NOTE: The following is a simplified guide to the adoption process. It is not intended to be a comprehensive source of information. Please visit for the latest detailed adoption guidelines.

CARA is designated the central authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Adoption Convention, which was ratified by India in 2003

Terms used in adoption

Adoption committee

It is a committee consisting of the authorised office-bearer of the Specialised Adoption Agency concerned, its visiting doctor or a medical officer from a government hospital and one official from the District Child Protection Unit. It should include a representative of the Child Care Institution in case the adoption is from a child care institution other than the specialised adoption agency.


  • It is a statutory body under the Union for Women & Child Development, Government of India
  • It functions as the nodal body for the adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions
  • CARA primarily deals with the adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated/ recognized adoption agencies

SAA: Specialised Adoption Agency

  • Any child care institution is required to be recognised as a Specialised Adoption Agency to place children in in-country and inter-country adoptions by the state government concerned
  • The SAA facilitates the placement of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children in adoption
  • The SAA facilitates the Home Study Report and facilitates adoptions through the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System or CARINGS

State Adoption Resource Agency

  • The State Adoption Resource Agency functions as the executive arm of the state government for the promotion, facilitation, monitoring and regulation of the adoption programme in the state.

District Child Protection Unit

  • It identifies orphan, abandoned and surrendered children in the district and gets them declared legally free for adoption by a Child Welfare Committee with the help of the SAA or the child care institution
  • It tracks the progress of application of each Prospective Adoptive Parent registered with CARINGS for adopting a child, or children, from the district.

Child Welfare Committee

  • The district child protection unit works along with the child welfare committee to declare the abandoned children legally free for adoption, including publishing information about the child in a newspaper, obtaining a social investigation report from the probation officer and a non-traceable report from the police with the help of the SAA.
  • The CWC uploads the certificate of the child welfare committee declaring him or her legally free for adoption on CARINGS

Regional passport officer

  • Based on the application made along with the required documents, pursuant to the adoption order issued by the court, the regional passport officer has to issue a passport to an adopted child within 10 of the date of receipt of such application, in accordance with circulars issued by the central government in the Ministry of External Affairs regarding issuing of passports to inter-country adopted children, from time to time.

Foreigner regional registration office

  • It can exempt the issue of exit visa to the adopted child travelling out of the country having a No-Objection Certificate and Conformity Certificate (required only in the cases of Hague Adoption Convention-ratified countries) from the authority and adoption order from the competent court

Indian diplomatic missions abroad in inter-country adoption

  • They have to facilitate inter-country adoptions by liaising with the concerned central or public authorities to safeguard children of Indian origin adopted by Non-Resident Indian, Overseas Citizen of India or foreign parents against neglect, maltreatment, exploitation or abuse.

Birth certificate-issuing authority

The local registrar, notified under the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 (18 of 1969), has to issue a birth certificate within five working days in favour of an adopted child on an application filed by the SAA or adoptive parents. It has to incorporate the names of the adoptive parents as parents and the date of birth of the child as mentioned in the adoption order of the court, in accordance with circulars issued from time to time by the Registrar General of India.

Adoption fee

It refers to the fee as prescribed by the authority to be received from the prospective adoptive parents directly, in case they are living in India and through an authorised foreign adoption agency or central authority or the government department in inter-country adoptions


The Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System is an online information system for facilitating, guiding and monitoring the adoption programme

Child legally free for adoption

A child is deemed legally free for adoption when he or she is declared as such by the child welfare committee as per the format provided in the guidelines.

Child study report

This contains details about the child, including the date of birth and social background as per the format provided in the guidelines.


This refers to the child not being able to adjust with the adoptive family after placement but prior to the completion of the legal process of adoption


This refers to the legal annulment of the adoption on account of the child not being able to adjust in the adoptive family after they have obtained the court decree for adoption

Hague Adoption Convention

It refers to the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of Inter-Country Adoption)

Home Study Report

Such a report contains details of the prospective adoptive parents, including their social and economic status, family background, description of home and atmosphere, health status as per the format provided in the guidelines.

In-country adoption

It refers to adoption of a child by a citizen of India living in the country

Medical Examination Report

It is an account of the health condition of a child prepared by a duly licensed physician in the format provided in the guidelines.

No Objection Certificate

Such a certificate is issued by the authority permitting the child to be placed for adoption with foreign or overseas citizen of India or non-resident Indian prospective adoptive parents

Pending Adoptions

It refers to those adoptions where the prospective adoptive parents are already registered for adoption or who have accepted the referral of a child by an SAA or child care institution before the expiry, suspension or withdrawal of recognition of such SAA or child care institution

Pre- adoption foster care

It refers to the stage when the prospective adoptive parents are given temporary custody of a child, till the competent court grants the adoption order

Special Needs child

It refers to a child who is mentally ill or physically challenged or both as specified in the guidelines.


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