The Telegraph
Thursday , April 24 , 2014
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Rush to adopt abandoned baby

- Couples in queue told about lengthy legal procedure to take Jishu home

The newborn dumped by his parents on a footpath in Jadavpur and rescued by a morning walker has had many couples lining up to take him home.

“He is crying for food!” exclaimed a doctor at AMRI Mukundapur on Wednesday morning.

A newborn feeling the pangs of hunger is a vital sign of health. Baby Jishu, christened so by his doctors because he was found on Easter Monday, had been cold and barely breathing when Garfa resident Satyajit Chakraborty took him to the hospital two days ago.

“He is crying when hungry and also opening his eyes and responding when someone is going near him,” neonatologist Srabani Samanta said.

Jishu, who weighs about 2kg, has neonatal jaundice, which Samanta said was nothing unusual. “His condition is stable.”

Metro highlighted the baby’s plight on Wednesday, triggering an outpouring of support from couples eager to adopt him immediately.

Sushil Chamaria and wife Sweta visited the hospital in Mukundapur, off the Bypass, to check on the newborn and express their desire to give their biological daughter a brother.

The hospital received more than 10 calls from other couples wanting to adopt the boy. The first call came around 9am and the phones wouldn’t stop ringing.

“We have a five-year-old daughter but want to adopt this boy. We were touched by his story,” said Chamaria, a businessman.

The hospital told him there was a legal procedure they needed to follow to be able to adopt Jishu. “Let his health stabilise, we will then approach the authorities,” Chamaria said.

IT professional Ajapa Gupta and husband Arpan Ghatak, who works for a private bank, are also keen to adopt the newborn. “We want to take him home but that is apparently a long procedure,” Ajapa said.

East Jadavpur police station too received several calls from couples enquiring about the procedure for adoption.

“Several couples want to adopt the boy. We have asked them to contact the police and the women and child development department,” said Rupak Barua, group CEO of AMRI.

Jishu’s first destination after being discharged from hospital is likely to be a home for destitute children. “We are in touch with the hospital and as soon as the baby is declared fit, we will shift him to a government-recognised home in keeping with legal procedure,” an officer at the police station said.

To adopt a child, a couple or an individual is required to register with the Central Adoption Resource Authority, a central government organisation.

“The norm is for a child like the rescued newborn to be shifted to a government-registered welfare centre. The centre will wait for two months for any claim from the biological parents. It needs to publish advertisements and get in touch with the police to search for the parents,” an official involved with child adoption said.

After the completion of the two-month waiting period, the centre would need to get a court’s permission to hand over the child to a government-registered adoption agency.

“Volunteers from the agency will visit the houses of interested couples shortlisted through initial counselling,” the official said.

The volunteers will find out why a particular couple wants to adopt the child, the environment at home and other factors.

The interested couples are required to submit income-tax returns for three years and also a certificate from a doctor declaring them fit to raise a child.