Crime

Sushma Swaraj Seeks Probe Into Adoption Process of Texas Girl Sherin Mathews

Sushma Swaraj asks Consul General Anupam Ray to ensure that the case of Sherin Mathews' death is taken to a "logical conclusion."
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Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Oct. 27 sought a thorough investigation into the adoption process of Sherin Mathews, the three-year-old girl who died in Texas earlier this month.

Swaraj tweeted that she has requested Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi “for a thorough investigation into the adoption process of Baby Saraswati SherinMathews who has been killed by her foster father Wesley Mathews in the US”.

She also said that she has asked Anupam Ray, the Consul General of India in Houston, to ensure that the murder of Sherin was taken to a “logical conclusion.”

 

Wesley Mathews was arrested in Texas on Oct. 23 after he changed his initial statement that the child went missing at night, to say that she choked on milk and died at their house in Richardson city, according to court documents.

He was arrested a day after a small body, said “most likely” to be of Sherin, was found in a culvert near the family home.

Mathews, 37, had earlier said that on Oct. 7, Sherin was scolded and sent out at 3 am in the night, 100 meters from the house, as punishment for not finishing her milk.  The adopted child, he said, was malnourished and had to be fed many times a day. When he went out to check on her 15 minutes later, he found her missing. He alerted the police only at 8 am.

After a two weeks search operation, during which the police used drones, her body was found in a ditch near their house.

Upon his arrest, Mathews was charged with causing injury to a child, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

He was being held in jail with bail set at $1 million. Mathews and his wife Sini, a nurse, had adopted Sherin from the Nalanda Mother Teresa Anatha Seva Ashram in Bihar. The owner of the now-closed orphanage has denied that the child had a eating disorder, contradicting a claim by her adoptive father.

“The child had no problem at all when she was here, neither in drinking milk or eating,” the ashram owner Babitha Kumari said, according to the Texas TV station WFAA. Kumari said the Mathews couple had appeared “loving,” and that the father had made several calls during the adoption process.

Sherin was already eating solid food and drinking milk from a cup when she left the orphanage, Kumari told the media. She added that the child had nothing wrong with her except squint in one eye when she was adopted in June 2016. “Look at the photos of the child. Does she look malnourished?” Kumari told the Associated Press.

According to court documents, Mathews said that he “physically assisted” Sherin with drinking milk in the garage of their house after she had earlier refused to drink it.

The child began coughing and choking, her breathing slowed and then there was no longer any pulse, he told police.

In separate tweets, Sushma Swaraj also said that in view of the Sherin Mathews case, “we have taken a decision that passports for adopted children will be issued only with prior clearance by Ministry of Child Development in all cases”.

— (With IANS inputs)

4 Comments

  1. Sathasivam

    October 30, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Childless Couples mostly they have tolerance and experience of the Child behaviour and monthly check the child’s condition and if necessary give lesson about the child adoption.

  2. Nandakumar P A

    October 30, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Right decision by Smt.Sushamaswaraj to prevent occurence of such incidents in future.

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