A couple blessed with their seventh son recently in the Indian state of Rajasthan found an abandoned baby girl in their city and began raising her thinking she was God's gift. However, the state's social justice department wants the girl to be handed over to them.
The couple now face legal action by the social justice department, which insists that the abandoned infant needs to be legally adopted by the family.
Leeladhar Kushawa, a resident of Dholpur, found the baby girl along the banks of a river in the city on 15 September. She reportedly had hundreds of ants crawling all over her body when Kushawa found her.
He rescued the girl and searched for her family members in nearby areas. Unable to find anybody, he took the baby home to his wife, who had given birth to their seventh son just two days ago. The couple had reportedly wanted a daughter as their seventh child and thought this girl was a gift from God.
The lactating mother began breastfeeding the girl along with her newborn son. The couple decided to raise the girl along with their seven sons and Kushawa, a well-off farmer, wrote to the social justice department informing them about his find, The Times of India newspaper reported.
The department responded to Kushawa's letter asking him to hand over the child to them, but the couple declined.
They now face legal action and are ready to face the court to retain the baby girl's custody.
A social justice department official told the paper that according to India law, any abandoned child needs to be legally adopted by a family to gain custody. If the couple do not abide by the law, they would face legal action, he added.