Same-Sex Couples Cannot Adopt Jointly, Opines SC in Same-Sex Marriage Judgment

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, while announcing his verdict on petitions demanding legal status to same-sex marriages, on Tuesday, struck down the Central Adoption Resource Authority’s (CARA) regulation that restricted queer and unmarried couples from adopting children.

However the five-judge bench, in a 3:2 verdict ruled that non-heterosexual couples cannot be granted the right to jointly adopt a child.

CJI Chandrachud said it couldn’t be assumed only “heterosexual married couples can be good parents”.

The CJI said the law didn’t preclude unmarried couples from adopting, and that the Union of India hadn’t proven restricting unmarried couples from adopting was in the best interest of children. “CARA has exceeded its authority in barring unmarried couples,” he said.

“Differentia between married couples and unmarried couples has no reasonable nexus with the objective of CARA – the best interests of the child,” CJI Chandrachud said.

The Constitution bench — comprising CJI Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, S Ravindra Bhat, Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha — were unanimous in their judgement that it was beyond the remit of courts to issue a positive direction to the legislature to accord legal recognition to same-sex marriages.

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