THE HINDU ADOPTION AND MAINTENANCE ACT (HAMA) This Act came into force in 1956 and is applicable to:
Ø any person who is a Hindu by religion in any of its forms or development.
Ø any person who is a Buddhist, Jain or Sikh.
Ø any person who is not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew.
Ø any child legitimate or illegitimate whose parents are Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs.
Ø any child legitimate or illegitimate one of whose parents are Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs and has been so brought up.
Ø any abandoned child, legitimate or illegitimate of unknown parentage brought up as a Hindu, Buddhist, etc.
Ø any person who is a convert to the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain or Sikh religion.
YOU CAN ADOPT IF…
1. You are a Hindu male, over twenty one years, single and of sound mind.
2. If you are a married Hindu Male, only with the consent of the wife.
3. If you are a female Hindu of sound mind and single viz. either married, widowed or divorced.
WHO CAN YOU ADOPT
1. a son-if you do not have a biological son, grandson or great grandson.
2. a daughter – if you do not have a biological daughter or a son’s daughter.
The adopted child enjoys all the rights of the biological child.
THE GUARDIAN AND WARD ACT (GWA)
Personal law of Muslims, Christians, Parsis and Jews does not recognise complete adoption. As non-Hindus do not have an enabling law to adopt a child legally, those desirous of adopting a child can only take the child in ‘guardianship’ under the provisions of The Guardian and Wards Act, 1890.
This however does not provide to the child the same status as a child born biologically to the family.
Unlike a child adopted under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 the child cannot become their own, take their name or inherit their properly by right. This Act confers only a guardian-ward relationship. This legal guardian-ward relationship exists until the child completes 21 years of age.