German foster care case of Indian toddler on ministry's radar

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs said that the issue pertaining to legal custody of an Indian toddler in German foster care "is a sensitive case" and the "Indian Embassy and Foreign Ministry have been in close touch with the parents and with the German authorities to find a way forward."

In a weekly media briefing of MEA, spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "It is a sensitive case. Foreign Secretary is dealing with the case. Both the embassy and foreign ministry have been in close touch with parents and German authorities to find a way forward. It includes baby-infant child and there are issues related to privacy." Her parents are making a desperate plea to the authorities in a bid to bring their baby back home to India.

Meanwhile, the baby's parents said, "We are not getting a fair trial. We are not getting the chance to present our case, they are listening to just one party."

According to media reports, the baby girl was accidentally hurt by her grandmother in September last year. After this incident, the German authorities accused the couple of sexually assaulting the child and took her away.

The mother said, "We are not here for ourselves, we came here to get support for our baby, who is in German foster care for 19 months for no fault of hers. She turned 2 just recently. When she was 7 months old, her private parts were hurt in an accident. We took her to a doctor who said everything was fine. When we went for a follow-up, they informed the child service and alleged that the child had been sexually abused. We voluntarily gave our DNA samples to prove our innocence. After an investigation by the police, the Public Prosecutor's office closed the case in February 2022 without any charges. We thought that we will get our baby back but the matter went to a family court."

In September 2021, the minor was taken away by German child services. The doctors called child services and gave them her custody saying that the nature of her injury suggested that she was sexually abused. The parents claimed that they were subsequently accused of sexual abuse and the baby was taken away by Jugendamt (German child services) from the hospital.

"We are not getting the chance to present our case, they are listening to just one party. The psychological assessment was clear. The court-appointed expert told us that the baby can stay with her parents, but they are not ready to listen to us. If we don't get a fair trial, how will we win?" said the mother.

"We are vegetarian. When we tell them to give baby vegetarian food, they say that non-vegetarian food is important for nutrition. We grew up on a vegan diet and are not deficient when it comes to nutrition.

When we go to visit our baby, we whisper our mantras to her ear. To this, they say we are fundamentalists. If they can't understand our culture, how will they understand us and our pleas?" the mother argued.

The parents along with the Indian government have been working for a long time to repatriate the baby to India.

the Jugendamt is allegedly dragging its feet in the matter so that the baby girl becomes a naturalised German citizen, the parents alleged.

"They don't have anything against us as the case regarding the injury to private parts has been dismissed. Now they are questioning our parental capabilities. But the court-appointed expert said the baby can stay with us.

Now they are just buying time so that they could use the continuity principle. According to them, since our baby hasn't been with us for the last 19 months and as she has adapted to German culture, language, and food, she has become German. We have been telling them right from the beginning that she is Gujarati. This is her rightful identity by birth," her mother said.


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