A Program Open to Families of Indian and Non-Indian Heritage
India is a Hague country. Families adopting from India must minimally be open to children with minor/correctable needs. At least one parent must be a U.S. citizen in order to complete the process.
Children in India
All children matched through the India Program are legally free for adoption as determined by the central authority in India, Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA). The children enter orphanages throughout the country either through relinquishment by birth parents or abandonment. Children are generally between the ages of 6 months and 14 years at the time of match. Applicants must be open to children with identified needs ranging from minor/correctable to lifelong.
The Care in India
Children in India are cared for in orphanages throughout the country, which are licensed by CARA to facilitate domestic and/or international adoption. These licensed Indian adoption agencies (SAA: State Authorized Agency) are required to maintain a government-mandated standard of care. Children receive medical care, nutrition, and educational opportunities. As numerous studies have demonstrated, institutional care is not conducive to optimal development, therefore children may experience orphanage-related delays.
Like all international adoption programs, India has its own unique eligibility requirements for adoptive parents. At least one parent must be a U.S. Citizen in order to complete the USCIS process. Applicants must be available to travel to India for one or two trips, depending on which state within India the child resides. This program is open to heterosexual couples married a minimum of two years, single women and single men. Single men may only adopt boys. Applicants must be between the ages of 25-55; financially capable; physically, mentally, and emotionally stable, and without any life-threatening conditions. Families cannot have more than three children already in the home. Our India program is not currently open to applicants who are only interested in adopting siblings.
CARA determines the minimum age range of children to whom parents need to be open. This is based on the combined age(s) of the adoptive parent(s) at the time of registration with CARA; please be sure to review Age Guidelines below.
Children’s Home Guidelines
These age guidelines vary from the guidelines set by India and allow you enough time to complete phases of the adoption process prior to our registration of your family with India’s Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), assuming you move steadily forward through application, home study and India’s paperwork requirements.
Due to how India calculates age(s) of applicant(s), the combined age for a married couple is easy to underestimate. CARA factors in both months and days in addition to years. For example, two spouses who are both 44 years old appear to have a combined age of 88; however, once months and days are factored in, they may actually be close to a combined age of 90, which requires being open to an older child. See below for details.
- Married applicants with combined ages under 89 years at time of Children’s Home application submission (parts 1 and 2) can adopt children from infancy to 47 months of age. Once combined ages reach 90 years, applicants must be open to adopting an older child, 48 to 95 months (4 to 8 years) of age.
- Married applicants with combined ages under 99 years at time of Children’s Home application submission (parts 1 and 2) can adopt children 48 to 95 months (4 to 8 years) of age. Once combined ages reach 100 years, applicants must be open to adopting a child 8 to 14 years of age.
- Married applicants with combined ages under 109 years at time of Children’s Home application submission (parts 1 and 2) can adopt children 8 to 14 years of age.
- Single applicants under 44 years of age at time of Children’s Home application submission (part 1 and 2) can adopt children 0-47 months of age.
- Single applicants under 49 years of age at time of Children’s Home application submission (part 1 and 2) can adopt children 48-95 months of age.
- Single applicants under 54 years of age at time of Children’s Home application submission (part 1 and 2) can adopt children 96 months and up.
There has to be at least 25 years between the age of the child and any applicant.
Please contact us to discuss your individual eligibility concerns.
The first step is to apply and begin the home study. If you live in MD, MN, VA or WI, we can complete your home study. If you live elsewhere, you need to find an agency licensed in your state to complete your home study and we will serve as the primary provider/placing agency. We will then guide you to apply for approval from USCIS and compile a dossier that is sent to India, requesting approval from CARA.
After your case is approved by CARA, our program staff works with you to identify a child for whom you would be an appropriate match. Children are identified via an online portal operated by CARA. Depending on openness to gender and identified needs, we anticipate the wait for a referral to be 3-12 months from the time of approval by CARA.
At least one trip to India is required, some states require two trips. Trips can be 2-3 weeks; a minimum of ten days is anticipated per trip. The variance in travel (one or two trips and length of trip(s)) is dependent on the state within India where the child resides as well as the child’s health and age. Travel typically occurs 7-11 months after dossier to India and no-objection certificate (NOC) filing by the Indian adoption agency (SAA).
