Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act | Best 2023

hindu adoption and maintenance act

Introduction to Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act :Insights from Indian Law and Supreme Court Judgments.

The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act is a significant piece of legislation in India that governs adoption and maintenance rights among Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs. Enacted in 1956, this act was instrumental in streamlining the laws surrounding adoption and maintenance within the Hindu community. Over the years, the Supreme Court of India has rendered several landmark judgments that have provided crucial insights and interpretations regarding this act’s provisions. This article examines the key aspects of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act as per Indian law and the influential judgments passed by the Supreme Court.

  1. Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act: An Overview

a. Adoption: The act regulates both the adoption of children and the giving of children in adoption. It outlines the requirements for a valid adoption, such as the capacity of the adoptive parent, consent of the parties involved, and compliance with religious customs. The act grants equal legal status to an adopted child as if he or she were born to the adoptive parents.

b. Maintenance: The act addresses the issue of maintenance, recognizing the responsibility of adult children to maintain their elderly parents and dependent family members. It lays down provisions to ensure financial support and care for those unable to support themselves.

  1. Supreme Court Judgments on Adoption:

a. Pratibha Rani v. Suraj Kumar (1985): In this landmark judgment, the Supreme Court held that the act’s primary objective was to ensure the welfare of the child during adoption. The court emphasized that the consent of all parties involved, including the child’s natural parents, is essential for a valid adoption. This judgment reaffirmed the significance of the child’s best interest in adoption proceedings.

b. V. Revathi v. Union of India (1988): This case addressed the validity of a second adoption by the same adoptive parents without dissolving the first adoption. The Supreme Court clarified that a second adoption is legally valid only if the first adoption is legally terminated. The court stressed that an adopted child cannot have two sets of adoptive parents simultaneously.

Also read :Juvenile Justice Act in Indian Law

  1. Supreme Court Judgments on Maintenance:

a. Dr. Vijaykumar Ramchandra Bhate v. Neela Vijaykumar Bhate (2003): In this case, the Supreme Court affirmed that maintenance under the act extends not only to minor children but also to unmarried and divorced daughters. The court emphasized the moral and legal obligation of the Hindu son to provide maintenance to his parents.

b. Sunita Kachwaha v. Anil Kachwaha (2014): This judgment addressed the applicability of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act to couples married under the Special Marriage Act. The Supreme Court clarified that if both spouses are Hindus by birth or conversion, they are governed by the provisions of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, irrespective of the law under which they were married.


The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, plays a crucial role in regulating adoption and maintenance rights within the Hindu community in India. The Supreme Court’s judgments have provided essential insights and interpretations, reinforcing the act’s core principles of safeguarding the welfare of adopted children and ensuring maintenance for dependent family members. As society evolves, these judgments and interpretations serve as guiding principles for courts and legal practitioners, ensuring that the act continues to fulfill its intended purpose and relevance in contemporary India.

Also read: Collegium System in Indian Law

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