Who can be Adopted?

Last updated on Apr 8, 2022

Adoption under Non-Religious Law

Under the non-religious law on adoption,1 the following children can be adopted: 

  • If the children given below are declared legally free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee:
    • Any orphan who is a child without biological parents, adoptive parents or a legal guardian2 
    • Abandoned child who is a child  deserted by their biological parents
    • Surrendered child who is a child who has been given up by the parents to the adoption authorities
  • Child of a relative.3 
  • Child of a spouse who is surrendered by the biological parent, to be adopted by the step-parent. 

Adoption under Hindu Law

Under the Hindu law on adoption,4 children can be adopted only if they meet the following criteria,5 5 with some exceptions based on customs and usage: 

  • They are not married
  • They are below 15 years of age
  • They are Hindu
  • They are not already adopted
  1. Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.[]
  2. Section 1(4), Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.[]
  3. Section 56(2), Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.[]
  4. Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956.[]
  5. []

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Related Resources

Who can Adopt?

Under the non-religious law on adoption, you must meet certain conditions to be considered as a prospective adoptive parent.

What is Adoption?

Adoption is the process through which a prospective adoptive parent lawfully assumes the responsibility of a child.

Procedure for Adoption by Relative (Non-Religious Law)

As a relative of a child, following the non-religious law to adopt, you can adopt both within India and also do inter-country adoptions.

Role of Courts

The Courts play a very important role during the adoption procedure by way of giving adoption orders, permission to adopt and appeals.

Effects of Adoption

There are certain effects of adoption which arise with respect to property rights and familial connections.

Children Legally Free for Adoption

Declaring a child legally free for adoption allows such children to be put up for adoption under the non-religious law.