Written post adoption reports, completed by a social worker, are required to be submitted to Children’s Home at 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 months after placement.
Cost Estimate for Families in MD, MN, VA & WI
View cost estimate for adopting from India and using our home study services.
Cost Estimate for Families Outside of MD, MN, VA & WI
View cost estimate for adopting from India if you will be using a home study agency other than Children’s Home.
As the second most populous country in the world with over 1.2 billion people, there are many children in India waiting for find their forever families.
India Adoption Quick Facts
- Hague Convention Country:Yes
- Central Adoption Authority:Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)
- Average Time to Complete an Adoption:2-4 years
- Average Cost for Adoption: $30,000-$40,000
- Average yearly U.S. Adoptions: 100-150
Who Can Adopt in India?
In order to adopt in India, you must meet the eligibility requirements of India and the Hague Adoption Convention. Below, you will find the criteria for parents who want to adopt in India.
Parents must be at least 25 years old and no older than 45 if they are adopting a child under four.
If the child is between four and eight, the parents must be at least 29 and no older than 50 years old, with a combined age of no more than 100 years.
If the child is over eight years old, parent must be at least 33 and no more than 55, with a combined age of no more than 110 years. These requirements may be waived in special circumstances.
A single male is not permitted to adopt a female child.
Parents must be in good health and have no disease, mental condition, or physical condition that would prevent them from providing proper care to a child.
If married, couples must be married for at least two years before they can adopt in India. Same-sex couples are prohibited from adopting.
Parents must meet the CARA definition of financial capability. Speak to an adoption professional for details on financial requirements.
Number of Children
Adoptive families must have fewer than four children in order to adopt a child in India.
Who Can be Adopted in India?
Because India is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, a child must meet the Convention’s requirements for an eligible child as well as the following requirements in India:
- The child has been determined to be free for adoption by a Child Welfare Committee (CWC)
- The child is 18 years of age or younger (Note: In most cases, the child must be under 16 at the time parents apply to adopt the child, according to the Hague Convention)
India also strongly encourages keeping sibling groups together. If you are interested in adopting a Tibetan child, you will need to consult the Indian Ministry of External Affairs instead of CARA.
India Adoption Process
In addition to meeting the Hague Convention guidelines, you must follow the adoption process in compliance with Indian law. Read the sections below to learn how to adopt in India.
How long does it take to adopt from India?
For most families, the adoption process takes between two and four years. The largest contributing factor to the adoption process in India is the wait for a child referral. Parents can potentially reduce their wait times by being open to special needs adoptions or adopting a boy.
How Do I Find an Adoption Professional?
Your adoption agency must be enlisted with CARA and Hague-accredited as per the Universal Accreditation Act. See some of the agencies listed below to learn more about who can help your with your India adoption:
How Do I Become Eligible for Adoption?
First, you must apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to be approved by the United States to adopt. If you are adopting from a Hague Convention country such as India, you will do this by filling out Form I-800A. You will also need to include a home study, fingerprints, and a background check. Once USCIS has approved your information, it will be sent on to CARA for approval in India.
Once you have been deemed eligible to adopt by both countries, you will begin the wait for a referral. On average, this will take from six to eighteen months.
What Do I Do Once I Receive a Referral?
CARA will contact your adoption service provider with a proposed match, to which you must reply within 96 hours. If you feel that you are unable to provide for the needs of a particular child, you may decline a referral. If you accept the referral, your adoption professional will contact the central authority in India.
Once you accept a referral, the next step is to apply again to USCIS, this time for your child’s immigration eligibility. To do this, you will send them the Form I-800, which USCIS will use to make sure the child meets the definition of a Hague Convention adoptee.
Next, you must submit an immigrant visa application to India’s central authority, who will approve the application if all requirements are met. The time between getting a referral and gaining the necessary approval is usually around seven to eleven months, after which time you will be ready to travel and meet your child.
How Do I Complete the Adoption?
After you have completed the above steps, you will be ready to travel to India to adopt your child. Usually, only one trip is required and typically lasts two to four weeks. During this time, you will finalize your child’s adoption and wait for approval on any outstanding documents.
Before you return home, you will need to apply for a U.S. birth certificate and Indian passport for your child. You will also need to attend a visa interview with the U.S. Embassy to finalize your visa application. When you have received all of the above documents for your child, you will be ready to return home and begin life as a family.
