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Muslim Couples Permitted To Adopt Child

April 2nd, 2014

Adoption is such a system, when ‘biological parents’ of a child are unable to give proper bringing up then some other couple adopts the child. The adopted child receives the legal and social acceptance of that ‘adoptive parents’ as its ‘biological parents’. Till now there isn’t any general rule for adoption which is applicable on all the religious groups. Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 permits only the follower of Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism for adoption. According to this act couple who adopts the child become ‘legal parents’ of their adoptive child and adoptive child gets all heir rights of its adoptive parents as their biological child but minority groups like Muslims, Christians, Jews and Parsies are administered according to their, Personal Laws’ given in their religious books and in their religious books there is no provision for adoption. According to ‘Guardians and Wards Act, 1890, issueless couple of these minority groups can act as ‘Guardian’ of an adopted child but they are not accepted as the legal parents of the child. When the child reaches the age of 18 their role of guardianship automatically ends.

muslim adoption

  • On 19 February, 2014 under ‘The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000’ explains the amendment provision of Year 2006, Supreme Court has given a historical decision that person belonging to any religion has the right to adopt a child.
  • The three member full bench of Chief Justice P. Sathshivam, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Shivkirti Singh has given its verdict on Shabnam Hashmi verses Union bank of India and others, according to The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) amendment Act 2006, section 41, inspite of restrictions of ‘Muslim Personal Law’ Muslims also have the right to adopt child.
  • According to court, in The Juvenile Justice amendment Act, 2006, section 41,people of all the religion and caste have been given equal right for adoption.
  • Court clarified that some amendments were done in 2006 in ‘The Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 ‘ and because of these amendments ‘Secular Adoption Process’ had started in the country but due to lack of clarity on this context some doubts are there on the matter of adoption.
  • Bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi while giving the judgment said that, “Muslim Personal Law, cannot stop any person of Muslim community from adopting a child the provision of ‘The Juvenile Justice Act’ cannot be ignored because of personal religious believes.
  • Court also said that provisions given in constitution in Para 44, that until Uniform Civil Code is not formed in the country till then Juvenile Justice Act would be above Muslim Personal Law.
  • Court cleared in its judgment that Juvenile Justice Act is a positive law which gives adoption rights; there is no compulsion in this law. Parents who wish to adopt a child are free to follow the believes of their Personal Law.
  • Although court has rejected the request to declare Right to be Adopted and Right to Adopt as a Fundamental Right in constitution.
  • Supreme Court has given this historical decision in the context of social activist Shabnam Hashmi’s petition submitted in 2005 in public interest.
  • Shabnam was rejected permission of adoption from Muslim Personal Law, after that she went to Supreme Court.
  • Supreme Court explained the section 41 of Juvenile Justice Act in its judgment, those children who are orphan, neglected and maltreated by an organization or any non-organization can be handed over to responsible person through adoption.
  • Many state governments have formed guidelines for adoption of a child.
  • CARA (Central Adoption Resource Agency) has issued guideline on National level for adoption.
  • CARA is an independent organization under Indian Government‘s Women and Child Welfare Ministry.
  • It works as a Nodal origination which is responsible for the vigilance and regulation for the matter related to adoption of Indian children.

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