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Supreme Court says no bar on adoption by same-sex couples

The Supreme Court on Wednesday orally observed that there was no bar on adoption by same-sex couples as adoption was the norm in many situations, and not the exception.

The Constitution Bench of Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice P.S. Narasimha further said that an individual’s rights remained untouched by cohabitation. 

The top court of the country made the remark after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights said that adoption of children could be not allowed by such couples as it was against their welfare and interest.

The NCPCR, which filed an intervention application in the petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages, said that it was the right of every child to be born and brought up by a heterosexual couple, since both the mother and the father played an important role in his/her development. 

Since a child could be born naturally only through a heterosexual union, it was justified to treat heterosexuals and homosexuals differently, noted the right body. It said the welfare of children was paramount and that there could not be even an iota of compromise or uncertainty in their raising and development.

Appearing for the Central Government, Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta apprised the top court of the country that the Centre has received the response of seven states on this issue. 

Out of these, the States of Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have opposed the legal recognition to same-gender marriages.

The governments of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Sikkim also submitted their responses to the Union of India, seeking more time to furnish their views.

The Apex Court had commenced hearing on the matter on April 18 and is likely to deliver the verdict before it goes for summer vacations from May 22 to July 2. Today is the ninth day of hearing. 

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