Financing Your India Adoption
The average total cost of adoption in India is between $30,000 and $40,000, although some families to pay significantly more or less. This will include expenses such as:
- Adoption agency fees
- Foreign program fees
- Travel expenses
- Home study costs
- Documentation and application fees
- Third party costs
These expenses are paid not all at once, but over the course of the adoption journey. Many agencies and independent organizations offer loans and grants to help families achieve their dreams of adoption. If you have questions about financial aid, consult an adoption professional.
India Adoption Travel Tips
While you travel in India, it is important to know what to expect so you can prepare for your big trip. In addition to practicing general safety, here are just a few suggestions to help you in your travels:
How to adopt a child in India – CARA Process Simplified
| Registration, Referrals, Foster Care and Court Order |
Your step-to step guide to adoption in India
Registration and Home Study (Steps 1,2)
Any parent desirous of adopting a child has to register online at CARA by uploading their personal particulars, details of residence, marital status, income etc. and indicating their preferences for the child they wish to adopt, such as age, gender, category and States of India from which they wish to adopt. Once the registrations are complete and all documents accepted, the parent’s seniority is established.
For PAPs residing abroad, their registration and Home study is taken care of CARA approved Authorized Foreign Adoption Agency (AFAA). A list of AFAA across the world can be found here. In case there is no AFFA, the nearest Indian Diplomatic Mission may be approached to complete the HOme study and liaise with CARA.
Referrals from CARA (Steps 3,4,5,6)
After registration, the adoption Agency nearest to the parent’s location conducts a Home Study for the parent. Once the Home Study is approved and uploaded in CARINGS system, the parent receives a referral of the child, as per their seniority and availability of children as per their preference. Parents have to reserve the child within 48 hours of receiving the referral.
Foster Care and Court Order (Steps 7,8)
The adoption process has to be completed within 20 days of reserving the child. The parent can take the child home after executing a Foster Care Agreement. The Adoption agency files the Adoption Petition in the court on behalf of the parent. Once the Adoption Order is received, the Adoption Agency also files for the Birth Certificate for the child, with the name of the adoptive parent as the legal parent of the child.
Understanding the CARA Process
The adoption process with CARA has following major steps, as highlighted in the Banner above:
- Registration – The Prospective adoptive Parent (PAP) registers online with CARA in the CARINGS system providing details of their personal particulars like residential status, income, health, marital status etc. The PAP also provides details of their preferences for the kind of child they wish to adopt, such as age, gender, category (normal, sibling or special need) and States from which to adopt. The Preferences indicated by the PAP play a major role in their seniority, wait time and referral. Please refer to the block below on Understanding CARA Preferences. Once the Registration is accepted, the PAP’s seniority is established in CARINGS.
- Home study – Upon receiving the registration, the nearest Specialized Adoption Agency (SAA) conducts the Home Study of the PAP to establish the eligibility to adopt, as per legal provisions. Once the Home Study is approved and uploaded in CARINGS, the PAP becomes eligible to receive a referral and also reserve a child from the Immediate Placement and Special Need category. Refer to our blocks below to understand the Eligibility for Adoption and IP and Special Need Category.
- Referral – Based on the PAP’s seniority and availability of children as per their Preferences, they receive the referral of the child. Currently, there is a wait time of 2-2.5 years to receive the referral for a healthy child below 2 years of age. The wait time can be tweaked a little. Please book a counselling session with one of our Adoption Counsellors to know of the options that may be right for you. Once you receive a referral, you have to reserve the child within 48 hours of receiving the referral.
- Exhausting your referrals – If you do not reserve the child referred to you, the referral will be withdrawn after 48 hours and you will get your next referral after 60 days. Similarly, if you do not reserve the 2nd child referred to you, you will get your third referral 60 days after the 2nd referral. If you do not reserve any of the three children referred to you, you will be placed at the bottom of the wait list.
- Reserving the Child- The referral includes the Child Study report and the Medical Examination Report of the child. Please read through these documents carefully and reserve the child referred to you within 48 hours of receiving the referral. After reserving the child, please coordinate with the Adoption Agency to complete the documentation and bring home the child.
