Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : Policies Mains Syllabus : GS-II Government policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues Arising out of their Design and Implementation.

Why in News?

  • The Supreme Court has recently held that the Hindu adoption is not valid unless the man takes prior consent from his wife and there is a “ceremony of giving and taking in adoption”.

About Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act:

  • The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (HAMA) was established in the year 1956 as part of the Hindu Code Bills.
  • This act extends to the whole of India except Jammu & Kashmir and applies to Hindus domiciled in our country.
  • Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act was introduced to codify and standardize the current Hindu legal tradition.
  • This act dealt specifically with the legal process of adopting children by a Hindu adult, and with the legal obligations of a Hindu to provide maintenance to various family members.

Applicability of Act:

  • This act applies to any person who is domiciled in the territories
  • A person who is a Hindu by religion in any of its forms or development, including the Virashaiva, a Lingayat or a follower of the Brahmo, Prarthana or Arya Samaj
  • A person belongs to a Buddhist, Jain or Sikh can adopt a child
  • A child legitimate or illegitimate whose parents are Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs
  • A child legitimate or illegitimate one of whose parents are Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs and has been so brought up
  • An abandoned child, legitimate or illegitimate of unknown parentage brought up as a Hindu, Buddhist, etc.; and
  • A person who has been converted to the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain or Sikh religion.

Who can Adopt a Child?

  • The person should be a Hindu
  • The person has not been married, unless there is a custom or usage applicable to the parties which permit persons who are married being taken in adoption
  • He or she has not already been adopted
  • He or she has not completed the age of fifteen years, unless there is a custom or usage applicable to the parties which permit persons who have completed the age of fifteen years being taken in adoption

Mother’s Consent when not Necessary?

  • If the father is alive, he alone has the right to give the child in adoption, but he must do so with the consent of the child’s mother, unless:
    • 1.The mother has completely and finally renounced the world, or

      2.Has ceased to be a Hindu, or

      3.Has been declared to be of unsound mind by a court of competent jurisdiction

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