Dec 20, 2017
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Adoption Under Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956

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Adoption Under Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956


Adoption is governed by many personal laws in India. It is not allowed in personal laws of Muslim, christian, parsis, and Jews. They normally opt for guardianship of child under Guardian and Wards Act 1890. The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act 1956 covers only Hindus i.e  all Hindus by religion, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains. A person who converted as Hindu is also governed by this Act. Adoption is void if it contravenes any of the provision of Act.

Under this act, adoptions is made between three parties namely minor child , the giver and the adopter. A Hindu male can adopt a male or female child, but must have  the consent of his wife if she is alive and of sound mind. Only the father, mother or the guardian of a child can place the child for adoption. A child so adopted has not completed age of fifteen years and is not adopted by any one before.

Central Adoption Resource Authority

Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body of Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.

CARA, Official site of “Central Adoption Resource Authority” Retrieved on 20th December 2017.

It functions as the nodal body for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions. CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003. CARA primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognized agencies.

 Requisites of a valid adoption

No adoption shall be valid unless

  1. the person has the capacity and right to adopt.
  2. the person who is giving adoption have such capacity to do so
  3. child so adopted is capable for it.
  4. the adoption is made in compliance with the provisions of the Act.

 Capacity of a male and female Hindu to take in adoption

The Act provides provisions for male Hindu to adopt a child. The Act says that person so intending to adopt a child should be of sound mind and is not a minor. He should also have the capacity to adopt a minor son or daughter. Provided that, if his wife is alive at that time , he has to take wife’s consent before adopting a child. Except the wife has completely and finally renounced the world or has
converted her religion or has declared as unsound mind person.

The Act also have certain provisions for female Hindu to adopt a child. The Act says that female Hindu so intending to adopt a minor child should be of sound mind and is not a minor. She should not be married or if she is married then marriage has been dissolved or spouse is no more or has completely renounced the world or declared as unsound mind person by competent court.

Who are the persons capable of giving Adoption?

Following are the persons who are capable of giving child for adoption:

1. No person other the natural guardian of minor child. Natural guardian here means father and mother of minor child.

2. The father shall alone have the right to give adoption except for when mother of the child is alive. It will need the consent of mother. Only if mother :

  1. has completely renounced the world
  2.  has ceased to be a Hindu or
  3.  declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be of unsound mind.

3. The mother may give the child in adoption.

If the father:

  1. is dead
  2. has renounced the world
  3. has ceased to be Hindu
  4. declared to be unsound mind by competent court.

4. ) Where both the father and mother are:

  1.  dead or has renounced the world
  2. declared to be unsound mind,

the guardian of the child may be capable of giving it with prior permission of court.

5.  Before granting permission to a guardian, the court shall have to confirm that it is for the well being of the child and also due consideration is given to wishes of child and age. No person has given any payment for adopting a child.

Who can be Adopted?

No person shall be capable of being adopted unless the following conditions are fulfilled:

  1. he or she is a Hindu;
  2.  has not already adopted;
  3. he or she has not  married, except there is a custom or usage applicable to the parties which permits persons who are married being taken in;
  4. he or she has not completed the age of fifteen years, unless there is a custom or usage applicable to the parties which permits persons who have completed the age of fifteen years being taken in.

Can it be cancelled?

No adoption is validly executed be cancelled by any of the parties. Parties means  adoptive father or mother or any other person, nor can the adopted child renounce his or her status as such and return to the family of his or her birth.

What are the effects?

An adopted child is deemed to be the a natural child of his or her adoptive father or mother for all purposes.  The ties of the child in the family shall be deemed to be severed and replaced by those created by the adoption in the adoptive family.

Provided that

  • Child can not marry any person whom he or she could not have married if continued in the family of his or her birth;
  •  any property which vested in the adopted child before it shall continue to vest in such person subject to the obligations, if any, attaching to the ownership of such property, including the obligation to maintain relatives in the family of his or her birth;
  • the adopted child shall not divest any person of any estate which vested in him or her before the adoption.
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Family Law

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