- Losing your seniority – Once you reserve any child referred to you, you have to complete the Adoption Process within 20 days of reserving the child. If the adoption process cannot be completed within 20 days, or you reject the referral after reserving, you will again be placed at the bottom the wait list. Please allow for spending a couple of days at the agency to complete all formalities.
- Completing Adoption Process – Once you visit the Adoption Agency, please assess the health and condition of the child. In case there is a wide discrepancy between the condition of the child referred to you, and the condition as described in the documents, please alert CARA immediately. Not completing the adoption process will cost you your seniority. In case there is no material concern, please execute the Foster Care Agreement and bring your bundle of joy home. Refer to our blog on Accepting your first referral and completing the Adoption Process, so that you do not lose time in unfounded fears.
- Court Order – The Adoption Agency will file a petition on your behalf in the Court. You may have to visit the Adoption Agency again, with the child, to complete the Court Proceedings. Once the Court Order is received, the adoption Agency will also file for the Birth Certificate with your name as legal parent of the child.
Parents should exercise extreme caution in indicating the right preferences, because their seniority and wait time for receiving their referral singularly depends upon the preferences subnitted by them. We have come across numerous parents who have given erroneous preferences and have waited for years for their referral. Our counsellors can help you optimize your preferences and the wait ime.
India can offer some prospective adopters the opportunity to adopt a child of the same cultural and ethnic background. In addition the Indian eligibility criteria for prospective adoptive parents includes people who are not of Indian heritage. Our India Special Programme is therefore our most popular and successful programme to date.
The India adoption process is well embedded at IAC we are very familiar with working with our colleagues in India to support adopters through the process. Children come from across the Indian continent and most are usually living in orphanages prior to being placed.
Since 2011 IAC has been enlisted as an authorised Foreign Adoption Agency by the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), the central authority for adoption in India. India is a country which is a signatory to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption 1993 and all adoptions from India are regulated through CARA.
CARA require that approved adoptive parents must be registered on line with them and IAC is able to register prospective adoptive parents and support them through the waiting period. CARA will then review the application, and once accepted onto the waiting list two children’s files will be shared with the prospective adoptive parents via IAC. Once in country IAC is able to support prospective adopters through the India process through regular contact with the institution where the child is living.
The Children Waiting
In line with many countries overseas India has many children living in institutions who would benefit from family life. As a Hague Convention country children are placed within families living in India (domestic adopters) as a first option. CARA regulations state that non-resident Indians (NRIs) living overseas are treated on a par with domestic adopters, and that those holding Overseas Citizenship of India status or who are Foreigners may also apply. However, all prospective adopters of any status who are resident in the UK must progress their adoption applications through the Hague procedures. Thus far IAC has not become aware of any differences in the way NRI cases are processed compared to adopters with other statuses.
IAC would therefore encourage prospective adoptive parents to be flexible as far as possible regarding the age range of the child/ren they would be willing to consider, as many children needing homes are not babies but toddlers or older.
Eligibility for India
- Both single adopters and heterosexual married couples may adopt.
- A married couple with a combined age of up to 90 years, or a single adopter up to 45 years may apply for a child up to 4 years of age.
- A married couple with a combined age of up to 100 years, or a single adopter up to 50 years may apply for a child between 4-8 years of age.
- A married couple with a combined age of up to 110 years, or a single adopter up to 55 years may apply for a child up to between 8 and 18 years of age.
Please see the Information Pack for details of further eligibility criteria.
Who Can Use the Special Programme?
IAC is able to register any eligible family with CARA provided that the prospective adopter is:
- Eligible to adopt from India. The IAC Information for Prospective Adoptive Applicants (India Special Programme) provides full details of eligibility criteria
- Lives in an area where IAC is able to undertake an adoption assessment or where the Local Authority agrees to commission IAC to undertake it
- Is not adopting an identified child*
- Willing to work exclusively with IAC for assessment and approval.
*If you are already in the process of adopting an identified child from India, or wish to, please speak to the Advice Line for information about the process.
Although it is possible for the Department for Education to register any approved adopter seeking to adopt from India with CARA, IAC registers any prospective adopter approved directly by the agency. This ensures that IAC is able to liaise directly with both CARA and the Specialised Adoption Agencies in India about your case and about the child matches proposed.
