CARA GUIDELINES IN INDIA

INTRODUCTION 

Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a legislative body of Government of India’s Ministry of Women & Child Development. It serves as the nodal body for Indian children’s adoption and is authorized to track and control inland and inter-country adoptions. In compliance with the terms of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by the Government of India in 2003, CARA is appointed as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions. It was founded under the Ministry of Welfare in 1990

CARA deals specifically with the adoption, abandonment and disposition of orphaned children by its associated / recognized adoption agencies.

CARA’s mission is to ensure that any child who is orphaned, destitute and abandoned has a loving and caring family. It is directly under the purview of Women and Child Development Ministry. In 1999, it became an independent entity by making it registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. CARA was moved to the MWCD following the passage of the Criminal Justice Act 2000, and its extension in 2006. In India, under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act 1956, Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 and Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, a child may be placed with a family.

The following are other organizations involved with the adoption process, both in India and internationally:

  • Recognised Indian Placement Agencies (RIPAs)
  • Enlisted Foreign Adoption Agencies
  • Adoption Coordinating Agencies (ACAs)
  • Shishu Grehs
  • Licensed Adoption Placement Agencies (LAPAs)
  • Indian Federation of Adoptive Families Associations (IFAFA)

            ADOPTION

Adoption involves the process by which the adopted child is legally removed from its biological parents and becomes the adoptive parent’s legal offspring with all the rights, privileges, and duties assigned to that biological child.

[Pursuant to section 2(2) of the JJ (C&PC) Act, 2015]

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act 2015 read with the Adoption Law, 2017 recognised five forms of adoption, namely

  1. A neglected, abandoned, indigent child or children adopted by an unknown person or persons resident in the world.
  2. A neglected, abandoned, indigent child or children adopted by an unknown person or persons living outside the country.
  3. An associated child by family members who live within the country
  4. An associated child by family members who live outside the country
  5. Child adoption within the country by step-parents.

                                       WHO CAN BE ADOPTED?

A child may be adopted if he / she is:

  1. An orphan, abandoned or surrendered child (OAS) who has been declared legally free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) (as provided for in the JJ (C&PC) Act 2015 and the relevant rules)
  2. A relative’s offspring (a relative means a paternal uncle or aunt of the child, a maternal uncle or aunt or paternal or maternal grandparents);
  3. A spouse’s offspring or children from earlier marriage abandoned by the maternal parent(s) to the step-parent for adoption. (Sections 38 and 56 of the JJ (C&PC) Act, 2015 and Regulation 4 of the Regulations on adoption)

                                              WHO CAN ADOPT?

General:

  1. Prospective adoptive parents (PAP) – are eligible to adopt, who are physically, intellectually and socially stable, financially competent and who have no life-threatening medical conditions.
  2. The overall age gap between the infant and PAP / s shall be no less than 25 years.

Married:

  1. Married couples have a stable marriage partnership lasting at least 2 years.
  2. In the case of a married couple all partners may agree to adoption.
  3. The married couple’s average age is no greater than 110 years.

Single:

Individuals with or without children of a biological or adoptive type can adopt if they satisfy:

  1. The child of either sex may be adopted by one female
  2. There is no single male qualified to adopt a girl child
  3. The lifespan of a single parent is not more than 55 years.
  4. If they foster a child with special needs, a hard-placed infant, a relative’s infant or a step-child, they must have less than four children.

For determining the eligibility and eligibility of prospective adoptive parents to apply for children of different age groups, the age of prospective adoptive parents shall be counted as at the date of registration:-

Age of the childMaximum composite age of prospective adoptive parents (couple)Maximum age of single prospective adoptive parent
Upto 4 years90 years45 years
Above 4 and upto 8 years100 years50 years
Above 8 and upto 18 years110 years55 years  

                                         ADOPTION PROCEDURE

In- country adoption:

  • At CARINGS, parents register online (www.cara.nic.in).
  • Choose HSR (Home Research Report) and State recommended adoption agency.
  • User ID and create Password.
  • File documents within 30 days of registration.
  • Registration Number gets created.
  • The Specialist Adoption Agency (SAA) performs the PAP Home Study Report (HSR) and uploads it to CARINGS within 30 days of the date of submission of the appropriate CARINGS documentation.
  • The suitability of Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) is decided (if not considered acceptable, PAPs Informed with grounds for refusal).
  • PAPs assign one boy, up to 6 children according to their choice.
  • PAPs review and finalise the Admission Service within 15 days from the date of booking.
  • If the child is not approved within the stated period, the PAPs will be included in the list of seniority.
  • SAA completes the referral and adoption process (on CARINGS) following the child’s approval by the PAPs.
  • PAPs carry the child in custody before adoption foster care and SAA files petition.
  • Court of adoption order issued
  • Follow-up research on post adoption is done for a period of two years.

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