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Child Adoption rules in India

Submitted by asandil on


Over the world, the adoption of children is said to be an increasing practice. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (JJ Act) and the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 (HAMA), serve as the primary sources of guidance for adoption practice in India. according to a report by the news agency ANI, both laws have unique features and goals. The HAMA law controls the adoption of and by Hindus. Buddhist, Jains, and Sikhs are all included under the religion of “Hindus”. It grants an adopted child all of the same rights as a child who was born naturally, including the right to inherit.

Eligibility criteria for prospective adoptive parents

  • The prospective adoptive parents should be in good health-both physically and emotionally- and be able to support themselves financially. They should also be driven to adopt a child, and they shouldn’t have any serious health issues.
  • Every prospective adoptive parent can adopt a kid, regardless of their marital status or whether or not they already have biological children;
  • Any child, regardless of gender, may be adopted by a single female.
  • Male single parents are not allowed to adopt female children.
  • The consent of both spouses in a marriage is required.
  • No child shall be placed for adoption with a spouse until they have been married for at least two years of a stable relationship;
  • The eligibility for prospective adoptive parents to apply for children of different age groups will depend on their age as of the date of registration and their eligibility will be as follows;

Age of the child

Maximum composite age of prospective adoptive parents

Maximum age of the single prospective adoptive parent

Up to 4 years

90 years

45 years

Above 4 up to 8 years

100 years

50 years

Above 8 up to 18 years

110 years

55 years


  • There should be at least a 25-year age gap between the child and either of the prospective adoptive parents.
  • Age eligibility will be determined as of the prospective adoptive parent’s registration date;
  • In the event of relatives, the age requirements for prospective adoptive parents do not apply.
  • A married couple with two or more children can only be allowed to adopt a child special needs child as specified in clause (25) of regulation 2, and hard-to-place children as stated in clause (13) of regulation 2 unless they are relatives or step-children.

Conditions for adoption by Hindu parents or single parents.

  • Any Hindu man or woman who wishes to adopt a son must ensure that no other sons-whether biological or adopted-are alive in the party’s next three generations at the time of adoption.
  • Any Hindu male or female who wishes to adopt a daughter must not already be the mother of any daughters or daughter-in-law at the time of adoption.
  • Any adoptive father should be at least twenty-one years older than the child if he adopts a daughter.
  • In cases where a female adopts a son, the adoptive mother should be at least twenty-one years older than the child.                  

Because complete adoption is not recognized by Muslim, Christian, Parsi, or Jewish personal law. So, a member of one of these religions may adopt a child by applying for guardianship of the child under Section 8 of the Guardians and Wards Act, of 1890.

Who can be adopted?

According to Hindu law, children satisfying the following criteria can be adopted-

  • The child should be a Hindu.
  • The child can either be a girl or a boy.
  • The child’s age should be below 18 years.
  • The child should not be married.

Procedure for a valid adoption

  • The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, of 1956, allows the adoptive party to submit an application to the Child Welfare Agency. The couple may register for a child at An agency accredited by the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) in New Delhi or an adoption Coordination Agency (ACA) located in the capital city of each state.
  • Once the couple has applied, these agencies will conduct a preliminary interview with the adopting couple in order to know about their intention and motivation behind adoption.
  • Then the couple will be asked to decide which child are they going to adopt. They’ll have to file the petition at the court of apt jurisdiction, where a court hearing takes place regarding adoption (the court is required to dispose of the adoption case within 2 months).
  • The adoption will be finalized, once the Court issues the decree.

There is a directive that adoption proceedings have to be completed within two hearings, and the petition has to be disposed of within two months of the filing of the petition. The certified copy of the order has to be obtained by the agency within 10 days. The agency must also obtain the birth certificate of the child, with the names of the adoptive parents.


Complete guide to the adoption process in India

Step 1: Registration

The very first of the adoption process is registering. The couple who are willing to adopt a child will have to register their names with an authorized agency. To register, the couple can visit the agencies nearer to their area to register themselves where a social worker will explain in detail all the necessary documents and paperwork which are required.

Step 2: Home study and counseling

To do a home study, members of the group or agency will pay a visit to the adoptive parents’ home. In order to understand the parent’s strengths and weaknesses, the agency may occasionally additionally ask the parents to attend the counseling session. The home study must be finished within three months of the day the parents enrolled, according to CARA.

Step 3: Referral of the child 

When the kid is adopted, the agency must notify the parent of access to all pertinent information, such as the child’s medical records and other details, and will also give them time with the child so that they can develop a bond.

Step 4: Acceptance of the child

The parents must sign a few associated paperwork once they are confident with all the procedures. 

Step 5: Filing of petition

The solicitor receives all the crucial supporting documentation, which is then used to create a petition that will be heard in court. After everything is prepared, the solicitor notifies the parents, who come to sign the petition in front of the officer.

Step 6: Pre-adoption foster care

The parents can take the child to the pre-adoption center after the petition has been signed in court so that the staff can fully explain the child’s habits to them.

Step 7: Court hearing

The court session between the judge and parents must be attended by the parents. The judge queries the parents and makes notice of the required investment amount that has to be invested in the child’s name.

Step 8: Court orders

Finally, after the investment is done and shown to the judge, he passes the adoption orders to the parents.

List of documents required for adoption

  • Proof of identity (voter id card, driving license, pan card, passport);
  • Proof of address indicating residence in India, which should be more than 365 days;
  • Marriage Certificate;
  • Three photographs of recent of the adoptive couple;
  • Two letters of recommendation from people who know the couple well. The recommendations should not be from immediate spouses;
  • if they already have an adoptive/ biological child, who is aged 7 years of age or above, need to submit written consent.

Inheritance rights of the adoptive child

The couple who has adopted a child needs to give the same importance to their adopted child just like their biological child. The adoptive child has the same legal entitlement to the property as a biological child, according to the law. The adopted child is eligible to claim stakes in the home of their adoptive parents.

Yet, after an adoptive child is adopted, the Hindu adoption and maintenance legislation states that they no longer have any parental rights. They are not able to assert any rights against their adoptive or co-parceners. The adopted child cannot claim their share of any ancestral property if the adoptive parent is ineligible to receive any inheritance in general.


Since adoption is considered a religious act, it should be carried out widely by the populace because India has a significant number of unwanted children and an excessively high population.

Agencies and adoptive parents have noticed an increasing preference for girls over boys in India’s adoption system over the past few years. One strategy for reducing the epidemic of infanticide and female foeticide in India is adoption. And what could be greater than providing a youngster in desperate need with a decent life?