Children Legally Free for Adoption

Last updated on Apr 8, 2022

Declaring a child legally free for adoption allows such children to be put up for adoption under the non-religious law,1 which terminates the legal relationship that the child has with their biological parents.2  

The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) takes the decision to declare a child free for adoption, after it conducts inquiries, which includes:

  • A report by the probation officer/social worker,
  • Consent of the child (if they are old enough),
  • The required declaration submitted by the District Child Protection Unit and the Child Care Institution or Specialized Adoption Agency, etc.2 

The following categories of children may be declared as legally free for adoption:

  • Orphans:3 Children without parents (biological or adoptive) or legal guardian, or whose legal guardian is not capable or willing to take care of the child.
  • Abandoned children: Children deserted by the parents (biological or adoptive) or guardians, and who are declared as abandoned children by the Child Welfare Committee.4 
  • Surrendered children – Children who are given up by the parent/guardian, and declared as surrendered children by the Child Welfare Committee.4 
  • A child of mentally retarded parents.5  
  • An unwanted child of a survivor of sexual assault.5  


  1. Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.[]
  2. Schedule I, Adoption Regulations, 2017.[][]
  3. Section 38(1), Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015[]
  4. Section 38(1), Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.[][]
  5. Section 38(3), Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.[][]

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