Adoption under Hindu Law

Legal Effects of Adoption under Hindu Law

Legal effects of adoption under Hindu law:- The adopted child is recognized as the child of his adoptive mother and father for all the purposes after the adoption. In this article, we will read about the Effects of Adoption under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act. Section 12 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, of 1956 clearly said that when another family adopts a child, the child will be deemed to be born in that family. He or she will be recognized as the same as he or she is the natural child or that family and the parents are natural guardians of the child. But section 12 also gives 3 main provisions which make the adoption clear which are:
  • The child who has been adopted cannot marry any of the people in his old family where he or she was born. It means he or she cannot marry in their Spinda relationship or a prohibited degree of relationship even after the adoption has been done.
  • Any property and obligation which already vested to him or her before the adoption that property or obligation shall continue vested to him or even after the adoption.
  • He shall not divest any person of any estate which vested in him before the adoption.

Legal Effects of Adoption under Hindu Law

Now we will read about the Legal effects of adoption under Hindu law in different types of families.

In The Natural Family

Under Hindu Law, both old and new, the adoption of a child means that the child is uprooted from the natural family and transplanted into the new family.

Effects on the relationship with the members of the natural family

The effect of adoption in the natural family is that there will be no relationship with that family. His natural mother and father will no longer consider his parents. After the adoption, the child will not be entitled to any share in the property of his natural parents. Only the relation that remains with the natural family is that he cannot marry in his Spinda relationship or the prohibited degrees of relationship in that family.

Right of Guardianship

A person is considered as the guardian of a person when he has control over that person. The regular guardians’ privilege of guardianship stops with impact from the date of guardianship, whatever the age of the child. Even if the child is below 5 years, its natural mother cannot claim custody of the child (which she would be entitled to otherwise under Proviso to Section 6(a), Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956).

When the adoption of a married person is permitted, that person cannot give in adoption his child born to him before adoption, though a contrary opinion was expressed in a case under the old law.

Divesting of property

Section 12(b) of the Act says that “any property which vested in the adoptive child before the adoption will keep on vesting in such child subject to the commitments, and the responsibility and the obligation will be remain attached with him even after the adoption.

A son has an interest in birth in the Mitakshara joint family property. If such a child is given for adoption, his advantage together with any liabilities appended thereto stop on his adoption. His position is as though he passed on at the hour of the reception. Under the Dayabhaga School, this isn’t the law.

Legal Effects of Adoption under Hindu Law

Share of Dayabhaga coparcener in the coparcenary is not a mere interest. It is a property vested in him. That’s why if a Dayabhaga coparcener is given away in adoption, he would continue to retain his share in the property of the natural family. Adopted son cannot divest a person in whom property vested before adoption.

In the Adoptive Family

The adopted child is considered to be the born child of the adopted family for all reasons. His position is that of the natural-born son and has the same rights, privileges, and the same obligations in the adoptive family. He also has the education rights.

Relationship with the members of the adoptive family

Adoption in Hindu law means complete transplantation of the child in the adoptive family. This means that he is not merely the child of the adoptive parents but he also relates to all relationships on the mother’s side as well as the father’s side as if he is the natural child of the family. Thus, the father’s and mother’s parents are his grandparents. His adopted parent’s daughter is his sister and so on.


The adoptive parents are the natural guardians of their adoptive minor child, first the father, then the mother. If the adoptive child is less than five years old, then the adoptive mother will have a preferential claim to the custody of the child.

Adoptive parent’s right to dispose of the property

Section 13 sets down the guidelines that: “subject to any understanding of the opposite; reception doesn’t deny the supportive father or mother of the ability to discard their property by move or by will”. Thus, an adoptive parent cannot restrain in the disposal of his/her properties because of adoption.

The adoptive child cannot demand any property or his enjoyment during the lifetime of his father even if there is an agreement that the adoptive father will not deprive him of inheritance; as the question of inheritance will arise only on the death of the father; till then the father has full right to hold and enjoy the properties.

Legal effects of adoption on Divesting of Property

Section 12(C) says that ‘the adopted child will not strip any individual of any [bequest] which vested in the person in question before the appropriation’. Under modern Hindu law, this source of litigations has been done away with by writing down that the adopted child cannot [divest] any person of the properties vested in him or her before adoption.

Case laws related to Adoption

Prafulla Bala Mukharji  V.  Satish Chander Mukharji

In this case, the adoption was not proved as the adoptee all along considered his natural mother like his mother. He made her his nominee in LIC policy and provident fund. He went to the ‘Shraddha” function of his normal dad. It was held under the realities, there was no confirmation of reception. In any case, under the cutting edge law too under the old Hindu law; if an unmarried individual, a single man or a virgin, embraces a youngster, the kid will have just one guardian, receptive dad or assenting mother; and he will have just one line, fatherly or maternal, all things considered.

Under the old law regarding the widow’s reception, the principle of relating applied and the child was esteemed to be the child of her perished spouse. The doctrine of relating has been abolished, but the SC has taken the view that even now the deceased husband of the widow is the adoptive father of the child.

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