The Bombay High Court has allowed a US national to adopt a 12-year-old autistic boy and directed the passport office to complete the travel document formalities at his residence.
Justice Gautam Patel gave the direction yesterday while hearing a petition filed by a 59-year-old American woman to legally adopt the child.
According to the rules of the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), any foreigner wanting to adopt an Indian child needs to take permission from a high court.
Giving a go ahead for the adoption, the court noted that it would not be possible for the boy to go to the passport office for the required formalities.
"It seems to me that it will be exceedingly difficult for the boy to wait in the passport office while his application is processed. His condition will not permit this," Justice Patel said.
Terming it as a special case, the court directed the Regional Passport Office to complete the necessary procedure at the residence, where the boy would be more comfortable.
The child is currently residing in neighbouring Thane district with the US national.
According to the petition, the boy, born in February 2006 in Bihar, was found abandoned in a hospital there in 2010.
The hospital contacted the police which failed to trace his parents.
In the meanwhile, the boy's temporary custody was handed over to the petitioner, who works with NGOs to create awareness about autism.
The woman later sought to legally adopt him.
In its order, Justice Patel noted that the CARA report, submitted to the court, recommended the adoption.
"The report specifically notes that she (petitioner) alone has cared for the boy for last seven years. There is no question of her being unaware of his autism. It is she who has seen him through the last several years with that condition," he observed.