A mother cannot independently give her child up in adoption without the father's consent as such an adoption is “nullity” in the eyes of law, a Delhi court has said.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj made the observations while dealing with a man’s petition challenging his estranged wife’s plea seeking maintenance for herself and their minor daughter, who she had allegedly given in adoption.
The court said if the woman has given away the child to someone else in adoption, then also the man has the right to challenge it and take back the minor's custody. But till then, he had to maintain his daughter.
Discussing the law relating to adoption among Hindus under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, the court said as per its provision, if the father is alive, he alone has the right to give the child in adoption.
“The mother does not have an independent right to give her child in adoption,” the judge said while citing the law.
“In view of above, even if the wife has given her child in adoption to someone as is being claimed by the revisionist (man), such an adoption is nullity in the eyes of law. The man has his rights to challenge this adoption and take back the custody of his child. Till then he shall remain responsible for the maintenance of the daughter being her father,” the court said.
The man, in his revision plea, had challenged the trial court’s order directing him to pay interim maintenance to his wife and daughter.