There is a charge for this service and further details concerning the service and the costs can be found in the Information for Prospective Adopters: India Special Programme.
For further information about the special programme please contact the IAC Advice Line.
Adoptions from india everything you wanted to know. nowadays, many couples like to know adoptive parents profiles. there are various reasons for people who want to be foster parents. the main reason is that they do not have a baby. if they are interested to be adoptive parents, then there are some important things that the foster family must know. India requires at least one of the adoptive parents to travel to india at least once. the average time there is 10 14 days. the average time there is 10 14 days. this includes meeting your matched child at the care center, some adjustment time, and final visa processing in new delhi. Are you planning to adopt a child?do you often have doubts as adoptive parents?watch this video as we chat with sangitha krishnamurthi to demolish some myths. Are you planning to adopt a child? do you often have doubts as adoptive parents ? watch this video as we chat with sangitha krishnamurthi to demolish some myths around adoption and discuss the things you need to know as adoptive parents in india. sangitha krishnamurthi is a special educator and teacher who works with children almost every day. Please see our section on adoptions from the united states for more information on the process for adopting a child from the united states. we urge prospective adoptive parents (paps) residing abroad who are considering adoption of a child from the united states to consult with india’s central authority, the central adoption resource authority (cara), for its determination as to whether it.
Adoptions From India Everything You Wanted To Know
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Adoptions From India Everything You Wanted To Know
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Whether you’ve decided to move forward with international adoption or are just beginning to explore your options, understanding various country guidelines, timelines, and fees can seem overwhelming. There are many countries that are available for intercountry adoption, one of which is India. Thinking about adopting from India? Here’s a step-by-step guide.
To begin with, India has its own criteria for eligible adoptive parents. The first step is to make sure you meet the requirements.
- Age – If you are married, you must be between the ages of 25 and 55, and there can be no less than 25 years between parent and child. If you are single, you must be between the ages of 30 and 55.
- Citizenship – There are two tracks available for Indian adoption: Heritage track and Traditional. For the Heritage track, one spouse must be a non-resident of India, the other a U.S. citizen.
- Length of Marriage – Couples must have been married for at least two years, or three years in the case of a second marriage.
- Children in Family – Prospective families should have no more than two children in the home unless the family is open to a special needs child.
Next, like all adoptions, domestic or intercountry, you will need to complete a home study with an accredited provider. It is not necessary to do your home study with the same agency that will facilitate your adoption, but it can help. If you have not selected an agency yet, ask the following questions:
- How long has your agency been working in India?
- What kind of relationship does your agency have with in-country personnel?
- What kind of referrals do you see from India?
Once your home study is finished, you will be asked to complete a form citing what kind of child or children you might be open to adopting. For families in the Heritage track, it is possible to adopt a healthy infant, but the wait times for such a match can be quite long. In the Waiting Child track, children are typically 6 months to 10 years old at referral with minor or correctable needs. Such needs may include anything from cleft lip or palate, hearing loss, or vision loss to more serious cases, such as cerebral palsy and HIV positive.
Next you will begin the great paperwork chase! Your agency will guide you to apply for approval from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and work with you to complete your dossier. Your dossier will consist of documents similar to your home study (letters from employers, health records, fingerprints, et cetera) and include some additional documents specific to India’s guidelines. Once your dossier is complete, your agency will send everything to Central Adoption Resource Authority for their approval.
Once your case is approved by CARA, you will be eligible to be matched with a child through an online portal called CARINGS. For families in the Waiting Child track, your agency’s WIC (Waiting Identified Child) social worker will match you with a child based on your openness to special needs. Referrals in the Waiting Child track take anywhere from one to six months. If you are a non-resident of India, the process is a bit different, as you will wait for a referral from CARA rather than actively seeking one. Referrals for non-residents can take anywhere from eight to 15 months.
Then comes the moment you receive a call that you have a match! Your agency will send you information on your potential child, including a child report and a medical exam report. It’s a good idea to have both evaluated by a pediatric professional in international adoption. A good specialist will be able to evaluate your child’s medical report through the lens of international adoption. It’s important to note that children in institutional care are often developmentally delayed because of their environment, so comparing your child’s progress to that of a biological child can lead to misinformation. Additionally, a good specialist will be able to recommend and prescribe treatments to take with you when it comes time to travel.
