money
As expected they put everything down
on paper and then went to the passport office to get a passport. There
the family got a shock of their lives when the passport office told them
that they were unable to issue the passport as according to Indian Laws
the child was not legally theirs despite the lengthy procedure. Finally
what did happen, I feel sorry to say, was that the family returned to their
residential country without the child who still remains legally bound to
the biological mother.*
There are a number of important points
which must be considered with regard to a private contact such as this
one which will effect the family, including:
The above are just a few of the points
which need to be noted and seriously considered when such a course of action
is being considered by a prospective adoptive family. Below is a list of
points that outline the advantages of the legal process in adoptive procedure:
When you directly enter into a contract
with any person who wants to give up his/her child, you lose the advantage
of anonymity as both parties have to reveal their identities. If that person
is giving up his/her child for money, then you are asking for trouble.
Similarly, the party wanting to adopt or their intermediaries can also
harass the person who is giving up his/her child.
All the written agreements between such
parties do not hold any legal value.
If the prospective parents are living
in a different country and want to take this child to this country, e.g.
U.S.A., this child does not qualify as an abandoned child according the
In private contracts you do not get
a court order and other necessary documents which will help you to get
a passport and facilitate the process to take the child to your country.
To make a passport for the adopted child,
you will have to put the names of his/her biological parents on the documents.
Thus, his/her passport will have the name of the biological parents.
What about the medical tests like HIV
& Hepatitis B ?
Letís not forget that there have been
cases in the USA following contracts such as these where children were
taken physically from the homes of their adoptive families and returned
to their birth mothers.
You are doing a beautiful thing by adopting
a child and by the end of it when the child is with you, I am sure that
you want to be HAPPY and NOT afraid that your child may be taken away from
you at any time.
Your identity is completely protected.
Your name will never be told to the biological parent and vice versa.
The law gives enough time to the biological parent to think over the decision
through the adoption agency and then places the child in adoption.
You get all legal documents. The agency
will apply for the passport and gives you legal documents of the child,
which will help you in getting the visa for the child.
You get all test reports of the child
like HIV, Hepatitis B, blood reports etc. before you agree to the adoption
of the child and sign the child documents.
Once adopted through the legal process,
the child is always yours. No one can take your child away from you.
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