Adoption and Legal Guardianship in Bangladesh: An Overview
There is no explicit law in Bangladesh concerning adoption, however individuals can seek for guardianship of a child’s person or property under the Guardians and Wards Act 1890. In this post, we will have a brief yet in-depth explanation of adoption and legal guardianship in Bangladesh.
Legal guardianship and adoption in Bangladesh:
The titles ‘Adoption’ and ‘Legal Guardianship’ have no legal or practical meaning. However, because of the numerous personal laws in Bangladesh, the terms ‘adoption’ and ‘legal guardianship’ were employed.
Family Court Ordinance, 1985; Guardians and Wards Act, 1890; Code of Civil Procedure, 1908; Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961, Children Act, 2013, Hindu personal Laws and Customs.
Muslim child adoption:
According to Muslim law, Muslim parents in Bangladesh do not have the right to adopt children since the laws do not recognize adoption. However, their sole choice is to petition to the appropriate family courts for legal guardianship. Unfortunately, children under guardianship do not have all of their rights, such as inheriting property from their legal guardians.
Adoption of a Hindu child with a child of another religion:
However, according to Hindu family law, only people of the Hindu faith are permitted to adopt males. As a result, the adopted boys’ status will be the same as that of a natural son, and they will have the same rights under personal or secular law, such as inheritance, as if they were born into this family. Adoption is likewise permissible and promoted under both Christian and Buddhist personal laws.
Regardless of personal laws, legal custody and guardianship under the Guardians and Wards Act:
Guardianship application before the court:
In Bangladesh, the adoption or guardianship seeker must file a request with the family court that has jurisdiction over the child’s place of residence to seek legal guardianship of children under the Code of Civil Procedure.
After analyzing the application, the court will make a decision based on the best interests of the children, exercising its discretion, in accordance with the provisions of the Personal Laws and the Guardians and Wards Act, against which an appeal is permitted.
For example, if the court is satisfied that the parents are entitled to bear responsibility for that child, the decision will be in their favor; if the decision is against them, an appeal can be made at District Judge Court.
Limitations for guardians seeking guardianship:
Because the Act requires one of the parents seeking adoption or guardianship to be a Bangladeshi citizen or a dual citizenship holder, i.e. an American who is also a Bangladeshi citizen, foreigners are unable to apply for adoption or legal guardianship in this country.
In terms of property, children have the following rights:
The Guardians and Wards Act of 1890 is crucial in the case of minor guardianships. However, under the Guardians and Wards Act of 1890, a child or person under guardianship does not have the same rights, such as inheriting property, as biological children. However, if the guardian donates a property to the person under guardianship before their death, that person is entitled to that property.
In Bangladesh, the following procedures must be followed to obtain legal guardianship of a child:
In order to obtain adoption or legal guardianship in Bangladesh, the following processes must be followed:
- Step 01: If the prospective adoptive parents live in another nation, they must obtain approval from the relevant authorities in their home country.
- Step 02: Prospective adoptive parents must look for individuals, organizations, or institutions, such as orphanages, NGOs, shelters, and so on, and make contact with them in order to obtain necessary documents regarding the expected adoptee child for the guardianship process, so that no legal issues regarding guardianship or adoption arise later on.
- Step 03: Filing an application with the family court for legal guardianship and submitting all required documentation.
For example, a child’s birth certificate, an irrevocable release of the adoptee minor signed before a Notary Public, Magistrate, or the relevant Family Court in Bangladesh, proof that one of the parents is a Bangladeshi citizen, and proof that the foreign documents submitted are authentic.
- Step 04: Following the court’s judgment, the guardians of the child must get the child’s post-guardianship birth certificate, which will show that the prospective legal guardians are now the child’s valid legal guardians.
- Step 05: If the parents want to take their child out of Bangladesh, they must first obtain a no objection certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Home Affairs. After applying for it, the concerned ministry will conduct a thorough investigation into the matter and, if satisfied, will issue the NOC.
- Step 06: The guardians must now submit all relevant documents, such as forms, NOCs, and so on, either online or in hard copy in order to receive the child’s passport and get him or her out of the country.
- Step 07: All required medical examinations, such as testing, vaccines, and so on, must then be completed in order to acquire a visa.
- Step 08: Finally, all adoption formalities must be fulfilled in accordance with the laws of the adoptive parents’ home country in order for the adoption of the relevant child to be legally valid in that nation.
Hire a top Barrister in Bangladesh for Adoption and Legal Guardianship in Bangladesh
Adoption and legal guardianship are important issues in Bangladesh and around the world. Tahmidur Rahman Remura Wahid law firm in Dhaka has been working on adoption and legal guardianship issues for many years and is an expert in this sector. If you require assistance or a consultation, please come to our office or contact us at
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