After you say “yes!” to a referral, the true waiting game begins. Your agency will walk you through filing with USCIS (you will file again, since now you have a specific child for whom you will need a visa) and the steps to filing in India. Your case will appear before an Indian court, and a judge will issue a decision. This process can take anywhere from seven to 11 months.
Following court approval, you will receive your child’s passport and make your travel plans! For both Heritage and Waiting Child tracks, at least one trip to India is required. Trips can vary between two and three weeks, depending on the region of your child’s orphanage. When you return home, you and your agency will be required to write post-placement reports at three, six, nine, 12, 18, and 24 months. It is also important to think about readoption at this time.
From application to travel, the full process to adopt from India takes about 18 to 24 months. In terms of cost, adoption from India ranges from $30,000 to $42,000, including all agency, filing, country, and travel fees. It’s important to remember too that there are parts of the process you can control, like being a paperwork guru , and parts of the process where you will just have to wait and trust in the adoption system. It won’t be easy, but the moment you hold your child for the first time, I promise it will all be worth it.
Several children under the age of 18 have lost both parents to Covid and this has made them vulnerable to illegal adoption or worse, trafficking.
Representational image of children playing | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
New Delhi: In the past few weeks, several messages have been circulating on social media for the adoption of ‘Covid orphans’ or children who lost both parents to the virus.
Government authorities have come down heavily against these posts as they expose orphaned and traumatised children to illegal adoption or worse, child trafficking and child labour.
As reported by ThePrint Thursday, the Union Ministry for Women and Child Development (WCD) has told the health ministry that parents infected with Covid-19 who are being admitted to hospitals should declare in a form who their children should be handed over to if they die.
WCD officials told ThePrint that the form does not mean that the existing procedure for adoption will be circumvented in these cases. Instead, such a declaration would only come to the child welfare authorities’ aide, which will still be bound to follow due procedure for adoption of any child.
As Covid fatalities rise across the country, several children under the age of 18 have been orphaned. In view of this, ThePrint explains the legal processes of adoption, why authorities are discouraging social media posts about adoptions and how it is illegal to take a child into one’s custody without following due processes.
Legal process for adoption in India
Adoption is the process of legally establishing a parent-child relationship between persons who do not share this relationship biologically.
In India, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is the statutory body of the WCD ministry, which functions as the nodal agency for adoption, and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions.
The adoption of orphaned (parents have died), abandoned (parents have deserted) and surrendered (parents legally gave up custody) children are all regulated by CARA through its associated or recognised adoption agencies.
Three laws govern adoption in the country: The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956, which is applicable to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs, the Guardian and Wards Act of 1890, which is applicable to Muslim, Parsi, Christian and Jews in adoption, and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act of 2000,
Ordinarily, to adopt a child in India, a Prospective Adoptive Parent (PAP) has to upload their application for adoption and relevant documents on CARA’s website. A home study of the PAP by a social worker of a Specialised Adoption Agency (SAA), which is an agency recognised by CARA, is then conducted, and uploaded on the website.
Profiles of children identified as legally free for adoption are then shared by the SAA with the prospective parents, who are supposed to “reserve” a child within 48 hours. The SAA is then supposed to “match” the child with the prospective parent within a period of 20 days.
According to the JJ Act, earlier the SAA along with the prospective parent were supposed to file a petition in the designated court regarding the final decision on adoption.
However, earlier this year, the Union Cabinet cleared amendments to the Act, allowing powers to the District Magistrate instead of the district court to grant final approval in adoption cases. This was done to expedite the process of adoption.
What happens if a relative wants to adopt the child?
According to Section 51 of the Adoption Regulations, 2017, if a family relative wishes to adopt an orphaned child, the process remains the same. The prospective parents have to register on the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS).
While the SAA will not provide the prospective parents with profiles of other children, the rest of the process is similar.
Consent of the biological parents or the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) — in case the child is in their custody — will be required.
In case the child is above the age of five, his or her consent is also recorded.
Adoptive parents are then required to give an affidavit regarding their financial stability and social status, and then approach the DM for the final approval of adoption.
Can legal process be waived during crisis situations?
The due processes of adoption cannot be waived even during a pandemic. However, in this situation, a declaration by parents stating who their children should be handed over to, in the event of their death, serves two purposes.
