Adoption has always been a sacred act performed by humans. As per the MERRIAM-WEBSTER legal dictionary legal adoption means “to take voluntarily a (child of other parents) as one’s own child especially in compliance with the formal legal procedures”
Adoption can be legal as well as illegal. Under Indian law adoption is a legal coalition between the party willing for adoption and the child to be adopted. In Indian law there is separate law for the adoption of a Hindu child (Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act,1956) but there is no separate law for Muslims, Christians and Parsis, so they have to approach to the court for adoption under the Guardians and Wards Act,1890.
Legal Adoption –
Adoption is an act of taking something on as your own. Adoption usually refers to the legal process of becoming a non-biological parent.
According to section 2(aa) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act,2006 “adoption means the process through which the adopted child is permanently separated from his biological parents and becomes the legitimate child of his adoptive parents with all rights and privileges and responsibility that are attached to the relationship”.
The laws under which a person can adopt a child are:
- Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act,1956.
- The Guardian and Wards Act,1890.
- Juvenile Justice Amendment Act,2006.
Eligibility to Adopt a Child-
According to Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act,1956 the person adopting the child should be of sound mind, major, if married (male)than with the consent of spouse but if the spouse renounced the world or have converted or is being declared unsound by the court than the consent is not required.
If a female is unmarried, divorced or a widow by law she has all the rights to adopt the child but she should be of sound mind, major and if married than with the consent of spouse but if the spouse renounced the world or have converted or is being declared unsound by the court than the consent is not necessary (Ghisalal v. Dhapubai, AIR 2011)
Capacity of a person giving the child for adoption
Father of the child, mother of the child and legal guardian the child. If father giving the child in adoption than the consent of his wife is required, similarly wife giving the child in adoption than the consent of the husband is required but only the consent is not required when either of the spouses has renounced the world or have converted or is being declared unsound by the court.
Guardians can be only appointed after the death of the parents or if the parents have renounced the world or they have abandoned the child or if the court declares them unsound then only guardian can be appointed legally. Guardian will be appointed by the court or if parents have mentioned in there will and then the court will also ask the child that if he wants to be adopted or not according to his age and understanding.
Child to be Adopted-
He should be Hindu according to Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 and only once he can be adopted. Child should be below the age of 15 years, and can adopt above the age of 15 year or married child if there is any kind of customs.
Valid condition for adoption
If any adoption is of a son, the adoptive father or mother by whom the adoption is made must not have a Hindu son, son’s son or son’s son’s son (whether by legitimate blood relationship or by adoption) living at the time of adoption.
If the adoption is of a daughter the adoptive father or mother by whom the adoption is made must not have a Hindu daughter or son’s daughter (whether by legitimate blood relationship or by adoption) living at the time of adoption.
If the adoption is by a male and the person to be adopted is a female, the adoptive father is at least twenty-one years older than the person to be adopted.
If the adoption is by a female and the person to be adopted is a male, the adoptive mother is at least twenty-one years older than the person to be adopted.
The same child may be not adopted simultaneously by two or more persons.
The child to be adopted must be given and taken in adoption by the parents or guardian concerned or under their authority with intent to transfer the child from the family of its birth or in the case of an abandoned child or a child whose parentage is not known, from the place or family where it has been brought up to the family of its adoption.
Valid adoption not to be canceled.-
No adoption which had been validly made can be canceled by the 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.
Adoption is a pious act so it should be performed by the people on a large scale because India is a country where there is too much population and there is a huge amount of unwanted children. For a few years there is more adoptive girl child over boy child in the Indian adoptive system. “And what could be more beautiful to give a child good and standard life to live for its better future”.