Determination of Adoptive Father or Adoptive Mother of the Adoptee under Hindu Law

(1) Where a Hindu who has a wife living adopts a child, she shall be deemed to be adoptive mother;

(2) Where an adoption has been made with the consent of more than one wife, the senior-most in marriage among them shall be deemed to be the adoptive mother and the others to be step-mother;

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(3) Where a widower or a bachelor adopts a child, any wife whom he subsequently marries shall be deemed to be the step-mother of the adopted child;

(4) Where a widow or an unmarried woman adopts a child any husband whom she marries subsequently shall be deemed to be the step-father of the adopted child.

The Act does not provide as to determination of adoptive mother or father in case any party to marriage divorces the other. When divorced woman on being issueless adopts a child and later on remarries another person, such husband becomes the step-father of the adopted child. The Act is silent on this point. Similarly where a divorced husband adopts a son on being issueless and thereafter marries, his wife would become the step-mother of the adopted son.

The Act does not lay down any express provision with respect to this kind of situation. But the presumption that whatever consequences will ensue in case of marriage by an unmarried woman or a widower the same consequences will follow in the above two conditions. It is obvious in this connection that when a divorced woman or a man adopts a child on being issueless the adoption will be valid and binding.


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