Explain why you don’t have adoption records: HC to agency

 Mumbai, August 24, 2010

First Published: 01:00 IST(24/8/2010)
A Matunga-based adoption agency, Shraddhanand Mahilashram, will have to explain to Bombay High Court why it does not have documents pertaining to a baby adopted by a Dutch couple in 1975. A division bench of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice U.D. Salvi on Monday directed Daksha Van Dijck (34) to make Shraddhanand Mahilashram a respondent in her petition, which seeks help to trace her biological parents.
The court has issued a notice to the agency, asking it to appear in court, through an advocate, on September 13.
Daksha, a clinical psychologist, had filed the petition alleging that she was most likely kidnapped as an infant and placed for international adoption by the agency. The court has also asked the police to check their records on whether they have a complaint filed about an abandoned baby, who was taken in by the Aashram.
“If an abandoned child was found outside the Aashram, there must have been some police report. If not abandoned, then someone gave the child up and so  the Aashram must have the records,” said Khanwilkar.
Dinesh Adsule, additional public prosecutor, who is representing the state, which is one of the respondents, said officials have visited the Aashram but not found any records.
Daksha was adopted by Johan Van Dijck in 1975 through Hague-based Wereldkinderen, a Dutch adoption agency. Her advocates, Pradeep Havnur and Shabana Ansari, said after her first visit to India in 2001, she tried to search for her biological parents through the Dutch agency. However, its file “did not have any details about her biological parent(s), nor any kind of abandonment declaration, nor a relinquishment document.”
Daksha returned to India in 2007 with her husband and approached Shraddhanand Mahilashram, which did not co-operate with her or with Wereldkinderen, after which they lodged a complaint at Matunga police station, Ansari said.