- Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body of Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.
- CARA is the designated central authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003
- It functions as the nodal body for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions
- CARA primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated / recognised adoption agencies
- Single women and men
- Married couples
- Non-resident Indian
- Overseas citizen of India
- Foreign prospective or Indian prospective parents
- The prospective adoptive parents require to be physically, mentally, emotionally and financially capable, and not have any life threatening medical condition and they should not have been convicted in criminal act of any nature or accused in any case of child rights violation.
- Any prospective adoptive parents, irrespective of their marital status and whether or not they have biological son or daughter, can adopt a child subject to following, namely:-
- The consent of both the spouses for the adoption will be required, in case of a married couple;
- A single female can adopt a child of any gender;
- A single male will not be eligible to adopt a girl child;
- No child will be given in adoption to a couple unless they have at least two years of stable marital relationship except in the cases of relative or step-parent adoption.
- The age of prospective adoptive parents, as on the date of registration, will be counted for deciding the eligibility of prospective adoptive parents for children of different age groups as under:-
Age of the child
Maximum composite age of prospective adoptive parents (couple)
Maximum age of single prospective adoptive parent
Upto 2 years
Above 2 and Upto 4 years
Above 4 and upto 8 years
Above 8 and upto 18 years
Provided that the minimum age difference between the child and either of the prospective adoptive parents shall not be less than twenty five years.
- In case of couple, the composite age of the prospective adoptive parents will be counted.
- The age criteria for prospective adoptive parents will not be applicable in case of relative adoptions and adoption by step-parent.
- Couples with two or more children will only be considered for special needs children as specified in clause (25) of regulation 2, and hard to place children as stated in clause (13) of regulation 2 unless they are relatives or step-children.
- The prospective adoptive parents have to revalidate their Home study report after a period of three years.
- The seniority of the prospective adoptive parents who have not received a single referral within three years will be counted from their date of registration except those who have crossed composite years of one hundred ten years.
- Registration with CARINGS
- No objection certificate
- Pre-adoption foster care
- Legal procedure
- Passport, visa, conformity and birth certificates
- Follow-up progress
- Eligibility Certificate (depending on the agency and state guideline)
- Registration with CARINGS
- Pre-adoption foster care
- Court order
- Photographs of adoptive parents
(a) after 60 days, if the child is below five years of age;
(b) after 30 days, if the child is above five years of age or is a sibling;
(c) after 15 days, if the child has any mental illness or physical disability as listed in the guidelines.
NB: The time limits specified in the proviso are calculated from the date the certificate issued by the child welfare committee declaring the child as legally free for adoption is uploaded on CARINGS
Adoption queries and procedure for Resident Indians
- Register with CARINGS
- Upload the soft copies of ID proof, marriage certificate, proof of residence, family photograph and medical certificate
- CARA will mail you a registration number
- The agency that you have selected will then get in touch for a home study report
The report serves three purposes:
- Educate and prepare the prospective family for adoption
- Evaluate the capability and suitability of the prospective family to adopt
- Gather information about the prospective adoptive family that helps a social worker match the family with the child whose needs they best meet
Required documents to be submitted by adoptive parents at the time of registration
- Current family photograph/ photograph of person adopting a child
- Aadhar Card or Passport or Voter card or Driving License of the prospective adoptive parents or Birth Certificate or Overseas Citizen of India card of the prospective adoptive parents (if applicable) and PAN Card (if applicable).
- Proof of residence (Aadhar card/ voter card/ passport/ current electricity bill/ telephone bill)
- Proof of income of last year (salary slip/ income certificate issued by Govt. department/ income tax return)
- Certificate from a medical practitioner certifying that the prospective adoptive parents do not suffer from any chronic, contagious or fatal disease and they are fit to adopt (In the event of a married couple, upload the applicant’s respective medical certificate)
- Marriage certificate/Divorce Decree/Declaration from the competent court or affidavit on oath pertaining to divorce in case of divorce governed by personal law where decree of divorce is not mandatory/Death certificate of spouse whichever is applicable.
- Undertaking from the relative in case single prospective adoption parents (if applicable).
- Consent of the older child/children in the adoptive family.
- Autobiography of the parents adopting. Parents have to fill in part 1 of HSR: http://cara.nic.in/pdf/schedule/7.pdf
- Financial statements
- Three referral letters
- Undertaking letter (this might vary according to agency and state guidelines)
- Medical documents
- Police clearance (this might vary according to agency and state guidelines)
- The Home Study Report of the prospective adoptive parents will be prepared through the social worker of selected Specialised Adoption Agency or the empanelled social worker of the District Child Protection Unit or the State Adoption Resource Agency who shall be responsible for providing pre-adoption counselling to the prospective adoptive parents.
