Baby girl back to foster home

'Trauma of separation' prompts rare decision in Nirmal Hriday case

By A.S.R.P. Mukesh in Ranchi
  • Published 13.07.18
  •  
WE ARE FAMILY: Kokar couple Shailaja Tirkey and Sitesh Kiro with their foster daughter in Ranchi on Thursday. Picture by Manob Chowdhary

Ranchi: A toddler, who was said to be among four babies sold by Missionaries of Charity-run Nirmal Hriday since January last year, was legally adopted by her foster parents here on Thursday.

The couple from Kokar was handed over the 13-month-old girl, a day after she had been taken into custody and sent to a registered adoption agency by the district child welfare committee.

Committee chairperson Rupa Verma, who had busted the racket at Nirmal Hriday on July 3, told this newspaper that a special bench was convened in the evening and it was decided that the child be sent to her foster home.

"She has been living in that house for as long as she can perhaps remember. She is close to her new mother and it is in her best interest to be in that house," Verma said, adding that the foster parents would be allowed to keep the child for two months for starters. "They will have to produce the child before us every week or whenever required."

Ranchi social welfare officer Kanchan Singh too confirmed through a text message that foster mom Shailaja Tirkey and her banker husband Sitesh Kiro were being allowed to adopt the little girl. The district administration has in principle agreed to their request, Singh said.

Senior Congress leader and former Kolebira MLA Theodore Kiro, who is the new paternal grandfather, said he had got his foster granddaughter back. "The authorities have asked us to furnish a bond that whenever needed, the child will be produced before them," Kiro said.

The couple had visited the adoption agency, Karuna, with the child's 17-year-old biological mother in the morning after reports that she was in trauma of separation.

"Our baby looked weak and there were multiple mosquito bites all over her. She hadn't eaten anything either. Both mother and child are in trauma. So, I called social welfare minister Louise Marandi and she spoke to the committee in our favour," said Kiro.

The Congress leader stressed that they had adopted the child in good faith and there was no money involved. "Since the method (of adoption) was perhaps wrong, we are going through a proper procedure now to get our baby back."

Verma, however, didn't rule out monetary transaction between Nirmal Hriday and the foster family. "Anima Indwar, the shelter employee who has been arrested, said one baby was sold to a couple in UP for Rs 1.20 lakh and another to a family in Morabadi for Rs 50,000. So, we have reasons to believe that the other two children were not given away for free," she said.

The committee chairperson added that if the other foster parents staked claim to the rescued babies, they would see if there was merit in those cases.