The Supreme Court of India ruled on a series of petitions seeking legal recognition for same-sex marriages, with the denial of adoption rights to unmarried queer couples. The five-judge bench delivered a split verdict, with a 3:2 majority opposing adoption rights for LGBTQIA couples.
Chandrachud & Kaul argued in favour of adoption rights
Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kaul maintained that adoption rights should be extended to queer couples, highlighting the discriminatory nature of existing adoption regulations against them. They argued that the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) circular, which currently restricts adoption by queer couples, violates Article 15 of the Constitution.
Justice Chandrachud emphasized that CARA Regulation 5(3) indirectly perpetuates discrimination against non-traditional unions and stressed that there is no substantive evidence to support the notion that only a married heterosexual couple can provide stability to a child.
A committee to be set up to look into the matter
As a result of the ruling, the central government is set to establish a committee tasked with determining the rights and entitlements of individuals in queer unions. This committee's responsibilities will include considering the inclusion of queer couples as a family unit on ration cards, allowing them to nominate for joint bank accounts, and extending rights related to pensions and gratuity.
Furthermore, the court underscored that central and state governments, as well as Union Territories, must refrain from discriminating against the rights of the queer community to form unions. This historic decision has far-reaching implications for the legal recognition and rights of same-sex couples in India.