December 19, 2022 09:42 pm | Updated December 20, 2022 12:48 am IST – THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
It was an emotional moment on the premises of the Thiruvananthapuram District Child Welfare Committee (CWC) on Monday when a young couple was reunited with their six-month-old daughter, some months after they bowed to social pressure to abandon the child conceived out of wedlock.
The Ernakulam natives received their baby a few days after a DNA test conducted at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology proved her parentage. CWC chairperson A. Shaniba Beegum and other senior officials were present on the occasion.
Ms. Beegum expressed pride in having completed the formalities without delay. The committee had fast-tracked the process of returning the child within 15 days of receiving the couple’s request.
“While DNA tests generally consume two weeks, we were fortunate in obtaining the results within four days. The social investigation report that examined the child’s circumstances was readied within a few hours. We could ensure that the couple was spared of further mental stress,” she said.
Child to be monitored
The CWC has also issued an order to bring the child under the Woman and Child Development Department’s Kaval project to ensure close monitoring for at least a year. The couple will also be summoned every month to ensure the child’s well-being, according to the District CWC chairperson.
Fearing social stigma over a pregnancy before marriage, the parents had abandoned the infant in the Ammathottil of the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare when she was one-and-a-half months old on July 17. The woman was eight months pregnant at the time of their marriage.
It did not take long for the couple to repent their decision and they soon slipped into depression. Their decision to approach counselling psychologist Kala Mohan proved to be decisive in their efforts to recover the child.
A viral post by Ms. Mohan on Facebook in which she narrated the couple’s agony soon evoked the CWC’s attention and paved the way for the child’s return.