Adoption under Muslim Law

Adoption is not permitted in the personal laws of Muslims in India, and hence they usually go for guardianship of a child through the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890. In Mohammed Allahabad Khan v. Mohammad Ismail it was held that there is nothing in the Mohammedan Law similar to adoption as recognized in the Hindu System. ‘Acknowledgement of Paternity’ under Muslim Law is the nearest approach to adoption. It is the principle which establishes legitimacy of the child. Where a Muslim acknowledges a child to be his legitimate child, the paternity of that child is established upon him. It cannot be availed of to legitimise a child known to be illegitimate.

However recently, the Supreme Court in a landmark judgment extended the right of adoption to Muslims also. In the Case titled as Shabnam Hashmi v Union of India, (2014) 4 SCC 1, the Supreme Court declared that the right to adopt a child by a person as per the provisions of Juvenile Justice Act would prevail over all personal laws and religious codes in the country.

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