• Legis Scriptor

Adoption Laws in India

Authored By : Pallavi Barwar

Abstract :

The act of adoption brings, child a better future with security that he very well deserves. In ancient countries like India adoption has gone through many changes but still, adoption of a boy is preferred rather than a girl due to multiple reasons. After so many movements the scenario has changed a bit. There are disputes due to a long time, the inheritance of parental property, ceremonies, surnames, etc. but with the time the court has made clear all these matters. In this article, there is a brief discussion about the types of adoption, personal laws governing it, and lacunas in adoption.


Adoption, religion, preference, laws, restriction.

Introduction :

To have a child is the greatest gift of god to any parents but not all the parents are blessed with this priceless treasure. But now, Adoption is a way to achieve this remarkable treasure. Adoption is a process in which parents take the custody of a child who is not biologically related to them whether socially or legally. The practice has been prevailing from the 17th century. Different religions in India have their laws and procedure for the adoption of the child. It has a long term impact on future generations and the community that can be either positive or negative. The main objectives of people for adopting a child are to get old age security and to secure the family property.

Types of adoption :

· Open adoption: In this type of adoption, both the adoptive parents and the birth parents form a contract on certain conditions.. After the birth of the child, the child's custody is taken by the adoptive parents but the birth mother remains in contact with the child via any mode.

· Semi-open adoption: open adoption except the difference is that in semi-open adoption the cant remain in touch with the kid after the birth. But still she can receive the photos, moments of the child through the adoptive parents or the registration agency.

· Closed adoption: In this adoption, the birth-giving family and the adoptive family have no contact between them they are unaware of each other. All the adoption procedure is done depending upon the local laws of the state and the records available to the child after achieving the age of majority are also not finalized.

· Domestic adoption: this is also called intercountry adoption. In this adoption the parents who are willing to adopt the child get themselves registered with the government agency and then the officers investigate whether they are capable and eligible to adopt the child, hand over them the child.

· International adoption: international adopting agency also plays a role in adopting a child of a different country. International adoption is available only in 88 countries of the world.

Major cases under adoption:

· Sawan ram vs. Kalwanti:

The petitioner (Muslim women) has demanded a right for an individual to adopt a child because her religious law doesn't permit it adoption of a child. In regards to this, the Supreme Court held an individual belonging to any religion can adopt a child under a uniform civil code. Also, it regarded this right as a fundamental right.

· Yaqoob Laway V. Gulla, 2005

The petitioner was an adopted son of a Muslim couple. Later the son claimed parental property which the Muslim law doesn't permit to the adopted child. The court said that Muslim law doesn't allow adopting a child but one can adopt if the local custom and laws prevail it but it doesn't mean that the adopted can have share in parental property. He can only get property only if it is gifted to him and that also needs to be proved with proper documents.

Adoption laws in different religion :

1. Hindu law

Hindu law is the only law under which the adopted child is also treated as a natural child. They make no difference based on blood. The old Hindu laws preferred optioning boy child in place of a girl because of the old beliefs that male children can inherit family property and also acts as the asset of the family. In modern law, the government has imposed certain restrictions on gender-biased adoption. And also has allowed anyone to adopt a child if he /she can maintain it.

2. Muslim law

In Islam adoption is called as kafala. The laws of adoption are different from other religions. Muslims don't treat the adopted child as their child and only father is considered to be the guardian of the child, there is no role of mother in the whole process. An adopted child can't change his/her surname. He has to retain his previous surname. An adopted child inherits from his or her biological parents, not automatically from the adoptive parents. an adoptive can only child inherit property from biological parents.

Lacunae in adoption :

1. Time-consuming process: it is a long and time taking procedure. This long time procedure can cause stress to both the families including the child. Though this is a very crucial decision and proper verification and document requirement is necessary but this needs to be reduced to some important steps

2. Gender biases: The Indian parents try to adopt a boy rather than the girl because of many reasons like the succession of parental property, dowry, and old age security. The Indian women are not even allowed to adopt without the consent of the husband.

Conclusion :

Adopting a child is such a kind act that gives parents to the orphaned child and child to the childless parents. This is a noble cause that gives a child all love and care that he needs. the current adoption laws provide are quite fair to both men and women. The unreasonable reason due to which certain people can't adopt a child has been overruled or alternatives have been provided to legally adopt a child. And also once a child adopted then he/she can never be discarded. And the gender bias should not be the criteria to adopt a child.

References :






Footnotes :

[1] Meena, N. (2016). Adoption Laws in India: Challenging Existing law. Manupatra, 7. [2] Meena, N. (2016). Adoption Laws in India: Challenging Existing law. Manupatra, 9.