Child sent to US foster care returns India today

A year-and-half-old son of Debashish and Pamela Saha, the Indian couple residing in New Jersey in the US, is returning to Kolkata on Wednesday even as his parents will stay there for some time. The child was taken away by the US authorities and sent to a foster care in September last year following allegation of negligence.

A New Jersey court allowed the release of the child from the foster care and handed him over to his uncle Bhaskar on Monday. The child will now be staying with his maternal grandmother Pragoti Basak in Malda for the next two months.

"No condition has been imposed by the court. I am thankful to all those related with the case — the US court, the Ministry of External Affairs, President of India, child rights activists of the US — who did their best to end my trauma as we have been suffering for the last five months,'' Debashis, an IT professional, told The Indian Express from New Jersey over phone.

In August last year, the child is said to have fell down from the bed and received injuries in his head. He was taken to a hospital by the parents where he underwent a surgery. However, after coming to know about the incident, the Department of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) took the child away from the parents on charges of "negligence".

While the parents moved court against the DYFS action, his relatives back home in Balurghat in North Dinajpur and Malda got in touch with President Pranab Mukherjee, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and various other leaders who reportedly mounted pressure on US authorities.

According to Basabi Basu, a rights activist based at Pensylvania in the US who fought for the quick release of the child from the foster care, the court had advised the Child Welfare Committee of West Bengal to see to it that the child was well taken care of.

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