One, it ensures the child, who would be under immense trauma, can be handed over to a trusted person on an immediate basis. Two, it makes the job of the Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) easier by establishing the credentials of a prospective adoptive parent in the eyes of the child’s biological parent.
However, this does not mean that the adoption can take place informally. The child’s custody has to be taken legally by the adoptive parent, who must follow protocol.
Social media posts on adoption
If one sees a social media post for adoption, first and foremost, they should not be circulated further as doing so is illegal. Such posts must be reported to the District Child Welfare Committee or on the child welfare helpline (1098).
Earlier this week, WCD Minister Smriti Irani tweeted, “If you come to know of any child who has lost both parents to COVID and has no one to take care of her/him, inform Police or Child Welfare Committee of your district or contact Childline 1098. It is your legal responsibility.”
It is illegal to give or take orphan children of any one else in adoption. Such children should be taken to Child welfare committee, which will take necessary action in the best interest of the child.
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) May 4, 2021
Furthermore, in the last few days, authorities have made it clear that one cannot adopt children informally on the basis of social media posts, as that could expose traumatised children to the risks of child labour or trafficking.
“It is illegal to give or take orphan children of any one else in adoption. Such children should be taken to Child welfare committee, which will take necessary action in the best interest of the child,” Irani said. “If anyone contacts you regarding orphan children available for direct adoption, do not get into the trap & stop them. It’s illegal. Inform local Child welfare Committee or Police or Childline 1098 about such children.”
She further said that posts of children for adoption should not be shared, as protecting their identity is mandated under the law.
(Edited by Rachel John)
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There are no unwanted children, just unfound families.
Under Indian law adoption is legal coalition between the party willing for adoption and a child, it forms the subject matter of ‘personal law’ where Hindu, Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh by religion can make a legal adoption
■ In India there is no separate adoption laws for Muslims, Christians and Parsis, so they have to approach court under the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 for legal adoption.
■ Personal laws of Muslim, Christian, Parsis and Jews do not recognise complete adoption so if a person belonging to such religion has a desire to adopt a child can take the guardianship of a child
under section 8 of the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890
■ As per the Supreme Court Guidelines for intercountry adoption a foreign parent can adopt an Indian child before he/she completes the age of 3 years. In the absence of any concrete Act on intercountry adoption, the provisions of Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 will be followed for adoption
■ In case of adoption of abandoned, abused and surrendered children all intercountry adoptions shall be done only as per the provisions THE JUVENILE JUSTICE (CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN) ACT, 2015 and the adoption regulations framed by the Authority.
– A single male is not eligible to adopt a girl child.
– No child shall be given to any couple until they have atleast two years of stable a.martial
– The minimum age difference between the adoptive child and the parents should not be less than twenty five years.
■ Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 remains silent about the adoption of orphans, abandoned and surrendered children
Following individual can be adopted
■ As per the Hindu law following child may be adopted namely-
– The child can either be a girl or a boy if he/she is a Hindu. – He/ She has not been adopted before.
– The age of the child is below 15 years.
– The child should not be married.
■ As per the Guardianship law and The Juvenile Justice (Care and protection of children) ACT, 2015 following child may be adopted namely-
– Who is not a Hindu
– Who is minor (not completed the age of 18 years).
– An orphan or abandoned or surrendered child.
CARA (Central Adoption Resource Authority)
■ Cara is a statutory body under the ministry of women and child development, Government of India. It functions as the central or nodal body of the adoption of Indian children and monitors the in-country and inter-country adoptions.
– Who can adopt
■ A single woman (unmarried, widow, divorcee) or married couple;
■ A non-resident Indian;
■ Foreign citizen.
Rights: Inheritance rights of the adoptive child
■ An adoptive child is treated the same as a biological child of his or her adoptive parents. According to law, the adoptive child has the same legal rights to benefit from the property as that of a biological child. The adoptive child can claim stakes on their adoptive parents property.
■ But according to Hindu adoption and maintenance act the adoptive child loses rights from their biological parents once they are adopted. They cannot claim any rights from their adoptive parents or coparceners. If the parent of the adoptive child is disqualified from any ancestral property in general then in that case the child adopted cannot claim their stake on it.
