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Compromise reached in Baby X adoption

By Nikita Braxton-Benjamin nikita.braxton@trinidadexpress.com

BABY X is to remain with her foster parents while the Adoption Board decides if the couple will become her legal mother and father.
Yesterday before Justice Frank Seepersad in the San Fernando High Court, it was agreed that the Adoption Board should consider Cindy and Donald Rackal’s adoption application and the child should remain in the couple’s foster care, pending the determination of the application before the Adoption Board.
On November 23, 2012, a medical social worker referred the infant to the Adoption Board, five days after Baby X’s birth mother indicated that she no longer wanted to care for her child.
The child was placed in the Rackals’ care last March. While the child was in the care of the Rackals, the Board found parents for Baby X.
The Rackals were not considered. At a previous hearing, the Adoption Board said that at the time the Rackals submitted their application, the child was not at the stage of being adoptable and when the baby became adoptable, there was no application from the Rackals before the Board.
Earlier this year, the Rackals, of Carapichaima, filed for judicial review, challenging the Foster Care Unit’s intention to take away the child.
They were represented by attorneys Gerald Ramdeen, Kent Samlal and Abdel Mohammed. The Adoption Board’s attorney was Josefina Baptiste-Mohammed.
Yesterday both sides came to an agreement that the matter will no longer be pursued, should there be compliance to two conditions.
Seepersad noted, “Parties have agreed to compromise this action in the following terms—the defendants (The Adoption Board) shall consider the claimants’ (the Rackals) application in relation to the adoption of Baby X. And Baby X shall remain in the care of the claimants as foster care providers, pending the determination of their application before the Adoption Board.”
The child is being referred to as Baby X following a direction from the court that her name be withheld from all proceedings and all previous documents containing the name of the infant be sealed.
Seepersad said yesterday the Adoption Board is to pay the Rackals the cost of the action. The amount is to be assessed should both parties fail to agree on a figure.
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