Married Hindu Women Cannot Adopt Children

Married Hindu Women Cannot Adopt Children

The law states that a Hindu woman can't adopt even with her husband's OK.

Maybe we totally misread this, but it looks like a court in New Delhi ruled that married Hindu women cannot adopt children. There are a few loopholes though, if her husband has ceased being a Hindu, if he has renounced the world, or if he has been declared mentally unstable by a court. Or so ruled the Indian Supreme Court. A woman cannot even adopt a child (boy or girl) with her husband’s consent. A man, however, can adopt a child with his wife’s consent.

Basically, the issue stems from a woman who was married then abandoned by her husband. She subsequently adopted a man-child and thought to leave him 54 acres of land. A court eventually ruled that the adoption was invalid. That a married Hindu woman cannot adopt unless certain stipulations about her husband were met. This woman subsequently died while the case was pending. There are two take-aways from this case: 1) There is a legal difference between a divorced woman and a deserted one. And 2) married Hindu women cannot adopt in India.

Um, we’re not sure if everyone is on the same page, but we’re just talking about adopting children, right? We’re not talking about taking on a legal concubine or something? And we wonder if they mean acres or hectares. Because 54 hectares would be about 133 acres. Not exactly an insignificant amount of land. The deadbeat husband would probably like to hold onto that. We wonder what the exact genesis of a law like this was. Were Indians worried that the land would be usurped by charming outsiders that connived their way into being adopted and then took all of the land?

Learn more from The Hindu about this fairly unfair policy…