“Yudhishthira said, ’Some say that one’s son is he that is born in one’s soil. Some, on the other hand, say that one’s son is he who has been begotten from one’s seed. Are both these kinds of sons equal? Whore, again, is the son to be? Do thou tell me this, O grandsire!
“Bhishma said, ’His is the son from whose seed he has sprung. If, however, the owner of the seed abandons the son born of it, such a son then becomes his upon whose spouse he has been begotten. The same rule applies to the son called Adhyudha. He belongs to the person from whose seed he has taken his birth. If, however, the owner of the seed abandons him, he becomes the son of the husband of his mother. Know that even this is what the law declares.’
“Yudhishthira said, ’We know that the son becomes his from whose seed he has taken birth. Whence does the husband of the woman that brings forth the son derive his right to the latter? Similarly, the son called Adhyudha should be known to be the son of him from whose seed he has sprung. How can they be sons of others by reasons of the engagement about owning and rearing them having been broken?’
“Bhishma said, ’He who having begotten a son of his own loins, abandons him for some reason or other, cannot be regarded as the sire of such a son, for vital seed only cannot create sonship. Such a son must be held to belong to the person who owns the soil. When a man, desiring to have a son, weds a girl quick with child, the son born of his spouse must belong to him, for it is the fruit of his own soil. The person from whose vital seed the son has sprung can have no right to such a son. The son that is born in one’s soil but not begotten by the owner, O chief of Bharata’s race, bears all the marks of the sire that has actually begotten him (and not the marks of one that is only the husband of his mother). The son thus born is incapable of concealing the evidences that physiognomy offers. He is at once known by eyesight (to belong to another). As regards the son made, he is sometimes regarded as the child of the person who has made him a son and so brings him up. In his case, neither the vital seed of which he is born nor the soil in which he is born, becomes the cause of sonship.’
“Yudhishthira said, ’What kind of a son is that who is said to be a made son and whose sonship arises from the fact of his being taken and brought up and in whose case neither the vital seed nor the soil of birth, O Bharata, is regarded as the cause of sonship?’
“Bhishma said, ’When a person takes up and rears a son that has been cast off on the road by his father and mother, and when the person thus taking and rearing him fails to find out his parents after search, he becomes the father of such a son and the latter becomes what is called his made son. Not having anybody to own him, he becomes owned by him who brings him up. Such a son, again, comes to be regarded as belonging to that order to which his owner or rearer belongs.’