“Adoption may not change the world, but it changes this child’s world”

                                                                                                Author:   Prerna Kumari, a Student of Christ Deemed to Be University Delhi NCR



These children are considered bundles of joy, and the future of our nation depends on them. Although children born in India are pampered, cared for, and given everything they need for their overall development, more than 60,000 children are abandoned in India every year. In some cases, these Children can also become victims of human trafficking and sexual violence. In some lucky cases, abandoned children are taken in by adoption agencies who give them hope of a better life while they wait for adoption. You can Increasingly, children are being given a second chance at life through adoption. In the simplest terms, adoption is the process by which one person takes over the care of another and permanently transfers all rights, responsibilities, and parentage from the birth parents.

In India, the adoption legal framework plays an important role in maintaining and regulating adoption agencies keeping in mind the welfare of adopted children. This article examines the legal protections available to protect the rights and welfare of adopted children in India. Adopted children have special rights to protect their well-being. These rights recognize the importance of providing a safe, caring, and permanent home environment for adopted children. This includes having a caring parent or guardian who takes care of your physical, emotional and psychological needs. Adopted children have the right to know and maintain their own identity. This includes knowing something about our birth parents, place of origin, and cultural background. By understanding their roots and background, adopted children develop a strong sense of identity and belonging.


The customs and practices of adoption in India date back to ancient times. The act of adoption is the same, but the purpose for which the act is performed is different. The motives for caring for and nurturing neglected or destitute children typically range from humanitarian motives to the natural desire for children as objects of affection, caretakers in old age, and heirs after death. However, in the Indian scenario, there was no scope for imposing uniform laws on the various communities that formed this melting pot, as adoption falls within the ambit of personal law. This law is therefore subject to different personal laws of different religions.

 Adoption is not permitted under the personal laws of Muslims, Christians, Parsis, and Jews in India. Therefore, they usually choose guardianship of their children under the Guardianship and Guardianship Act 1890. Indian citizens who are Hindu, Jain, Sikh, or Buddhist are officially allowed to adopt. 

This adoption is made under the Hindu Adoption Maintenance Act, 1956, enacted in India as part of the Hindu Code Bill. This resulted in several reforms that liberalized the adoption system. Indian citizens of Hindu, Jain, Sikh, and Buddhist faiths are officially allowed to adopt. The Hindu Adoption Maintenance Act, 1956 was enacted in India as part of the Hindu Code Bill. This resulted in several reforms that liberalized the adoption system.



Hindu law is the only law in India that treats adopted children on par with naturally born children. The reason lies primarily in the belief that the son is essential for both the spiritual and material well-being of the family. However, it is important to note that this role as “deliverer from hell” belonged exclusively to the son. Earlier Hindu laws-imposed caste and gotra restrictions and allowed adoption by men only. According to Hindu law, girls were not allowed to be adopted. Moreover, the right to adoption rested only with men, and the wife’s objections were irrelevant.  However, these limits have changed over time. In today’s modern society, such gender bias is minimal. According to modern Hindu law, every adult, able-bodied Hindu, male or female, has the right to adopt a child. Most of these laws, rules and regulations are enumerated in the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956.


According to Islamic law, adoption differs slightly from standard adoption practices. What is commonly called adoption is called kafala in Islamic terminology. Adoption, like all other aspects of Islamic law, is highly regulated. They act more as guardians and caregivers than as parents. Certain rules apply to this relationship. These rules are primarily intended to maintain the integrity of the family tree. Islam has several rules regarding the concept of adoption.

       • The adopted child’s last name (last name) is not changed to the adoptive family’s last name and remains the same as the biological family’s last name.

      • Adopted children typically inherit from their adoptive parents, but not from their biological parents.

     • Adoptive parents may only act as custodians of property or other assets provided by the biological family and may not commingle the adopted child’s property or assets with their own.

 These Islamic rules require that adoptive families become trustees and guardians of other people’s children, rather than depriving them of their property and assets on behalf of their biological families is highlighted. Your role is very clearly defined, but still very valuable and important. Kinship and family ties are of paramount importance in Islam. 

This relationship is very strong, large, and far-reaching. Therefore, except in cases of war or natural disaster, it is almost difficult to find completely abandoned children or orphans without families to care for them. Furthermore, it is very difficult to adopt a child from family, community, or from abroad. Islam emphasizes this to protect family, cultural and religious roots.


The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956 was enacted following independence as part of the process of codifying and modernizing Hindu law. This act eliminates many gender-based discriminatory issues by incorporating equality and social justice ideals.

This Act tackles topics such as the ability to adopt, the ability to give in adoption, the implications of adoption, gender bias, and other issues.

  • Adoption Capacity: According to the Act, any adult Hindu male of sound mind can adopt a child. If the aforementioned male is married, the wife’s consent is essential. Similarly, if she is, a female adult Hindu of sound mind may adopt a child. She is alone, divorced, widowed, or her spouse is disabled. I no longer identify as a Hindu. Has rejected the world and been declared mad by the court.
  • Capacity to give in adoption: Only the father, mother, or guardian has the authority to place a child for adoption, according to Section 9 of this Act. The father can only give up the child for adoption with the mother’s approval, unless the mother has ceased to be a Hindu, has abandoned the world, or is mentally ill. If the father has died, has abandoned the world completely and permanently, has ceased to be a Hindu, or has been pronounced insane by a court of competent jurisdiction, the mother may place the kid for adoption.
  •  Consequences of Adoption: When a child is adopted, he or she is cut off from all ties to his or her biological family. God is responsible for all rights and responsibilities of biological children. The wife of a Hindu man who adopts an adopted child is considered to be the adoptive mother. If the adoption is made with the consent of more than one wife, the eldest wife in the marriage is considered the adoptive mother, and the other wives receive the title of stepmother. All laws relating to adoptive parents and/or step-parents are contained in Sections 12, 13 and 14 of the Hindu Maintenance and Adoption Act, 1956.

