Many people are adopting in India despite having a biological child. Approximately 3359 children have been placed with Indian families and abroad in the year 2020-2021. All of them are not adopted under Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 because except Hindus no other religion has a personal law for adoption. Other religions are governed by Guardians and Wards Act, 1890. Children adopted by Hindus other than from families don’t come from a well to do background. Many children are adopted through CARA, and they have no security.
Inheritance by adopted child
Adopted child has the same rights as a biological child. He/she can inherit from the adopted parents and from other family members just like the biological children. Law does not discriminate between the two.
In India, inheritance is governed in accordance with the religion you belong to.
- Hindus are governed by Hindu Succession Act, 1956;
- Parsis and Christians are governed by Indian Succession Act;
- Muslims are governed by their personal laws.
Under every law except Muslim personal law, the adopted child has the same rights as of a biological child. Adoption is disallowed under Muslim personal laws.
Generally, your adopted child will also be considered to be of your religion until and unless he/she knows his/her religion by birth and actually follows it, in that case he/she can inherit only from their adoptive parents and not from anyone else in the family.
Inheritance from biological parents
The child can not seek any claim in the property of biological parents because after adoption, the child’s relationship with the biological parents is severed. But if the biological parents wants to give a share to that child who has been adopted by adoptive parents, they can do so.
But where there are property disputes, many a times the adoption is challenged to claim all the share in the property.
Some real life scenarios:
- Sometimes, adoption is challenged by the legal heirs and due to lack of papers, the adopted child gets neglected if he/she is unable to prove the adoption.
- Other times legal heirs claim adoption to be fictional.
These scenarios can be dealt with but it takes years of litigation to prove if evidences are not sufficient. Any parent will want the best future for their children even in their absence.
Why you should write a Will for your adopted child
Now that I hope that you are aware of the position of the adopted child under the law, you should write a Will exactly for the reasons why would you write a Will for your biological children. Don’t let others harass your children just because they are adopted.