Case of India: Child Adoption in India
■ According to UNICEF, India has over 30 million orphan and abandoned children
■ The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) law was enacted in 2015
■ The Juvenile Justice Rules of 2016 and the Adoption Regulations of 2017 followed to create the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) as a statutory body for the regulation, monitoring and control of all intra-country and inter-country adoptions.
■ CARA became pivotal in granting a ‘no objection’ certificate for all inter-country adoptions, pursuant to India becoming a signatory to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoptions
■ India is also a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Adoption rate in India ‘shameful’: the Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said a year ago in February 2015. The current government brought numerous changes to the act, new guidelines were formed for CARA (Central Adoption Resource Authority), process change was put in place to:
- Simplify adoption
- Increase transparency
- Streamline process for intra and inter country adoption
- Reduce delays and have fixed timelines
- Revise age criteria
- Introduce e-governance.
This article is to create awareness of adoption in India, and we hope that it helps educate people about adoption process which in turn would promote adoption, thus giving homes and families to thousands of abandoned and orphaned children.
This news article about a 28 year old man becoming India’s Youngest Single Parent to Adopt a Special Child motivated me to write about Adoption.
Provisions for Adoption:
Indian legislation gives 3 provisions for adoption.
Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act 1956: It provides for adoption of Hindu children by Hindu religion parents. The act applies to any person who is Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh by religion as well.
Guardians and Ward Act 1890: It is specifically outlined for the non-Hindus specifically Muslims, Christians, Parsis and Jews as their personal laws do not allow full adoption and only allows Guardianship. It is however applicable to all children irrespective of race.
For Hindus, guardianship is provisioned for under the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956
Juvenile Justice Act 2000: It covers all communities. An Indian, Non Resident Indian, or a foreign prospective adoptive parent/parents are allowed to adopt Indian Children under this act.
It is important to note that all 3 acts extend to whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir
The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) have setup guidelines based on the ‘Juvenile Justice Act (Care and protection of children)’ amended in 2015.
The procedure, eligibility criteria, regulation may differ for Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, and Guardians and Ward Act. Since CARA follows Juvenile Justice guidelines, we wish to focus on the same as well.
Some eligibility criteria for Prospective Adoptive Parents:
- Single female can adopt a child of any gender.
- Single male can only adopt a male child.
- A married couple is allowed to adopt only after 2 years of stable marriage and both need to provide their consent.
- The age difference between the adoptive child and Prospective Adoptive Parents must not be less than 25 years.
- Couples with more than 4 children will not be considered for adoption.
Eligibility criteria for the child to be allowed for adoption:
Any orphan or abandoned or surrendered child, declared legally free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee is eligible for adoption. NO, you cannot just adopt a child you found on the roadside or at your doorstep as depicted in the movies. The child has to be produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and information has to be sent to the local police for legal proceedings as per Juvenile Justice Act.
Procedure of Adoption for Indian residents:
- Prospective Adoptive parents (PAP) need to register to CARINGS.
- PAPs select preferred Adoption Agency for ‘Home Study Report (HSR)’
- They must also select child preferences:
- Gender: Male/Female
- Category: Single/Siblings
- Health: Normal/Physically Challenged/Mentally Challenged/Both
- Age: 0-2/2-4/…/16-18
- 3 states from where you would like to adopt the child. You can choose “From Anywhere” as well.
- PAN card
- Proof of residence
- Proof of income
- Copy of Marriage certificate and photograph (if Applicable)
- Copy of Divorce Decree, or Death certificate of spouse (If applicable)
- Copy of Birth certificate of PAPs
- Copy of medical certificate deeming the PAPs fit to adopt.
- If it’s a single parent, an undertaking from relative who will take care of the child in case of mishap.
Government has simplified and streamlined the process for inter country and intra country adoption. While the procedure is only slightly different for foreign or Non Resident citizens, it is now simpler for anyone to adopt a child from India. Kudos to the current government.
There are no unwanted Children, just unfound families – National Adoption Centre, USA
Read some of the stories shared by the parents who open their hearts and gave a family to some by adopting them here
One of my personal favourite lines from the stories, one dedicated to the happiness that the newly adopted child brought a single parent:
“Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could, Perhaps in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good…….”
Share your experiences, fear, and anxieties about adoption. Share your views and questions on the article if you have any in the comments below.