Child Adoption Process in India 2024:- Child Adoption Process in India: Adoption of children is reportedly increasing both in India and globally. Most adoptions occur due to biological parents’ inability to care for their children or adoptive parents’ desire to provide a fresh start in life for an abandoned child.
Although adoption was traditionally frowned upon in Indian society, it is now openly discussed and considered. Adoption in India is regulated by laws and overseen by the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), a division of the Ministry of Women and Child Care. This article provides comprehensive information on how to adopt a child in India.
Child Adoption Process in India 2024
One significant method of creating families and giving children loving homes is through adoption. Accepting the responsibility of raising a child not biologically linked to the adoptive parents is a legal and emotional process that provides children with the security, love, and support needed for their development. It is a beautiful way for single individuals or couples to start families, often profoundly impacting both the adoptive parents and the adopted child.
India Child Adoption Process Eligibility Requirements
To qualify for adopting a child, prospective parents must meet specific requirements:
- An Indian citizen, an NRI, or a foreign national may adopt a child in India, each with a unique adoption process.
- Adoption is open to individuals of any gender or marital status.
- There must be at least a 25-year age gap between the adopted parent and the child.
- Couples must have a stable marriage for at least two years and mutually decide to adopt.
- Parents who are considering adoption must possess emotional, psychological, and physical stability.
- Adoptive parents cannot be older than 55 or younger than 25.
- Financial capability to meet the child’s necessities is a requirement.
- Both male and female individuals can adopt a child.
Eligibility Criteria for a Child to be Eligible for Adoption
For a child to be eligible for adoption, they must meet the following requirements:
- The child must be an orphan, given up for adoption, or declared abandoned by the Child Welfare Committee, according to Central Government rules.
- Abandonment implies the child’s guardians or parents have given up on them, and the Child Welfare Committee must declare them abandoned.
- A child without guardians or legal parents is considered an orphan, including cases where parents are no longer able to care for them.
Conditions That Must Be Met for a Child Adoption in India
A child must fulfill the following requirements in order to be eligible for adoption.
- According to Central Government regulations, a kid can only be accepted for adoption if he is an orphan, has been given up for adoption, or has been turned down. The Child Welfare Committee should also approve his adoption.
- An orphan is a child who has neither parents nor legal guardians. If a child’s parents are unable to provide for them, they may also be deemed orphans.
- When a child is abandoned, it typically means that their guardians or parents have lost hope in them. They must also be deemed abandoned by the child welfare agency.
Guidelines for Parents in the Child Adoption Process in India
CARA has specified eligibility conditions for potential adoptive parents:
- Financial stability is a prerequisite.
- Prospective parents should not have life-threatening disorders.
- A single woman can adopt a child of any gender, but a single male cannot adopt a girl child.
- Couples with three or more kids are generally not accepted for adoption, except in the case of special-needs children.
- A single parent is not allowed to be older than 55.
It is the responsibility of parents to ensure their child receives both financial and emotional support and affection. They should be affectionate, providing encouragement and appreciation for their child’s successes, and establish a safe and secure home environment, meeting the child’s fundamental necessities like food, clothes, shelter, and healthcare.
Child Adoption Process Documents Required
Several crucial documents are necessary for the adoption of children in India, and these include:
- Pan card
- Voter identification
- driver’s license
- Photos of the husband and wife together
- Marriage Certificate
- Age Proof
- Adoption application
- Reason for adoption
- The couple’s most recent reports of HIV and Hepatitis B
- Residence Proof
- Income certificate
- Reference letter from 3 people
- Investment details
- Whatever additional documentation the authorities or the court ask for
Child Adoption in India Step-by-Step Process
The steps for the Child Adoption Process in India are as follows:
- Registration: Prospective adopting parents must register with an approved agency, such as Special Adoption Agencies (SPA) and Recognized Indian Placement Agencies (RIPA). They can also attend the local adoption coordination agency, where a social worker guides them through necessary paperwork, formalities, and preparation for registration.
- Counseling and Home Study: A social worker from the registration agency conducts a home study, assessing the potential parents’ readiness, motivation, strengths, and weaknesses. The agency may also require therapy sessions. Completing the home study within three months after registration is mandatory as per CARA regulations. The court is then informed of the outcomes.
- Child’s Referral: The agency notifies the prospective couple when a child becomes available for adoption. The couple receives access to medical records, physical examination reports, and other relevant information. After satisfaction with the details, they can spend time with the child.
- Child Acceptance: Once comfortable, the parents sign papers acknowledging the child’s acceptance.
- Petition Filing: A lawyer uses the collected paperwork to draft a petition for court. The adoptive parents appear in court, signing the petition in front of the court officer.
- Pre-Adoption Foster Care: After signing the court petition, adoptive parents can bring the child to a foster care facility for pre-adoption, observing the child’s routines before bringing them home.
- Hearing in Court: The child and parents appear in court together. A judge presides over a closed-door hearing, discussing the investment required in the child’s name and other relevant matters.
- Court Decision: The judge issues adoption orders after presenting the investment receipt.
- Follow up: Following finalization, the agency usually gives the court annual or biannual updates on the welfare of the kid.
How long does it take in India to adopt a child?
Adoption procedures typically require two to four years to complete for most households. The primary obstacle is the wait for a child referral, which can be reduced if parents are open to adopting a boy or a child with special needs.
Indian Laws Governing Adoption
Adoption laws in India are dictated by the personal laws of each religion. Adoption is prohibited by Muslim, Christian, Parsi, and Jewish laws. However, the Guardians and Wards Act of 1890 permits adoption from an orphanage with court consent. Christians can adopt children under foster care, severing ties when the foster child reaches adulthood. The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, allows adoption for residents practicing Hinduism, Jains, Buddhism, or Sikhism.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, governs the adoption of children who have been abandoned, turned over, or mistreated. There is no specific law for intercountry adoption, so the Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children, 2015, oversee the process, following the procedures of the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890.
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Child Adoption Process in India FAQs
Q:- How long does the adoption process take in India?
Ans:- On average, the adoption process in India takes two to four years for most families. The primary factor affecting the timeline is the wait for a child referral.
Q:- What are the eligibility criteria for adopting parents?
Ans:- Adopting parents must be Indian citizens, NRIs, or foreign nationals, meeting specific age, marital, and financial requirements. Single individuals, regardless of gender, can also adopt.
Q:- What are the eligibility criteria for a child to be adopted?
Ans:- A child must be declared legally available for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee, and eligibility is determined based on being an orphan, abandoned, or given up for adoption.
Q:- What documents are required for the adoption process?
Ans:- Important documents include PAN card, voter identification, driver’s license, passport, marriage certificate, age proof, adoption application, medical reports, residence proof, income certificate, and reference letters.
Q:- What is the role of CARA in the adoption process?
Ans:- The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is the key organization overseeing domestic and international adoption in India, establishing guidelines and regulations for the adoption process.