Guardians and Wards
Act, (GWA) 1890
Guardians and Wards Act, (GWA) 1890 formalised the
process of bringing up a child as one's ward. The Act
confers Guardianship status to the adoptive parents
until the child reaches maturity; the child however is
not 'legally' their own and does not have automatic
inheritence rights. Also, the guardianship status ceases
to exist once the child reaches maturity. Thus, unlike
an adopted child, the ‘ward’ doesn’t receive the full
status of a biological child, and is not automatically
entitled to the family name or property.
The personal laws of Non-Hindus (i.e. Muslims,
Christians, Jews and Parsis) do not sanction adoption.
Members of these religions can take a child as their
ward under the Guardians and Wards Act.
Inter-country adoptions (except in the case of NRI
Hindus) are also carried out under this Act. A Hindu,
even if he/she is a foreign national, may adopt a Hindu
child in India under the HAMA. Foreigners adopting
children from India under this Act, are expected to
legally adopt the child in their country of residence,
within a period of 2 years from the date of adoption in