Kerala HC issues guidelines for DNA Test of Children Born to Rape Victims and given in Adoption

The Kerala High Court has held that DNA examinations of children born to rape victims and given in adoption may cause emotional imbalance and violate their right to privacy and hence, courts shall not entertain pleas for DNA examinations of such children.

The court observed that DNA examination of adopted children would also defeat the sanctity of adoption and laid down some guidelines.

Apart from courts not entertaining applications seeking DNA examination of children given in adoption, it said that the Child Welfare Committee shall see that the DNA samples of children given in adoption are taken before the completion of the process of adoption, all agencies involved in the adoption process shall ensure that the confidentiality of adoption records is maintained except as permitted under any other law for the time being in force and even in cases where the children were not given in adoption, the court shall consider the request for a DNA test of the children of the victim only after assessing the principle of eminent need and doctrine of proportionality.

The High Court stepped into this matter after the Victim Rights Centre under the Kerala State Legal Services Authority submitted a report stating that orders issued by various courts directing blood sample collection of children given in adoption would violate their right to privacy and confidentiality of adoption.

It then appointed an amicus curiae, which after studying the matter, submitted that DNA sample collection of children born to rape victims, especially those who were given in adoption, would adversely impact their privacy and personal autonomy and further pointed out that such tests will not aid the prosecution case to prove the offence of rape.

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Based on these reports, the court asked that adoption orders shall not be displayed on any public portal and to ensure that all authorities maintain the confidentiality of adoption records as per law and set aside various orders passed by the special courts for collecting blood samples of adopted children for trying offence of rape and other cases under the Pocso Act.

It then posted the case for further hearing on May 27.

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