As a resident Indian, you may opt for in-country adoption i.e., adoption within India. Your application for adoption will go through various stages, as mentioned below:1
Step 1: You may apply for adopting a child by registering on the website of Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), here. It will redirect you to Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS) where you can fill your application details such as your personal details, employment details, etc.
Step 2: After registration, you will be required to submit relevant documents as part of your application. Please see here to understand which documents you will have to submit. After you fill out the application, you will be given an acknowledgement slip.
Step 3: Once you have filled the application with the relevant details and documents, you can track the status of your application with the registration number provided to you on the acknowledgement slip.
Step 4: A home study will be conducted by CARA or Specialized Adoption Agency (SAA), to determine whether you are eligible to adopt a child.
Step 5: Your application may be accepted or rejected. In case your application is rejected, the reasons will be posted on CARINGS, and you may appeal against that decision to Children’s Court. Please see here for the procedure for appeal.
Step 6: If your application is accepted, on the basis of your seniority, three children will be referred to you by the SAA through the CARINGS. You can choose one child for possible adoption within 48 hours, and a meeting will be fixed to assess suitability. This process will be completed within twenty days, and if you do not accept the child you have chosen, your name will be moved to the bottom of the seniority list.
Step 7: Within ten days of your selection of a child, you will have to take the child in pre-adoption foster care, which makes you the child’s foster parents. This happens while the adoption approval order is pending from the Court. You should sign this undertaking before taking the child in.
Step 8: The SAA (or other relevant authority) will file an application with the relevant Court to obtain an adoption order. If the SAA is not available in your town, the relevant authority will do this. The Court proceedings will be held in-camera, and your application will be disposed of within two months from when you filed the adoption application. Thereafter, the SAA will obtain the birth certificate of the child within three working days with your name.
Step 9: The SAA which conducted the home study will prepare the post-adoption follow-up report every six months for two years after the adoption. In case of any issues, counselling will be provided, and if there is an issue after adopting the child, the child may be taken back and declared as legally free for adoption again for other prospective adoptive parents.
For more information on the procedure, please see here.1
- Regulations 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13, Adoption Regulations, 2017