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Samuel Fred   12 October 2021


Can a couple who are in living relationship legally adopt a child?

 5 Replies

Kevin Moses Paul   12 October 2021

As per your concern let me tell you that in a recent judgement the Supreme Court in S. Khushboo vs. Kanniammal case held that - "adult couples have the right to live together even if they were not married which imply they have children either by biological or by adopting as normal married couple.
It will benefit both domestic and international applicants who are live in interested to make adoption".

Moreover, according to THE HINDU ADOPTIONS AND MAINTENANCE ACT, 1956 the following category of people can make adoptions:-
1.) Any male Hindu (including Buddhist, Jain or Sikh by religion) who is of sound mind, not a minor and is eligible to adopt a son or a daughter. But if such male has living spouse at a time of adoption then he can adopt a child only with a consent of his wife (unless she has been declared incompetent to give her consent by the court).

2.) Any female Hindu (including Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh by religion) who is not married, or if married, whose husband is not alive or her marriage has been dissolved or her husband has been declared incompetent by the court has the capacity to take a son or daughter in adoption.

Along with all these the law also clarifies the situations/circumstances requisite for adoption of a son or a daughter by a single female or male respectively. In regard to these matters the law very clearly states that:-
1.) in case of adoption of a son by any Hindu male or female, there should not be any living son in the succeeding three generation of the party (whether by legitimate blood relationship or by adoption) at the time of adoption, while
2.) in case of adoption of a daughter by any Hindu male or female, they should not have any daughter or son’s daughter at the time of adoption.

◾Where there is an adoption of a daughter by a male then the adoptive father should be at least twenty-one years older than the child.
◾Where there is an adoption of a son by a female than the adoptive mother should be at least twenty-one years older than the child.

Henceforth, based upon the SC judgement and legal provisions provided above it's just to say that individuals living in a live-in relationship (be it in India or outside India) are legally eligible to adopt children from and within India.

Hope It Clears Your Doubts!

Kevin M. Paul

Samuel Fred   12 October 2021

Thanks sir 🙏🙏

Dr J C Vashista (Lawyer)     13 October 2021

Adoption of a child is governed by personal laws of the couple, consult a local lawyer with all relevant facts.

P. Venu (Advocate)     13 October 2021

Mr. Kevi Moses:

The decision of the Apex Court in Kushboos was in a different context. Adoption of child by a couple in live-in relationship was not not all an issue in Criminal Appeal No.913 of 2010 decided on April 28, 2010. Nor had the Hon'ble Court made any observation as you had cited.

Please see

Samuel Fred   14 October 2021

Thanks 🙏🙏🙏

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