SC : Adoption is not valid Unless consent of Wife is obtained and Ceremony conducted.

The Supreme Court has expounded that the consent of wife of the adopter and actual ceremony of adoption is essential for a valid adoption as per the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act.

In a suit for partition, plaintiff’s contention was that she was adopted by the defendants. The Trial Court dismissed the suit on the ground that the plaintiff couldn’t prove the ceremony of adoption. The High Court also dismissed the appeal.

While dismissing her appeal, the bench comprising of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Deepak Gupta noted that the plaintiff had admitted in her evidence that she doesn’t have the proof of the ceremony of giving & taking of her in adoption & there’s no pleading in the plaint regarding the adoption being in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Moreover, the ‘mother’ has categorically stated in her evidence that the plaintiff was never adopted though she was merely brought up by her & her husband.

With respect to the provisions of Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, the bench said that:

“A plain reading of the above provisions would make it clear that compliance of the conditions in Chapter I of the Act of 1956 is mandatory for an adoption to be treated as valid. The two important conditions as mentioned in Sections 7 and 11 of the Act of 1956 are the consent of the wife before a male Hindu adopts a child and proof of the ceremony of actual giving and taking in adoption.”

The mandate of the Act of 1956 is that no adoption shall be valid unless it has been made in compliance with the conditions mentioned in Chapter I of the Act of 1956. The 2 essential conditions i.e. consent of the wife and actual ceremony of adoption have not been established.

The bench observed that: “We are concerned with an adoption that has taken place after the Act of 1956 has come into force. Though the Appellant has produced evidence to show that she was treated as a daughter by (Late) Narasimhulu Naidu and the Defendant, she has not been able to establish her adoption.”


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