 The Supreme Court held that under Section 5(1) of the Hindu Adoption Maintenance Act, the adoption by the widow of Sawan Ram V Kalavati is subject to all laws governing property rights and inheritance of her deceased husband and family. The court ruled that it applies. The judgment was handed down in the court ruled that this also limits legal rights.

  •  Number of adoptions by gender: Although it is said that gender discrimination has been eliminated after the law was enacted, gender discrimination still exists in the true sense of the word. A married woman cannot adopt a child, even with her husband’s consent, unless her husband dies, becomes disabled, renounces the world, or for some other reason. On the other hand, a husband can adopt a child with his wife’s consent. Two of their cases were cited to highlight sex discrimination. Hindu men enjoy broader adoption rights than women Maruti Roy Chowdhury vs. Sudhindranath Majumdar

 In the case of appellant Maruti Roy Chowdhury, Maruti had been adopted by the mother of his deceased friend. After her mother’s death, she became the sole heir and claimed the property and land left by her mother. Plaintiff submitted a body of evidence including: Evidence of her adoption ceremony, i.e. evidence that in the child was handed over from her biological parents to her adoptive mother in the presence of her husband and adoptive mother priest. Accreditation by school certificate. Marti holds her mother’s funeral. However, the court did not accept this argument and stated as follows: “According to the law, only her husband can adopt a child, but here Malti is recognized as the adopted child of her mother Tripti and not her father. The judge agreed and dismissed the case. Therefore, this law can be understood as giving the right of veto only to men in the case of adoption, and the right of choice only to women in the case of adoption. To reflect modern advances and gender equality, some parts of the Hindu Adoption Maintenance Act need to be amended to give equal status to women.


      The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act primarily provides guidelines to the Hindu community and enacts laws taking into account the personal laws of other religions, which are not mentioned in the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956. doing did this. A need arose, the Guardians were born, and the Boroughs Act of 1890 was passed. The Guardianship Districts Act 1890 was an Act intended to supersede all other relevant legislation. This is the only secular and universal law regarding guardianship of children and applies throughout India except Jammu and Kashmir. Personal law does not allow full adoption, so this law applies specifically to Muslims, Christians, Parsis, and Jews. This applies to all children, regardless of race or creed.


Several regulatory policies and standards in India safeguard the welfare and well-being of adopted children.

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act) and its Adoption Rules are the main laws governing adoption in India.

Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is India’s central authority responsible for promoting and regulating adoption in India and abroad. It operates under the Ministry of Women and Child Development and provides guidelines and monitoring procedures to adoption agencies. 

Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) must meet the CARA eligibility requirements. They must go through a thorough vetting process that includes a background check, home investigation, and interview to ensure they are the right person to provide a safe and caring environment for your child.

JJ Adoption proceedings under the Act prioritize the best interests of the child. The care, safety and development of the child takes precedence over all other considerations, including the interests of the prospective adoptive parents.

CARA’s Adoption Resource Information and Counselling System “CARINGS” is an online platform for tracking adoptable children and potential adoptive parents. The aim is to increase openness, avoid delays and facilitate the placement of children into suitable homes.


Adoption is a noble cause that brings happiness to abandoned children and orphans. This gives the human side of civilization a chance to shine. This is a beneficial program where children are treated like natural children and given all the love, care and attention they deserve. At the same time, it fills the void in the hearts of parents who yearn to hear their children’s laughter and mischief echoing through the walls of their homes. However, some changes may be made to achieve a degree of uniformity across adoption law. In the past, adoptive parents and sons had heirs who could exercise their religious rights through adoption. Whether an adoption is conducted in a manner consistent with the promotion of social justice, legal equality and the best interests of the child depends on the wishes and interests of the adoptive parents. Modern adoption from the perspective of adopted children’s well-being and psychological development. 

We devote more resources to post-adoption programs, provide rigorous training, and foster professional teamwork to better meet the unique needs of adoptees. Takeout Could be easier to manage. Additionally, international cooperation and adherence to best practices can help create a more consistent and ethical approach to international expansion. Overall, these measures contribute to the development of a loving atmosphere in which adopted children can grow and live fulfilling lives. 

In summary, there are legal safeguards and intergovernmental agreements to protect the welfare of adopted children, but further reforms are needed to further improve their welfare.


  • Malati Roy Chowdhury vs Sudhindranath Majumdar & Ors., Calcutta High Court, 4 September 2006.
  • Sawan Ram & Others vs. Kala Wanti & Others, 19 April 1967, Supreme Court of India.
  • Adoption Regulations, 2017 drafted by the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), as required by Section 68 (c) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
  • The Juvenile Justice Act of 2000.
  • The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956.
  • Guardian and Wards Act of 1890.

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