Adoption in India

India is ranked second in world population, and soon it will outrank China. India is expected to add nearly 273 million people to its population between now and 2050, a UN report said in 2019, forecasting that the country will cross China as the world’s most populous country by 2027. India will remain the most populated country through the end of the current century, the report said[1]. Its high time that we start working towards this.

One of the options is adoption. The certain rules and regulations laid down are

Parents who want to adopt should be mentally, physically, and emotionally stable. They should financially be capable as there is no specific minimum income levels in the eligibility criteria for prospective adoptive parents but while conducting the home study the social worker will assess the capability and motivation and inspect de reasonable living standards for the child. The prospective parents shouldn’t have life threatening medical condition.

Anyone can adopt children irrespective of his/ her marital status or whether he has any previous child. But if the couple is married, they should be married for two years, and the consent of both parents is necessary for adoption and couples with three or more children shall not be considered for adoption except in case of special need children. In case of single parent, a single female can adopt a child of any gender, but a single male cannot adopt a girl child.

The minimum age difference between the child and either of the prospective adoptive parents shall not be less than twenty-five years. Maximum age of single prospective adoptive parent mustn’t be forty-five years if the child’s age is up to four years and Maximum composite age of prospective adoptive parents (couple) mustn’t be ninety years. To adopt children above three years of age, the maximum composite age of the Parent/s should be 105 years wherein the individual age of the Parent/s should not be less than 25 years and more than 55 years. A single parent desiring to adopt should not be less than 30 and more than 50. The maximum age shall be 45 years to adopt children in the age group of 0-3 years and 50 years for adopting children above 3 years.

For In- Country adoption

  • Parent/s desiring to adopt a child shall register themselves only with one with RIPA/SAA. Such agencies shall guide the parent/s on the registration process. On receipt of the application for registration (Annexure-V) along with necessary documents and requisite registration fee, the RIPA/SAA shall register the Parent/s for adoption and issue them a registration slip.
  • RIPA/SAA shall provide pre-adoption counselling to them. Such agency shall also prepare the Parent/s for the adoption and related process by providing them with all relevant information.
  • Documents listed at Annexure-VI shall be furnished by the Parent/s to the concerned SAA/ RIPA to facilitate conduct of home study. Home Study of the Parent/s shall be conducted only by the professional social worker authorized by RIPA/SAA. The Home Study Report shall be based on the procedure laid down in Annexure-VII.
  •  

Due to Crimes related adoption there are some rules laid by Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA). Some of them are

  1. RIPA/SAA shall constitute an ‘Adoption Committee’ consisting of the Secretary/Managing Trustee of the SAA, a senior professional social worker, Visiting Medical Officer and one other functionary of the RIPA/SAA. This Committee would do the assignment of the child. the best efforts taken to assign a child as per required description given by the Parent/s, if any. After matching the child, the RIPA/SAA shall advise Parent/s to see the child physically before they give their acceptance. They shall be shown the matched child/children only at the premises of RIPA/SAA. The CSR and MER of the matched child (or children in case of siblings) shall be forwarded by the RIPA/SAA to the Parent/s for acceptance. This process is known as “referral”.   The Parent/s shall accept the referral in writing within a maximum period of 10 days. In case the referred child is not acceptable to the Parent/s, a maximum of two other children shall be shown to them at a given time.  In case, the matching does not take place, the Parent/s would be eligible for reconsideration only after a lapse of three months from the date when the last child was shown to them. If the Parent/s decide to adopt the proposed child, they shall give their formal   acceptance for the adoption by signing on the CSR and MER of the child.
  2. The Child can be placed in pre-adoption foster care after acceptance of referral by the Parent/s. The Parent/s shall be required to sign a foster care affidavit and undertaking before the child is placed in their temporary custody. Before physically entrusting the child to the prospective adoptive parents, the adoption agency should ensure that they have record of local contacts of the Parent/s including contact details of two close relatives. 
  3. Child can be legally placed in adoption with the Parent/s by the competent court (court having jurisdiction over the area where the RIPA/SAA is located). The RIPA/SAA shall file a petition in the competent Court for obtaining the necessary adoption orders. RIPA/SAA shall also ensure that the petition is filed within 10 days of the acceptance of referral by Parent/s and shall forward a copy of the court order and the adoption deed to the concerned SARA and the Parent/s.
  4. The RIPA/SAA shall carry out half yearly follow-up visits to the child from the time the child has been placed in pre-adoption foster care till a period of two years after the legal adoption. In cases of trouble of adoption, the RIPA/SAA shall make efforts for alternate rehabilitation of the child.
  5. All agencies and authorities involved in the adoption process shall adhere to Timelines stipulated for in-country adoption as provided at Annexure-IX. [2]

The authorities/agencies involved in In-country adoption 

  • Competent Court
  • Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)
  • State Adoption Resource Agency (SARA)
  • Recognised Indian Placement Agency (RIPA)
  • Specialised Adoption Agency (SAA)

These are just basic information for parents who want to adopt children. Adoption is something one can go for, there are many children living without parents and a single person or couple can provide a life not to those children but themselves too. A total of 3,531 children, including 2,061 girls, were adopted in India during the one year period ending March 31 with Maharashtra recording the highest number of adoptions among states, according to government data. As per data from the Child Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), 1,470 boys and 2,061 girls were adopted from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020. These data shows the need for male child is shifting. It’s a good cause. People’s mindset is slowly changing and they are becoming more accepting towards adopting girls.[3]


[1] https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/india-may-overtake-china-as-most-populous-country-sooner-than-un-projections-of-2027-report/articleshow/82576669.cms#:~:text=India%20is%20expected%20to%20add,current%20century%2C%20the%20report%20said.

[2] https://carings.nic.in/parents/Guidelines-for-Adoption.html

[3] https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/2061-girls-among-3531-children-adopted-in-2019-20-govt-data/article32995902.ece

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