India asks Germany to return 2-year-old child in foster care

The girl, Ariha Shah, has been in Germany's foster care system since Sept. 2021.

The government of India directed Germany to return a 2-year-old girl, presently in their foster care system back to her birth parents in India. The child, Ariha Shah, was taken away from her Indian parents by German authorities in Berlin, on September 2021, at the age of seven months.

According to media reports, the child was taken away after officials found her injured, and placed her in the custody of Germany’s Youth Welfare Office which took care of the treatment. "We urge German authorities to do all that is necessary to send Ariha to India at the earliest, which is also her inalienable right as an Indian national," Arindam Bagchi, Indian foreign ministry spokesperson said.

"Ariha’s continued placement in German foster care and infringement of her social, cultural and linguistic rights is of deep concern to the government of India and the parents," he told reporters. According to Ariha's parents, Dhara and Bhavesh, who are residents of Mumbai, she was injured accidentally by her grandmother.

Maharashtra’s Chief minister wrote a letter to S.Jaishankar, the Minister of External Affairs urging him to intervene in the matter and bring
the girl back. “You have already intervened in this matter, but I will urge you to take up this matter again with the German Government…. I would even like to request you to give in-person appointment to the parents to understand their concerns and the details of the case,” the letter read in part.

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