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A Guide to Child Adoption in India

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  • February 22, 2021
  • MKB Team

Child adoption has witnessed a gradual rise in India. This trend is encouraging as it gives a new lease of life to a child who has been left all alone in this world. It is also heartening because adoption was once considered taboo in Indian society. Thankfully, most of us have broken the shackles of caste and creed and accepted adoption as a natural thing.

There are certain rules and regulations that one needs to follow to adopt a child. These vary from country to country. In India, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) monitors the adoption process. This agency monitors and regulates in-country and intra- country adoption and is a part of Ministry of women and child care.


The basic conditions that must be met by adopting parents to be eligible to adopt an Indian child are:
A child can be adopted by an Indian, NRI or a foreign citizen. However, the  procedure of adoption is different for all three.
Anyone is eligible irrespective of gender or marital status.
If a couple is adopting a child, they must have completed a minimum of two years of stable marriage and should both be willing to adopt the child.
The age difference between the child and the adoptive parents should not be less than 25 years.
The prospective adoptive parents need to be physically,
emotionally, mentally and financially stable.
They shouldn’t be suffering from any life-threatening diseases.
A couple cannot have a cumulative age of more than 110 years.

Couples with three or more kids are not considered eligible for adoption except in case of special-needs children. Rules applicable for single parents only
A single female can adopt a child of any gender. However, a
single male is not eligible to adopt a girl child.
A single parent cannot be more than 55 years of age. However, the adoption process in India is rather lengthy, involving 9 steps, and one has to be prepared mentally for a long wait.

Step 1 – Registration
Parents interested in adoption must get registered with an authorized agency first. Recognised Indian Placement Agencies (RIPA) and Special Adoption Agency (SPA) are the agencies which are permitted to make such registrations. Prospective adoptive parents can visit the Adoption Coordination Agency in their area where the social worker will explain the process and take them through the formalities, paperwork and general preparation required for
registration.

Step 2 – Home Study and Counselling
A social worker shall visit the home of the prospective adoptive parent/s on behalf of the registration agency to do a home study. The agency might ask the parents to attend counselling sessions in order to understand and gauge their motivation, preparation, strengths and weaknesses. As per CARA regulation, the home study needs to be completed within 3 months from the date of registration. The findings from the home study and counselling
sessions is then reported to the court.

Step 3 – Referral of the Child
In the third step, the agency shall let the interested couple know whenever there is a child ready for adoption. The agency will share medical reports, physical examination reports and other relevant information of the child with the couple and also allow them to spend time with the child after they are ok with the details shared.

Step 4 – Acceptance of the Child
If the prospective parents are willing to adopt the child, they need to sign a few documents related to their acceptance of the child.

Step 5 – Filing of Petition
All the necessary documents are then submitted to a lawyer in Step 5. The lawyer then prepares a petition that will be presented to the court. Once the petition is ready, the adoptive parents will have to visit the court and sign the petition in front of the court officer.

Step 6 – Pre-Adoption Foster Care
After the petition is signed in the court, the adoptive parents can take the child to a pre-adoption foster care centre and understand the habits of the child from the nursing staff before taking the child home.

Step 7 – Court Hearing
In Step 7, the parents have to attend a court hearing along with the child. The hearing is held in a closed room in the presence of a judge. The judge may ask a few questions and will mention a certain amount that needs to be invested in the name of the child.

Step 8 – Court Order
Once the receipt of investment made in the name of the child is shown, the judge shall pass the adoption orders.

Step 9: Follow Up
After the adoption process is completed, the agency needs to submit follow up reports to the court on the child’s well-being. This may continue for as long as 1-2 years.

It is important how you include your adopted child in your family. Making the child feel at home is the first step to make him or her become a part of the family.

Here are a few tips.
Designate a room
Having a room especially for your adopted child will make them feel
more wanted and comfortable. If you are adopting a baby/toddler,
create a nursery area with toys to play with. If you are adopting an
older child, decorate their room according to their preferences.

Introduce your older children to their new sibling

If you already have children, it is a good idea to talk to them about
the arrival of their new sibling. Introducing them earlier is advisable
for a better connect.

Limit visits from friends and extended family
Some of your friends and extended family may not approve of adoption. You can’t control the things they say when they are around your child and how it affects the child. Having too many people around may also overwhelm your adopted child and create a negative headspace. Limit visits from friends and family until your child has properly settled in.

Was this article helpful? Do write to us with your queries, suggestions and tips. We’d love to hear from you!


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MKB Team

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