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Need For Amendments In Adoption Laws

Children's are always considered as bundle of joy and on whom the country depends. To have a kid is probable parent's biggest happiness. On the other hand, thousands of children are abandoned in a year. Many times, they become victims of sexual offences or human trafficking. Often, they are brought by the adoption agency hoping that they will have a better future by getting adopted.

In India, citizens who are Hindus, Sikhs, Jains or Buddhists are allowed to formally adopt a child through Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956. It is only the Act that allows legitimate adoption through personal laws. Adoption isn't permitted in the personal laws of Muslims, Jews, Parsis or Christians in India. But they can usually opt for guardianship of a child through Guardians and Wards Act, 1890. Under the laws, a child can be taken for care but he doesn't get the rights of legitimate natural children whereas in Hindu laws, child is considered legitimate.

There is gap or lacunae in adoption laws in the country which is important to be resolved by certain amendments. According to the study, only one child is available for every ten adoptive parents in the country.[1] There aren't enough kids available for adoption in the country because of practice care ratio of abandoned children to kids is uneven or unsymmetrical. There is need to get the children in proper care and get them adopted for their better future rather than indulging in crimes.

After the enactments of the act it was stated that the gender discrimination gap is eliminated but in real world and practically it still exists. According to law, unless the married husband dies or unless he has some disability, the wife can't adopt a child even with the approval of the husband whereas if we see the other side, the husband can adopt a child with his wife's permission which does creates gender biasness. There should be same laws for everyone in the country and the laws shouldn't be biased.

The adoption process in our country is very difficult and the rules are very strict so it becomes difficult to get the child adopted even in bona fide way. The new rules made by the Central Adoption Resources Authority makes it very difficult for adoptive parents. Most of the times families fail to adopt a child which also leads to discouragement in adopting children's.

Inter country adoption is very similar to domestic adoption. Both consist of legal transfer of rights and responsibilities of parents. The only difference is that in inter country adoption, you adopt a child from a different country rather than where you permanently reside and you bring that adoptive child to your own residence of another country. Lakshmi Kant's case [2] is the most important case for inter country adoption.

They filed the case for alleging trafficking of children's by agencies that offer children's for getting them adopted by foreigners. The court stated that if the parents if the child wants to give through adoption or if the children is abandoned it's important for the child to have an adoption and efforts should be made to find the adoptive parents. Sometimes it is not possible to the adoptive parents within the country so, it may become important and necessary for the children to get adopted by foreign parents rather than be being not adopted or to grow up in an orphanage without any future.

Laws relating to contracts, crimes, punishments and rights are mainly same for the citizens of the country so it is very important to have same laws to every citizen for adoption in the country. In order to treat all citizens equally, one law should be made for every citizen. Adoption in our country has many loopholes and it should be covered by forming equal laws for everyone through amendments or by Uniform Civil Code.

As there are different laws for different religions in adoption it creates emotional problems. Taking non-Hindus as an example if they want to be legitimate parents, they can't be as they don't have any personal laws relating to adoption. In order to respect adoption, UCC is a need for citizens. Application UCC wouldn't violate fundamental rights of the citizens. This is necessary in order to protect adopted parents and children's. The different rules and laws made which creates gender biasness should be stop and same laws should be protects and formed. Both parent and religions must have equal right in order to protect adopted children. This issue needs to be addressed.

The words of Mahatma Gandhi say:
I don't expect India of my dreams to develop one religion, i.e., to be wholly Hindu or Christians or Muslims, but I want it to be wholly tolerant, with its religions working on their side-by-side with each other. It can't be denied that the personal laws have tried best in their capacity to provide a way to adoption and custody.[3] Existing laws can't be denied but with changes and discrepancies, it's time to fulfil the gaps and lacunae and needs a common law for the citizens. A secular India needs UCC.

  2. 1984 AIR 469, 1984 SCR (2) 795

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