P&H HC: HAMA Act Does Not Envisage Pact to Adopt Foetus

Judge Gavel Law Insider

Debangana Ray

Published on June 27, 2022 at 17:19 IST

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act did not envisage an agreement to adopt an unborn child. The Bench also stated that a couple who takes away a child from the natural mother cannot claim lawful custody for the minor.

The ruling by Justice MS Ramachandra Rao was given on a Habeas Corpus petition filed against the State of Punjab by the natural mother of the baby boy. She was seeking the child’s release from the couple’s custody.

The boy, born on May 23 was taken in custody by the Couple. The counsel for the natural mother submitted that the respondent couple had requested the mother to give the child up for adoption.

After the birth of the child, he was taken away by the respondent couple after an agreement was signed by force between the couple and the natural parents of the child.

Justice Rao observed that the adoption was not valid under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act. Besides there was no registered document considering adoption as per Section 16 of the Act.

“The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, does not envisage an agreement to adopt a child, who is not yet born. Thus, the respondent-couple cannot claim to be in lawful custody of the minor child in question,” Justice Rao asserted, while allowing the writ petition.

Justice Rao concluded the case by directing the couple to hand over the custody of the minor to the petitioner.

He added that it is open for the couple to taken steps to enforce any agreement before an appropriate court of law regarding the adoption.

Related Post