The Bombay High Court in the matter of Shabnam Jahan and Ors v/s state of Maharashtra declared the aunt as the adoptive parent of a minor girl child.
The biological parents of the child wanted their daughter to be adopted by her aunt a 47 year old teacher and a single divorced woman however the District Court disallowed the woman from adopting her sister’s child on the ground that she’s a working woman and who is also single and considered due to this she won’t be able to give personal attention to the child
Justice Gauri goadse observed that the district courts ground for rejection of plea is unfound, unjust and unacceptable.
The High Court observed that the comparison between biological mother being a housewife and prospective adoptive mother being a single parent reflects a mindset of medieval conservative concepts of a family.
It was also observed that when the statute recognizes a single parent to be eligible for being an adoptive parent then the District Court only had to verify whether the statutory requirements were fulfilled or not however the District Court resorted to guesswork.
The court observed that a divorcee or a single parent is eligible to adopt a child as per the juvenile justice (care and protection of Children) Act 2015 and the other requirements that are to be fulfilled in this process were complied with in the present case.
Thus in light of the above observations the High Court set aside the district court’s order and declared the single working woman ( aunt) as an adoptive parent of the child.