Can A Single Male Adopt A Child In India?


The desire of having their own child is a very normal phenomenon, but in many cases, people are not able to have their own child may be because of infertility or some other biological issues.
Sometimes unmarried people also desire to have kids, in these circumstances there desire is fulfilled through adoption. But in India it is very difficult for a single male to adopt looking from world’s conception motherhood is considered but single male parenthood is not considered much due to the assumption that single male does not have the desire of their own to have a kid unless they are in a relationship with a female partner. But as time is changing it can be seen single males are also having a desire to raise children.

In Hindu law different provisions are given for adoption .but in other personal laws like Christian law, Muslim law etc, they have approach court under Guardian and wards act,1890.


Any male Hindu, having a sound mind, a major, and is eligible for adopting a toddler can adopt a toddler. If the male Hindu is married and needs to adopt a toddler he has got to take the consent of his wife also before adoption, and therefore the consent should be free.
Whenever a Hindu male or a Hindu Female is willing to adopt a son, they must not have a son living whether legitimate or illegitimate, at the time of adoption. When a Hindu male or a Female wants to adopt a daughter, they must not have a daughter or son’s daughter living at the time of adoption. If a male wants to adopt a daughter, he should be a minimum of 21 years older than the adoptive daughter.

The reasoning behind 21 year age gap between the adoptive father and the adopted daughter is to protect the daughter from sexual exploitation. Because of this reason, CARA doesn’t allow single fathers to adopt a girl child.


In Hindu law, adoption is governed by the Hindu adoption and maintenance act, but in other personal laws like Muslim law, Christian Law, Parsis Law, no separate laws are given so a potential adoptive parent other than Hindu have to adopt a child as per the laws of Guardians and Wards Act, 1890.

Under The Guardianship and Wards Act, 1890 if the party wants to adopt a child they need to file an application to the court and has to state their reason for adoption i.e. why they want to adopt a child. The court will give a date for the hearing, the party needs to appear in court on that day. The adoptive couple decides to tell the court about the kid they need to adopt. Last, the court will pass a decree and therefore the adoption is finalized.
In the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 any child can be adopted under some conditions:

  1. The child must be minor
  2. The child must not be Hindu
  3. An orphan or abandoned or surrendered child.
  4. The child to be below 18

There is a direction that adoption proceedings need to be completed within two hearings, and therefore the petition must be disposed of within two months of the filing of the petition. The certified copy of the order passed by the court has to be obtained by the agency within 10 days. The agency must also obtain the certificate of the kid, with the names of the adoptive parents mentioned in it.


Under the Juvenile Justice Act, a single male is not lawfully allowed to adopt a girl child. The relevant section of the act is as follows:

(1) The prospective adoptive parents shall be physically fit, financially sound, mentally alert and highly motivated to adopt a child for providing a good upbringing to him.

(2) In the case of a couple, the consent of both the spouses for the adoption shall be required.

(3) A single or divorced person can also adopt, subject to fulfillment of the criteria and in accordance with the provisions of adoption regulations framed by the Authority.

(4) A single male is not eligible to adopt a girl child.

(5) Any other criteria that may be specified in the adoption regulations framed by the Authority.[1]


The most important progress is by the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) Guideline, in 2015 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Women and Child Development with help from Ms. Maneka Gandhi. The guidelines govern the adoption of children.

Eligibility criteria;

  1. The to be adoptive parents must be physically, mentally, financially and emotionally stable and they must not have any life-threatening disease.
  2. Adoptive parents irrespective of their marital status and whether or not he has a biological son or daughter can adopt a child subject to the following condition namely;-
  3. Consent of both spouses needed
  4. A single female is eligible to adopt a child of any gender
  5. A single male not eligible to adopt a girl child
  6. No child shall be given in adoption to a couple unless they have been in two years of a stable relationship.
  7. The minimum age gap between child and adoptive parent shall not be less than 25 years
    5. The age criteria for adoptive parents shall not be applicable in case of relative adoption and adoption by step-parents.
  8. Couples who have three or more children are not allowed to adopt a child except in special need of a kid as defined in sub-regulation (21) of regulation 2, hard to place children as mentioned in regulation 50 and just in case of relative adoption and adoption by a step-parent.


Adoption is a very good deed, it changes the world of a child and gives them a new life. An adopted child has all the rights the same as a biological child of adoptive parents. As society is changing we can see a favorable change one such favorable change is adoption by a single male, Hindu adoption and maintenance act allows a single male to adopt both a boy and a girl child, requiring him to be of sound mind, If he is adopting a Hindu girl child, age difference should be 21 years, He Should not be minor, He must be financially capable to raise a child.

But as per the CARA guidelines, a single man is not allowed to adopt a girl child reason being the exploitation of a girl child.

Denying the adoption of a child to a single male just because he is not married is not excusable.


This Article is Authored by Eshita Mishra, 4th Year, BALLB Student at Amity law school Delhi(GGSIPU).

Also Read – What Is Requisite of Adoption and Who Are Capable of Giving an Adoption?

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