Adoption by OCI or Non-Resident Indian (NRI) or a Foreigner Living Abroad (Non-Religious Law)

Last updated on Apr 8, 2022

Follow the steps given below to adopt a child if you are an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI), Non-Resident Indian (NRI) or foreigner living abroad:1

Step 1: Approach the relevant authority i.e. the Authorized Foreign Adoption Agency or the Central Authority in your country of residence. In case there is no Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency or Central Authority in your country of residence, then you should approach the relevant  Government department or Indian diplomatic mission (in cases of Indian citizens) in that country. See here for a list of foreign adoption agencies. They will guide you on the home study that will be conducted and the registration process.

Step 2: You should submit the required documents. Please ask the authority you have approached for more details on this. 

Step 3: Two children will be referred to you for adoption, and you may reserve one child within 96 hours, and the profile of the other child will be withdrawn. If you fail to do this, both the profiles will be withdrawn. After reserving the child, you must accept the child and sign the Child Study Report and Medical Examination Report of the child within thirty days from the date of reservation. Failure to do this will lead to your profile being moved to the bottom of the seniority list, and the child’s profile will be withdrawn. You may also visit the child in person, and have the medical report reviewed by a medical practitioner. 

Step 4: A No Objection Certificate (NOC) will be issued in favor of the adoption by the relevant authority, and posted on Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS). 

Step 5: If you get an NOC , you may take the child in pre-adoption foster care temporarily while the Court order is pending. In order to do so, you will have to provide the following undertaking in this format. You will be given permanent custody of the child after:

  • The passport and visa are issued to the child
  • The Court order is passed. 

Step 6: The relevant authority will file an application with the relevant Court. 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. 

Step 7: You must come to India and take the child within two months from the date of the adoption order. Thereafter, the following will be done:

  • A Conformity Certificate will be issued by the relevant authority within three working days of the availability of the adoption order by the Court
  • The authority will inform the relevant authorities, such as immigration authorities, etc. of the confirmed adoption. 
  • The authority will aid in getting an Indian passport, birth certificate and OCI Card (if applicable) for the child. 

Step 8: The relevant authority shall conduct follow-ups to assess the progress of the adoption, on a quarterly basis during the first year and every six months in the second year. In case of any issues, counselling will be provided, and if there is disruption or dissolution of the adoption, the child may be taken back and declared as legally free for adoption.

Please see here for more information on the procedure. 

  1. Regulations 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19, Adoption Regulations, 2017.[]

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