How to adopt a child in India - procedures, rules, and regulations, step by step guide

Parentune Support

Created by Parentune Support
Updated on Jun 03, 2022

How to adopt a child in India procedures rules and regulations step by step guide

In recent years, adoption has become more common in India. In most cases, parents adopt either because they cannot have their own children or to support a neglected or abandoned child. Read on to know everything about how to adopt a child in India.

What is adoption?

Adoption is the permanent transfer of all parental rights from one person or couple to another person or couple. Adoptive parent rights are the same as those of a biological parent. Additionally, adopted children have all of the same emotional, social, legal, and kinship benefits as biological children.

Adoption in India

 Adoption is possible in India under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956 and the Guardian and Wards Act of 1890. Adoption is addressed in Indian law only under Hindu law. Adoption is not allowed in the personal laws of Muslims, Christians, Parsis, or Jews. However, the Guardianship and Wardship Act, 1890, may allow them to procure guardianship of a child.

Who Is Eligible To Adopt A Child In India?

Indian citizens, NRIs, and foreigners go through different procedures for adopting a child. Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is responsible for monitoring and regulating in-country and intra-country adoptions in India. It is under the Ministry of women and child welfare. 

To adopt a child, you must meet certain essential conditions:

  • Parents should meet CARA guidelines on the day of registration.

  • If a couple wants to adopt a child, they should have been married for two years and both agree to the adoption.

  • Children and their adoptive parents should have at least a 25-year age difference.

  • A stable mental, physical, and emotional state are essential for adoptive parents.

  • Financial stability is a must for adoptive parents.

  • Neither of the adoptive parents should suffer from any potentially life-threatening illnesses.

  • Couples with three or more children are ineligible to adopt, except in cases of special needs children.

  • Female singles can adopt either a boy or a girl, however, a male single cannot adopt a girl.

  • A single parent should not be older than 55 years old.

  • Couples' cumulative ages should not exceed 110 years.

When can A Child be Eligible To Be Adopted?

A child must be "legally free" to be adopted. In India, any orphan, abandoned, or surrendered child, declared legally free for adoption by the child welfare committee, is eligible for adoption. However, it is only after the police have reported that the child's parents cannot be traced that the child is considered legally free for adoption.

How To Adopt A Child In India- Step By Step Guide

  1. Registration: Adoptive parents are required to get registered with an authorized agency

  2.  Home study and counseling: In order to do a home study, the adoption agency's social worker visits the adoptive parents' home. There might also be a counseling session.

  3. Referring a child: When a child is available for adoption, the agency will inform interested couples. Medical reports, physical examination reports, and other relevant information are shared by the agency with the couple.

  4. Adoption of the child: If the parents are comfortable with the child, they need to sign certain documents.

  5. Filing the petition: Family lawyers prepare a petition to be presented to the court after they receive the necessary documents. Once the petition is completed, the adoptive parents need to appear in court and sign it before the court officer.

  6. Pre-adoption foster care: Before taking the child home, the prospective adoptive parents take the child to a pre-adoption foster care facility to get to know how the child behaves.

  7. Court hearing: During a court hearing, the parents and their child attend a closed room hearing where the judge may ask a few questions and mention the amount that needs to be invested for the child's benefit. Once the receipt for the investment is presented to the judge, the adoption order will be passed


Following the adoption, the agency will be required to submit follow-up reports to the court regarding the child's well-being for a period of 1-2 years.


Thank you for reading this guide to child adoption in India. Hope this step-by-step guide was helpful. 


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