Child Adoption Under Hindu Law by Yaminee Verma @LEXCLIQ

Adoption is the process where a person or a married couple legally accept someone else’s biological child as their own child. After the adoption, the child becomes legitimate heir of his adoptive parents. This usually happens when the child’s biological parents have either died or abandoned the child for any reason. Under Hindu law the adoption of a child is a detailed process and requires many conditions to be fulfilled.

In India, the adoption of a Hindu child by a Hindu person or a Hindu married couple is covered under Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956.

Who can adopt under Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956?

  1. Any Hindu male who is of sound mind, attained majority and is not married can adopt a child under this act.
  2. Any Hindu male who is of sound mind, has attained majority and is married can adopt a child under this act only after taking consent from his wife. The consent taken must be free.
  3. Any Hindu female who is of sound mind, attained majority and is not married can adopt a child under this act.
  4. Any Hindu female who is of sound mind, has attained majority and is married can adopt a child under this act only after taking consent from her husband. The consent taken must be free.

Requisites of a valid adoption

  1. The person being adopted must be a Hindu.
  2. The person being adopted has not already been adopted by someone else.
  3. The person being adopted is not married unless there is a custom that allows such adoption.
  4. The person being adopted has completed the age of 15 years unless there is a custom that allows such adoption.

Conditions for adoption

  1. If a Hindu male or female wants to adopt a son, he/she must not have any legitimate or illegitimate Hindu son living at the time of adoption.
  2. If a Hindu male or female wants to adopt a daughter, he/she must not have any legitimate or illegitimate Hindu daughter or Hindu son’s daughter living at the time of adoption.
  3. If a male wants to adopt a daughter, he must be at least 21 years older than the adoptive daughter.
  4. If a female wants to adopt a son, she must be at least 21 years older than the adoptive son.

Once the adoption process is completed, the adopted child shall be deemed to be the child of his or her adoptive father or mother for all purposes with effect from the date of the adoption and from such date all the ties of the child in the family of his or her birth shall be deemed to be severed and replaced by those created by the adoption in the adoptive family, as per the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956.

Conclusion

Adoption of a child helps people who don’t have a child and child who doesn’t have parents to come and live together legally and fill in the void caused due to the natural reasons. Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 regulates adoption of child under Hindu law. Under this law once a child is adopted, his ties with his biological parents are deemed to be severed. It must be noted that the adopted child cannot marry any person whom he could have not married if he wasn’t adopted.

Written by Yaminee Verma @LEXCLIQ

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