Non-Indian citizenship denies certain rights under adoption proceedings: SC

The Supreme Court of India ruled that the right of a person during adoption proceedings in India as a resident Indian is lost after the person acquires a non-Indian citizenship even though the law does not contemplate such a situation.

“Mere fact that Act or Regulations does not provide for any mechanism to upload any further information in first registration cannot alter the legal position and consequences of acquiring the foreign citizenship by an Indian. The consequences of obtaining US citizenship of respondent Nos.1 and 2 shall take its effect immediately”, the Court ordered.

A couple filed an application through Central Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS) to adopt a child as Indian Prospective Adoptive Parents living in India wherein one of them was awaiting USA citizenship and the other was a USA citizen. During the pendency of their application, the husband was granted USA citizenship and hence, a second application was filed by them for inter-country adoption with a request for permission to continue the first application that was eventually denied by the authorities.

After reviewing Regulation 17 of Adoption Regulations, 2017, the Court said, “Even if the common seniority list has to be utilized for the purpose of in country adoption and inter-country adoption as per the respective categories, the difference between in country adoption and inter-country adoption cannot be lost sight or given a go bye by the mere fact that a common seniority list is maintained. It is true that Regulation 41 or any other Regulation does not contemplate a situation when a resident Indian after acquiring the foreign citizenship submits a fresh registration, what is the consequence and value of its first registration. Even though regulations are silent and do not provide for any mechanism or any answer to such fact situation, the natural consequences of acquiring foreign citizenship shall follow.”

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