Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956
Natural guardians of a Hindu minor and adoption act
The natural guardians of a Hindu, minor, in respect of the minor’s person as well as in respect of the minor’s property (excluding his or her undivided interest in joint family property), are-
- In the case of a boy or an unmarried girl-the father, and after him, the mother: provided that the custody of a minor who has not completed the age of five years shall ordinarily be with the mother.
- In the case of an illegitimate boy or an illegitimate unmarried girl-the mother, and after her, the father.
- In the case of a married girl-the husband;
Provided that no person shall be entitled to act as the natural guardian of a minor under the provisions of this section-
- if he has ceased to be a Hindu, or
- if he has completely and finally renounced the world by becoming a hermit (vanaprastha) or an ascetic (yati or sanyasi)
Explanation.- In this section, the expressions ‘father’ and ‘mother’ do not include a stepfather and a step-mother.
Natural guardianship of adopted son- The natural guardianship of an adopted son who is a minor passes, on adoption, to the adoptive father and after him to the adoptive Mother.