Adoption without wife''s consent is invalid: SC

New Delhi, Jan 12 (PTI) Adoption of a child by thehusband is not valid if the wife does not give her consent toit even though she might be been present at the ceremony as aspectator, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The apex court said that to prove a valid adoption,the claimant has to produce documents of consent given by thewife otherwise the process becomes invalid as mandated bySection 7 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956.

"By incorporating the requirement of the wife�s consentin the proviso to Section 7 and by conferring independentright upon a female Hindu to adopt a child, Parliament hastried to achieve one of the facets of the goal of equalityenshrined in the Preamble and reflected in Article 14 readwith Article 15 of the Constitution.

"This can be done either by producing documentevidencing her consent in writing or by leading evidence toshow that the wife had actively participated in the ceremoniesof adoption with an affirmative mindset to support the actionof the husband to take a son or a daughter in adoption.

The presence of the wife as a spectator in theassembly of people who gather at the place where theceremonies of adoption are performed cannot be treated as herconsent. "In other words, the court cannot presume the consentof the wife simply because she was present at the time ofadoption," the apex court said.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and Asok Kumar Gangulypassed the judgement while dismissing the appeal of Ghisalalfrom Madhya Pradesh who claimed to be the adopted son ofGopalji and Dhapubai.

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