The custom and practice of adoption in India dates back to the ancient times. Although the act of adoption remains the same, the objective with which this act is carried out has differed. It usually ranged from the humanitarian motive of caring and bringing up a neglected or destitute child, to a natural desire for a kid as an object of affection, a caretaker in old age, and an heir after death.
But since adoption comes under the ambit of personal laws, there has not been a scope in the Indian scenario to incorporate a uniform law among the different communities which consist of this melting pot. Hence, this law is governed by various personal laws of different religions.
Adoption is not permitted in the personal laws of Muslims, Christians, Parsis and Jews in India. Hence they usually opt for guardianship of a child through the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890.
Indian citizens who are Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, or Buddhists are allowed to formally adopt a child. The adoption is under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956 that was enacted in India as a part of the Hindu Code Bills. It brought about a few reforms that liberalized the institution of adoption.