Adoption, to put in simple terms, is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another. Unlike guardianship, where only the responsibility for care and protection are vested with the guardian, adoption implies that the adoptive child and adoptive parents shall have towards each other the relationship of parent-child will all rights and responsibility.
In India, the Central Adoption Resource Authority or CARA- an autonomous body under the Ministry of Women and Child Development acts as the Central Authority in matters concerning in-country and inter-country adoption. CARA is also designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter–country adoptions in accordance with the Hague Convention on Adoption 1993, which was ratified by India in 2003.
Accordingly guidelines for adoption of children have been framed and the procedure has been laid down. Parents of foreign origin desirous of adopting a child must obtain permission of the concerned authority in their home country for adopting a child from India and make an application through an Enlisted Foreign Adoption Agency (EFAA). The EFAA is an adoption agency in the home country of the parents, authorized by and enlisted with the CARA for the purpose of inter-country adoption. Upon receiving an application, the EFAA will prepare a Home Study Report (HSR) detailing marital status, stability of relationship, economic stability, standard of living and other criteria of the adoptive parents before forwarding it to the Recognized Indian Placement Agencies (RIPA), which are Child Welfare Organizations authorized by CARA for placement of Indian children in inter country adoption. The application must be accompanied by other documents mentioned in Annexure 2 of the guidelines.
Upon receiving such an application, the RIPA will make attempts to match a child who is legally free for inter country adoption. A child is legally free for inter country adoption, if within a period of 30 days, the Adoption Coordination Agency or ACA is unable to match such a child with suitable Indian parents and the ACA certifies the same. The RIPA will thereafter forward the application along with the clearance certificate from the ACA and other documents prescribed in Annexure 3 to the CARA for a No Objection Certificate (NOC).
On being satisfied of the application, CARA will issue an NOC within a period of 15 days to the RIPA. After receiving the NOC, the RIPA shall file a petition before the competent court for adoption. The court may thereafter place the child with the Foreign Prospective Adoptive Parents (FPAP). As per the directions of the Supreme Court, such a petition must be disposed off within a period of 2 months. Subsequently the RIPA shall apply to the regional passport authority for the issuance of an Indian Passport. The passport authority may issue the same within a period of 10 days after which Visa/ entry permits shall be obtained from the concerned embassy. The adoptive parents shall thereafter accompany the child to their home country.
Authored by
Naqsha H Biliangady
Mento Associates