The Bombay High Court on Friday clarified that it has not halted ongoing adoption processes of children by a January 10 stay order passed in a pending challenge to an amendment of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act 2021 (JJ Act) [Nisha Pradeep Pandya alias Nisha Amit Gor & Anr vs Union of India & Ors].The amendment under challenge grants exclusive jurisdiction to District Magistrates over adoption cases, including foreign adoptions.Civil courts were dealing with adoption cases prior to the amendment..On January 10, a bench led by Justice GS Patel stayed the effect of the amendment with respect to the proposed transfer of case papers/ documents relating to adoption cases from civil courts to District Magistrates.However, it was later reported by the Indian Express that final adoption orders for many Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs), and the adoption process in such cases came to a standstill in Maharashtra since January 11, after the Court's stay order. To address this, the Court on Friday clarified that it has not stayed adoptions by its January 10 order. Rather, the Court has only stayed the transfer of those cases to the District Magistrates, the bench clarified.“There is some misconception floating around that we have stopped foreign adoption. We will clarify this. There is no question of any ongoing or fresh adoption matters to be transferred to District Magistrate until we decide the matter (Constitutional challenge). We have not stopped adoptions. They will continue as they were happening before the amendment to the JJ Act. Civil courts dealing with adoptions must continue to do so till final disposal of this matter on July 7. Any papers which are transferred to the District Magistrates be sent back to district judges/courts," the Court said..The Court further directed that all case papers be transferred back to the concerned civil courts from District Magistrates till the High Court decides on the pending petition challenging the amendment to the JJ Act..A writ petition had been filed in the High Court seeking a stay on a September 30, 2022 communication directing the transfer all adoption cases to District Magistrates.On January 10, the Court essentially stayed the effect of this September communication and directed that pending adoption matters before courts should not be transferred to District Magistrates for adjudication.It also directed the courts to continue with the adjudication of the adoption matters that are pending on their record and file.However, the report by Indian Express pointed out that, after the communication, all adoption cases were transferred to the District Magistrate between September 2022 and January 10, 2023. While so, because of the stay by the High Court, the District Magistrates were not acting on these case papers. As such, it was reported that all these cases were stuck in limbo..The challenge to JJ Act amendment will be heard by the High Court next on July 7, 2023.