Navigating the Cradle: The Changing Dynamics of Parentage, Custody and Guardianship in India

  • Aparna Goswami and Dipanwita Dutta
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  • Aparna Goswami

    Student at Amity Law School, Kolkata, Amity University Kolkata, India

  • Dipanwita Dutta

    Student at Amity Law School, Kolkata, Amity University Kolkata, India

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Ancient religious texts have offered varying perspectives on the concepts of custody and guardianship. However, upon closer examination of these texts, a recurring theme of paternalistic values becomes apparent, further reinforced by the application of the Parens Patriae principle. The dawn of the 18th century, while changing the aspects of human rights consequently started reshaping global theories of parentage. New societal and cultural norms, along with a heightened emphasis on gender equality and empowerment, ushered in the era of evolution of family structure. Now, at the crux of this transformation lies the paramount concern for the welfare of the child and the recognition of equal parental responsibility. These shifts have had profound and far-reaching implications for family laws worldwide and India is no stranger to the same. This study seeks to explore the historical and contemporary dimensions of custody and guardianship, with a special focus on India. It aims to delve into the historical roots of parentage, custody, and guardianship in India, tracing the trajectory of legal provisions and societal perceptions. This paper also attempts to shed light on the nuances and complexities of Indian courts in such family matters. The paper concludes by emphasizing the critical need for ongoing legal reforms and societal dialogue to harmonize custody and guardianship laws with the evolving realities of Indian families. It is imperative to navigate the cradle of family law with the sensitivity to the diverse needs of all involved parties, especially the children at its heart.




International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 2, Page 424 - 434


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