- The Home Study Report will be completed in the format given in Schedule VII, within sixty days from the date of submission of requisite documents and shall be shared with the prospective adoptive parents immediately, thereafter.
- The Home Study Report will be posted on the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System by the Specialised Adoption Agency within a period of three days from the date of completion of Home Study Report.
- The Home Study Report will remain valid for three years and shall be the basis for adoption of a child by the prospective adoptive parents from anywhere in the country.
- The District Child Protection Unit will facilitate online registration of application of prospective adoptive parents, uploading of their documents and also for addressing technical difficulties faced by the Specialised Adoption Agencies.
- The adoption of a child by the prospective adoptive parents, after completion of their Home Study Report, shall depend upon the availability of a suitable child.
- The District Child Protection Unit can facilitate the online registration of the application of the prospective parents and uploading of documents
- Also for addressing any difficulties faced by the specialised adoption agencies
- On the basis of seniority, the prospective adoptive parents will be referred maximum three referral with one month interval in between two consecutive referrals subject to availability of children through the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System which shall include the photographs, Child Study Report and Medical Examination Report, in their preference category, if any, from one or more Specialised Adoption Agencies
- After viewing the profile of the child or children on the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System, the prospective adoptive parents may reserve the child or children within a period of forty-eight hours for possible adoption and the unreserved child or children shall be released by the Designated Portal for other prospective adoptive parents in the waiting list.
- The Specialised Adoption Agency shall get the details of the prospective adoptive parents through the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System for fixing an appointment with the prospective adoptive parents for matching, to assess the suitability of the prospective adoptive parents by an Adoption Committee as defined in SUB-REGULATION (2) OF REGULATION 2 and the Adoption Committee shall prepare the minutes of the meeting as per format provided in Schedule XXVII.
- The child will be taken in pre-adoption foster care by the prospective adoptive parents within ten days from the date of matching, after signing the pre-adoption foster care undertaking in the format provided in Schedule VIII.
- The prospective adoptive parents will provide original documents or notarised or self-attested copy of the original documents to the Specialised Adoption Agency as provided in the Schedule IX.
- The reasons for not considering the child need to be clearly stated in the child adoption resource information and guidance system
- In case the adoption committee does not find the prospective adoptive parents suitable for a child, the reasons must be recorded in the child adoption resource information and guidance system
- In case the prospective adoptive parents do not accept the reserved child or the adoption committee does not find the prospective adoptive parents suitable, then the prospective adoptive parents are relegated to the bottom of the seniority list, as on that date. They may avail a fresh chance when the seniority becomes due and the same procedure is followed in the subsequent chances.
- If the grounds of rejection are found to be due to systemic error or on non-justifiable reasons, the seniority of the prospective adoptive parents is considered and retained
- The adoption process for children with special needs should be completed at the soonest by the agencies or the authorities concerned as soon as they are declared legally free for adoption
- Children with special needs are available for adoption to overseas citizens of India or foreign adoptive parents after 15 days of the date they are declared legally free for adoption
- Special care needs to be taken while processing the cases for adoption of children with special needs so that the prospective adoptive parents are aware of the exact medical condition of the child and are ready to provide extra care and attention that the child needs.
- Since it takes time for an older child to adjust with unrelated parents, it is important that the child and the prospective adoptive parents are made familiar with each other before s/he leaves the institution
- Under the supervision of the specialised adoption agency or authorised foreign adoption agency, the prospective adoptive parents can have interactions with older children through video calls or by any other means, even before taking custody. The prospective adoptive parents may be encouraged to spend some quality time with the child before s/he leaves the institution.
- Siblings and older children are available for adoption to resident and non-resident Indians (both spouses being Indian citizens) from the date child welfare committee declares them legally free for adoption. They become available for adoption to other categories of prospective adoptive parents 30 days after the date they are declared legally free for adoption.
Pre - Adoption Foster Care
Prospective adoptive parents can take a child into pre-adoption foster care within 10 days of the date of matching, after signing a pre-adoption foster care. They also will have to provide original documents or notarised copies
- he Specialised Adoption Agency will file an application with the District Magistrate of the district through District Child Protection Unit where the child is located, along with relevant documents as provided in the Schedule IX within ten days from the date of matching of the child with the prospective adoptive parents.
- The Specialised Adoption Agency will file an application in the office of the District Magistrate through District Child Protection Unit in the given format as provided in the Schedule XXVIII.
- In case the child is from a Child Care Institution, which is not a Specialised Adoption Agency and is located in another district, the Specialised Adoption Agency shall file the application in the office of the District Magistrate through District Child Protection Unit where the child is located and in such a case, the Child Care Institution will be a co-applicant along with the Specialised Adoption Agency and the Child Care Institution shall render necessary assistance to the Specialised Adoption Agency concerned.
