Can a parent file a maintenance application against more than one child or relative?

Yes, you can. As a parent, you can file your maintenance application against all your children. All of them have a duty to maintain you. As a senior citizen (without children), you can file your maintenance application against any or all relatives who possess or will inherit your property. If there is more than one such relative, each relative is supposed to pay maintenance in proportion to the property that they will inherit from you.

Can the amount of maintenance given to a parent or senior citizen, change at a later time depending on the situation?

Yes. The amount of maintenance can be altered/increased by approaching the court, if there are changes in your requirements like increase in cost of medical treatment. However, do remember that the amount can also be decreased depending on whether you now have an additional source of income or your requirements have decreased. It can also be canceled – for example, if you have converted to another religion and are no longer a Hindu, the judge may cancel payments as you are no longer eligible to receive maintenance under Hindu law.

I do not have sons. So, can I claim maintenance from my daughter?

Yes. Both sons and daughters bear the duty to maintain parents equally. Even married daughters have a duty to maintain their parents. However, the court will order her to pay only from her own money and assets. The married daughter’s husband has no duty to support his wife’s parents.

What are the main authorities that regulate adoption in India?

The following authorities do adoption work in India:

  • Central Adoption Resource Authority – It  is the central authority in charge of monitoring and regulating adoptions in India, receiving applications for inter-country adoptions, maintaining a database of children to be adopted, etc. Each state has a subset of this authority known as the State Adoption Resource Agency which works for the promotion, facilitation, monitoring and regulation of adoption in the states. 
  • Child Welfare Committee – It takes cognizance of the children brought before it, conducts enquiry and declares them free for adoption, etc. 
  • District Child Protection Unit – It aims to identify orphan, abandoned and surrendered children in the district and get them declared legally free for adoption by Child Welfare Committee, tracking the progress of children legally free for adoption, etc. 
  • Specialized Adoption Agencies – It is responsible for the care, protection and well-being of every child in its charge, and works for their needs. 


The following authorities are in-charge of inter-country adoptions (adoption of children who are foreigners or foreigners adopting Indian children):

  • Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency – It registers the prospective adoptive parents interested to adopt children from India and completes their Home Study Report, provides orientations to the parents about the child’s culture, etc.
  • Indian Diplomatic Missions – It registers the adoption applications of Non-Resident Indian Prospective Adoptive Parents or Overseas Citizens of India in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System, and processes them, etc. 

Can same sex couples adopt in India?

Although LGBTQ+ persons can adopt in India, same sex couples cannot. If you are a same sex couple, you may adopt a child separately and raise him/her together, but both you and your spouse cannot be legal parents of that child in India.

How is it decided who gets to adopt a child first, if multiple people have applied for adoption?

The decision is taken on the basis of seniority of prospective adoptive parents. Seniority is calculated from the date of successful registration, including submission of documents.(( Regulation 41, Adoption Regulations, 2017.)) For example, if Mini registered on 1st May, 2019, and Sita registered on 28th May, 2019, Mini is senior to Sita in terms of eligibility to adopt a child.

What is a home study report?

A home study is a report, valid for 3 years, conducted by the Specialised Adoption Agency (SAA) closest to your residence to determine your eligibility and suitability to adopt a child, and it includes details like social and economic status, family background, description of home and atmosphere therein and health status.(( Regulation 2(11), Adoption Regulations, 2017.)) This report will be completed within 30 days of your registration, and posted on the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS). Please see here for more information.