U.S. couple wanted to adopt Indian boy as servant, court hears

The Vancover Sun
Agence France-Presse
September 1, 2009

NEW DELHI - An Indian court rejected an American couple's bid to adopt a mentally challenged child on the grounds that they intended to use him as "domestic help," a report said Tuesday.

The Delhi High Court upheld a decision by a lower court to overturn the government's approval of the adoption by Craig and Cynthia Coates, and fined them 20,000 rupees ($400 US) for "abuse of the process of law," according to the Press Trust of India new agency.

The judge questioned why the couple, who are both 50 years old, would want to adopt mentally handicapped Anil when they already had three children, including a son.

Declaring their appeal "frivolous and bogus," Justice V.B. Gupta said that "the need for them to expand their family further at this stage does not sound very convincing."

He said their intention was to use the boy as "domestic help" because Craig Coates had cerebral palsy and his wife, who worked as a nurse, was overwhelmed by her job and the responsibility of caring for her husband.

"The real intention of the Coateses in adopting the child, who is suffering from mental delays, is to exploit him," Gupta said.

Nine-year-old Anil was found abandoned in New Delhi in 2006 and registered for adoption by the state's Child Welfare Committee.

The government said it had no objection to the adoption, but the Delhi District Court rejected their decision.

The Coateses were said they wanted to adopt Anil as he had been rejected by Indian families because of his disability, and that Cynthia was qualified to care for him.

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