Foreign couple who adopted abandoned baby in UP, charged with conversion

Three years ago, the baby was found abandoned in an earthen pot here and was adopted by the couple.

Bareilly: An FIR has been filed against a Malta-based couple and an orphanage official here for ‘wrongful conversion’ of an abandoned baby girl who was adopted by the foreigners.

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Three years ago, the baby was found abandoned in an earthen pot here and was adopted by the couple.

Right-wing activists have now lodged an FIR against the orphanage in Bareilly and the Malta-based couple that has adopted the baby.

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This comes a week before the child, named Sita, was supposed to travel to Malta.

The FIR has been registered under IPC sections 420 (cheating),467 (forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (fraudulently using document as genuine which is actually a forged one) along with sections 3 and 5 (1) of UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021 against an orphanage official, child’s adoptive parents and an unidentified person on the complaint of Bareilly-based activist Anshu Kumar.

Kumar had alleged that the orphanage staff had changed the baby’s faith and made her an Aadhaar card with a ‘new Christian name’.

Refuting the allegations, the orphanage superintendent, Primrose Edmond, said, “The adoption was done through the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) following the guidelines of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and under the directions of the Delhi High Court. I do not have any direct role in it. The baby’s name is still ‘Sita’ and her new parents from Malta call her by that name.”

An orphanage staff, requesting anonymity, added, “A local politician wanted to adopt Sita but he could not and now he is doing everything possible to delay the adoption process. They have not changed her name. Her name in the records has only been updated to ‘Manuela Sita Camilleri’ as ‘Camilleri’ is the surname of her new parents and ‘Manuel’ is the father’s first name.”

The staff member further said, “Sita falls under ‘special needs’ category as she suffers from seizure disorder. She was hospitalised at a private hospital thrice this year as she was gasping for breath. Delay in her adoption process is risking her life as well.”

Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police (Bareilly city), Rahul Bhati, said, “The FIR was registered on a complaint that the orphanage has been changing the religion of children living there and Sita’s example was given as one such case. The facts are being verified.”

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