PROCEDURE OF ADOPTION UNDER THE HINDU LAW

What is Legal Adoption?

According to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) change Act, 2006, once a child is separated from his biological parents for good and becomes a legitimate child of his adoptive parents he gets all the rights that are related to biological parents.

If a Foreigner wants to adopt an Indian Child then he has to approach the court under the Guardian and Wards Act, 1890 and if they want to take the Indian Child out of the Country the adoption should be done as per Foreign Laws.

While under the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, the Guardian should be Natural Guardian or Guardian appointed by the Court. Natural Guardian for both the Boys and the Unmarried Girls is first the father and then the mother. Under Muslim Law, the father has a dominant position.

Adoption under Hindu Law

As per Hindu Shastra, it is believed that the adopted son is a reflection of the natural son of Adoptive Parents. This helps in guaranteeing the protection and care of the adopted son. Once a child for good is separated from his biological parents and becomes a legitimate child of his adoptive parents, he has all the rights that are related to adoptive parents. This means the adoptive child cannot marry the other adoptive child or real child of his adoptive parents.

Who is allowed to Adopt a Child?

A married or unmarried male, a married or unmarried female, NRI may adopt a child.

Under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956

Any male Hindu, having a sound mind, a major, and is eligible for adopting a child can adopt a child. If the male Hindu is married and wants to adopt a child he has to take the consent of his wife as well before adoption, and the consent should be free.

Any Female Hindu, having a sound mind, a major, and is eligible for adopting a child can adopt a child. If the Female Hindu is married and wants to adopt a child she has to take the consent of her husband as well before adoption, and the consent should be free.

Conditions for adoption by Hindu couples or single parent

  1. When a Hindu male or a Female want to adopt a son, they should not have a son living whether legitimate or illegitimate, at the time of adoption.
  2. When a male or a Female Hindu want to adopt a daughter, they should not have a daughter or son’s daughter living at the time of adoption.
  3. If a male wants to adopt a daughter, he should be at least 21 years older than the adoptive daughter.
  4. If a Female wants to adopt a son, she should be at least 21 years older than the adoptive son.

In Hindu law, the different provisions with respect to Adoption are given but in personal laws like Muslim law, Christian Law, Parsis Law, no separate laws are given so they have to approach the court for adoption under the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890.

Section 57 under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act tells about the eligibility of prospective adoptive parents. As per Section 57 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, the adoptive parents should be physically fit, financially sound, mentally alert and highly motivated to adopt a child for providing hi/her a good upbringing and both partners must consent for the adoption.

Who can be Adopted?

According to Hindu Law, any child can be adopted as per some conditions:

  1. The child should be Hindu.
  2. The child is not adopted before.
  3. The age of the child is below 15 years.
  4. The child should not be married.

As per the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 any child can be adopted as per some conditions:

  1. The child is not Hindu
  2. The child should be minor
  3. An orphan or abandoned or surrendered child.

What is the necessary procedure to Adopt a Child?

  1. As per the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 if the party is willing to adopt a child they have to make an application to a child welfare agency. The registration of adoptive parents and child can be done by the agency certified by the Central Adoption Resource Authority in New Delhi.
  2. The next step is, the registered agent will conduct an interview of the Adoptive parents in order to understand their intention behind the Adoption.
  3. When the adoptive couple decides which child they want to adopt they have to file the petition under the act and the court starts the hearings.
  4. Last, the court will pass a decree and the adoption is finalized.

As per  the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 any child can be adopted as per the following conditions:

  1. The child is not Hindu
  2. The child should be minor
  3. An orphan or abandoned or surrendered child.
  4. The child should be below 18 years of age

There is a directive that adoption proceedings have to be completed within two hearings, and the petition has to be disposed of within two months of the filing of the petition. The certified copy of the order has to be obtained by the agency within 10 days. The agency must also obtain the birth certificate of the child, with the names of the adoptive parents.

What will be the age of the child a person can adopt?

  1. As per the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, the child who completes the age of years is not entitled to be given under adoption unless the party i.e. the adoptive couple’s custom allows them to do so. If the custom allows adopting a child who complete years of age then that adoption can be valid.   
  2. But As per the Guardians and Wards Act, the child who is below 18 years of age can be adopted.

Can a person specify the gender of the child he/she wants to adopt?

An adoptive couple has a right to specify the gender of the child, and can also specify the colour of the skin, the religion of the child and then decide which child they want to adopt.

Conclusion

Adopting a child is considered a good deed performed by humans. Generally, Adoption means wilfully adopt a Child and treated like one’s own Child. In Hindu law, the different provisions with respect to Adoption are given but in personal laws like Muslim law, Christian Law, Parsis Law, no separate laws are given so they have to approach the court for adoption under the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890.

Once a child for good is separated from his biological parents and become a legitimate child of his adoptive parents and have all the rights that are related to adoptive parents. This means the adoptive child cannot marry other the adoptive child or real child of his adoptive parents, In the modern adoption laws, Adopting a child is considered a good deed performed by humans. Generally, Adoption means willfully adopt a Child and treated like one’s own Child.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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