FAQs on Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956


Question 1: To which religion the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 applies? Does it apply to followers of Arya Samaj as well?


Answer 1: It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. This Act applies-

(a) to any person, who is a Hindu by religion in any of its forms or developments, including a Virashaiva, a Lingayat or a follower of the Brahmo, Prarthana or Arya Samaj,

(b) to any person who is a Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh by religion, and

(c) to any other person who is not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew by religion unless it is proved that any such person would not have been governed by the Hindu law or by any custom or usage as part of that law in respect of any of the matters dealt with herein if this Act had not been passed.

Question 2: What is the status of a legitimate and illegitimate child born to Hindu parent?

Answer 2: The following persons are Hindus, Buddhists, Jainas or Sikhs by religion, as the case may be:-

(a) any child, legitimate or illegitimate, both of whose parents are Hindus, Buddhists, Jainas or Sikhs by religion;

(b) any child, legitimate for illegitimate, one of whose parents is a Hindu, Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh by religion and who is brought up as a member of the tribe, community, group or family to which such parent belongs or belonged.

Question 3: What is the status of abandoned legitimate and illegitimate child brought up by Hindu parent?

Answer 3: Any child, legitimate or illegitimate, who has been abandoned both by his father and mother or whose parentage is not known and who is either case is brought up as a Hindu, Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh is a Hindu will be Hindus.

Question 4: What is the status of Scheduled Tribe under the HAMA?

Answer 4: Nothing contained in this Act shall apply to the members of any Scheduled Tribe within the meaning of clause (25) of Article 366 of the Constitution unless the Central Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, otherwise directs.

 Question 5: What is the meaning of maintenance under the HAMA?

Answer 5: The “maintenance” includes the following-

(i) in all cases, provision for food, clothing, residence, education and medical attendance and treatment;

(ii) in the case of an unmarried daughter also the reasonable expenses of and incident to her marriage;

Question 6: What is the minor under the HAMA?


Answer 6: The “minor” means a person who has not completed his or her age of eighteen years.

Question 7: What is void adoption by a Hindu and what are rights created in favour of Hindu child due to void adoption?

Answer 7: No adoption shall be made after the commencement of this Act by or to a Hindu except in accordance with the provisions contained in this Chapter, and any adoption made in contravention of the said provisions shall be void. An adoption which is void shall neither create any rights in the adoptive family in favour of any person which he or she could not have acquired except by reason of the adoption nor destroy the rights of any person in the family of his or her birth.

Question 8: What are requisites of a valid adoption?

Answer 8: No adoption shall be valid unless-

(i) the person adopting has the capacity, and also the right, to take in adoption;

(ii) the person giving in adoption has the capacity to do so;

(iii) the person adopted is capable of being taken in adoption; and

(iv) the adoption is made in compliance with the other conditions mentioned in the HAMA.

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