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What is Adoption? What are the essentials of valid Adoption?

Definition of Adoption
Adoption means legal affiliation by a person to himself of a child born of someone else. Only a male child has been considered competent by Hindu theologians for the offerings of the Pinda. According to the law of the Smritis only a son could be adopted.
Essentials of valid adoption.
1. The person adopting has the capacity and the right
2. The person giving in adoption has the capacity to do so
3. The person adopted is capable of being taken in adoption
4. The adoption is made in compliance with the other conditions mentioned in the law.
Adoption by male Hindu.
(i) Mental soundness
(ii) Age of majority
(iii) Consent of wife; except when-
(a)    Renunciation of world,
(b)   Conversion,
(c)    Mental unsoundness
Adoption by a female Hindu.
(i)  Mental soundness
(ii) Age of majority
(iii) She must not be married; if married-
  1. Marriage is dissolved,
  2. Husband is dead,
  3. Renounced the world,
  4. Ceased to be Hindu or
  5. Declared by court to be of unsound mind.
Persons capable of giving in adoption.
Only the father has the right to give in adoption. Consent of the mother is necessary, except the mother –
(a) Renounced the world.
(b) Ceased to be Hindu or
(c) Declared to be unsound mind.
Persons who may be adopted.
(i) If he is a Hindu
(ii) If he has not already been adopted
(iii) If he is not married
(iv) If he has not completed the age of fifteen
Other conditions for a valid adoption.
(i) if the adoption is of a son, the adopting father and mother must not have a Hindu son, son’s son or son’s son’s son
(ii) if the adoption is of a son, the adopting father and mother must not have a Hindu daughter or son’s daughter
(iii) if a male is adopting a female, the adopting father must be 21 years older than the adopted
(iv) if a female is adopting a male, the adopting mother must be 21 years older than the adopted
(v) the same child may not be adopted simultaneously
(vi) the child to be adopted must be actually given and taken in adoption
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