- In case of siblings or twins, the Specialised Adoption Agency will file single application with the District Magistrate through District Child Protection Unit.
- The Specialised Adoption Agency shall not make any opposite party or respondent in the adoption application since an adoption case is non-adversarial in nature.
- The District Magistrate shall hold the adoption proceeding in-camera and dispose of the case as early as possible, not exceeding two months from the date of filing of the adoption application by the Specialised Adoption Agency, as provided under SUB-SECTION (2) OF SECTION 61.
- The adoptive parents will not be asked in the adoption order to execute any bond or make investment in the name of the child, considering the fact that their psycho-social profile and financial status have already been ascertained from the Home Study Report and other supporting documents.
- The Specialised Adoption Agency will obtain a certified copy of the adoption order from the District Magistrate through District Child Protection Unit and forward it to the prospective adoptive parents within ten days via e-mail and shall also upload it on the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System which could be downloaded by the prospective adoptive parents.
- The Specialised Adoption Agency will apply to the birth certificate issuing authority for obtaining the birth certificate of the child within five days from the date of issuance of adoption order, with the name of adoptive parents as parents, and date of birth as recorded in the adoption order and the same will be issued by the issuing authority within five days from the date of receipt of the application.
- The Specialised Adoption Agency will submit an affidavit to the District Magistrate while filing the application as provided in Schedule XXIII.
- In case the recognition of Specialised Adoption Agency has not been renewed or not likely to be renewed soon, then the District Child Protection Unit concerned shall directly file the application before the District Magistrate after completing its scrutiny.
- In case of inter-country adoptions, a no-objection certificate from the authority in the relevant country is required for obtaining an adoption order
- The case technically should be completed within two months of the date of the specialised adoption agency filing the adoption application
- The SAA forwards a copy of the order to the prospective adoptive parents within 10 days. It also forwards the relevant details to the child adoption resource information and guidance system.
- If the child is in pre-adoption foster care before filing the petition, the child is taken back by the specialised adoption agency after informing the district child protection unit
- If the child is in pre-adoption foster-care after the petition has been filed in court, the child is taken back by the specialised adoption agency and the adoption application is withdrawn from the court concerned with intimation to the district child protection unit
- If the child has been taken to another state during the adoption process, the repatriation of the child is coordinated by the state adoption resource agency in the state where the child is residing and the state of origin
- In case of dissolution, the application for the annulment of the adoption order has to be filed in the court which issued the adoption order
- After disruption or dissolution of adoption, the SAA has to update the status of the child as legally free for adoption in the child adoption resource information and guidance system.
- The prospective adoptive parents can approach an authorised foreign adoption agency or the concerned central authority to prepare their home study report and register it in the child adoption resource information and guidance system
- In case there is no authorised foreign adoption agency or central authority in the country where the prospective adoptive parents live, they can approach the concerned government department or Indian diplomatic mission in that country for the purpose
- The authority will check the home study report and other documents of the prospective adoptive parents to determine their eligibility. It will then be forwarded to the specialised adoption agency where children legally free for adoption are available
- The seniority of the prospective adoptive parents will be counted from the date of registration and uploading of requisite documents in the child adoption resource information and guidance system.
- The child adoption resource information and guidance system forwards profiles of two children, in one or two referral(s), to the authorised foreign adoption agency or central authority or government department or Indian diplomatic mission. This information is forwarded to the concerned prospective adoptive parents as per local rules.
- The specialised adoption agency forwards the child study report, medical examination report and photograph of the child in original to the authorised foreign adoption agency or concerned central authority or Indian diplomatic mission.
- The prospective adoptive parents may reserve one of the referred children within 96 hours while the profile of the other child is withdrawn
- In case the prospective adoptive parents fail to reserve either of the children within 96 hours, then the profiles of both the children is automatically withdrawn
- If the prospective adoptive parents reserve one of the children shown, they would have to accept the child by signing the child study report and medical examination report of the child within thirty days from the date of reservation
- In case the prospective adoptive parents fail to accept the reserved child within 30 days, then the profile of the child stands withdrawn by the child adoption resource information and guidance system
- The prospective adoptive parents are then relegated to the bottom of the list in seniority. They get another opportunity to reserve and accept a child when their turn becomes due, provided their home study report remains valid.
- A no-objection certificate is mandatory for foster care agreement. It is issued in favour of the prospective adoptive parents within 10 days of the date of acceptance of the child
- A letter of approval or permission of the receiving country as per the Hague Convention
- A copy of the no objection certificate is endorsed to all concerned parties and posted in the child adoption resource information and guidance system
- Once the adoption order is completed.
- The passport and visa are issued