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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

14) Adoption Petition Hearing

Our adoption petition was filed in December. As it transpired, year-end holidays and judges / court officials clearing their leave contributed to our getting a hearing date more than 1 month later. We were asked to be present outside Rm. No. 36, 3rd Floor, Mumbai Civil & Sessions Court (Fort) alongwith our child, who by then had already been placed in our custody for a month.

If you are adopting as a married couple, both parents are required to be present for the hearing. I have heard that in some cases, there may be more than one hearing. In our case, fortunately for us, there was just the one. Our lawyer met us outside the courtroom, where - having arrived early, we had spent the better part of 2 hours waiting, idly looking at the dockets of bail cases up for hearing, introducing our child to the pigeons in the courtyard and taking surreptitious photos of the place for our albums.

When the judge arrived, everyone bowed and scraped and outdid one another in obsequiousness. The actual hearing itself took a little over 5 minutes. The judge asked us a few questions - our birth dates, the date of our marriage, our income. He expressed surprise that we were adopting though (in his estimation) we were relatively young. As though adoption always ought to be the last option. Anyway, our lawyer deftly handled that with a smooth, oily response and he let it go.

The judge then asked us what we would be investing in the name of the child. We suggested an education endowment policy - he asked us for the quantum and asked someone to convert that to Indian rupees for him. He then instructed us to purchase the policy within 3 months of returning to Singapore with our adopted child and forward the receipt on to the court via our lawyer. We agreed, our lawyer entreated him to expedite the court order, he waved in acknowledgement and that was it.

The court order granting the adoption arrived (in quadruplicate) 10 days later. This cleared the way for our RIPA's lawyer to prepare the Deed of Adoption.

*) The court room where our adoption petition was heard:

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