Are You Planning To Adopt A Child? Check Out These Rules & Regulations
Created by Urvashi Shah Updated on Feb 07, 2018
Parenting is a blissful life long journey to loving and caring for a younger one. The significance of a family is very essential in the early years of a child’s development. Adoption provides a home where orphans can get the needed love and care of a family.
A number of people lately are considering adopting a child for various reasons, which enables the destitute children seek love and affection and also learn the value of a family. In recent times the adoption laws have been through various courses of changes in India. Here are a few rules you need to know if you are considering to adopt a child.
Things to remember before adopting a child in India-
- You need to first register for adoption with either an Adoption Coordinating Agency (ACA) which is found in every state’s capital city, or an agency certified by the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) in New Delhi. CARA is a division of the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- You can confront issues with the law if you adopt from unlicensed orphanages, streets, doctors, hospitals, social workers or lawyers. This can also bring a further trouble with the birth parent or exploitation by middlemen.
- Children who are adopted illegally are at times denied rights of inheritance and benefits by the extended family once the adoptive parents pass away or get divorced.
A look on the basic child adoption process in India-
- Prospective parents need to register at a licensed adoption placement agency or ACA with all the required documents. Pre-adoptive counselling may be suggested.
- The waiting period begins once the agency’s social worker has cleared the home study report.
- Once the agency identifies a suitable child, they will get in touch with the prospective parents and arrange a meeting with the child.
- If the parents approve of the child, some agencies may hand over the child as soon as a foster care agreement is signed.
- The agency’s lawyer files a petition to adopt on behalf of the couple with the Court or Juvenile Justice Board, depending on the law under which the adoption will take place. An order for execution of the adoption deed is then granted.
- The agency representative and the parents register the adoption deed at the Registrar’s as proof of the completion of the adoption, and then apply for the birth certificate.,/li>
FAQ’s about child adoption process in India-
Do adoption procedures in India differ from one state to another?
Adoption laws being common across the country, there are certain guidelines which do differ from state to state. While most laws being similar throughout the country, you can come across more legal paper works that you had initially been informed of. You are allowed to adopt from any Indian state but your home study will be done by the ACA of the state you currently reside in.
Is there a minimum/maximum age limit for prospective adoptive parents in India?
Yes, the adoptive parent and the child should have an age difference of at least 21 years or more. Couples with a combined age of less than 90 (with neither spouse older than 45 years) are eligible to adopt an infant. For older and special needs children, the agency has the discretion to relax the age limit for the prospective parent up to 55 years. Most agencies require a couple to be married for at least 5 years in order to adopt a child.
Can I adopt if I already have a child?
Yes, but the gender of the child becomes a factor to consider here. The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 (HAMA, under which Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists and Arya Samaj adopt) allows you to adopt a child of the opposite gender to the one you already have. There are no such diktats under the other 2 adoption laws, namely the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 (GAWA) and the Juvenile Justice Act (JJA 2000, amended in 2006), which has enabled many Indians to adopt a child of the same gender. If you already have a child of your own, who is old enough, he/she will be asked to express his/her views about adoption of another child in writing.
Is there a minimum income needed to for adopting a child?
Yes, as per CARA, a couple must have a minimum average monthly income of Rs.3000 in order to adopt a child. A couple with lower income may be considered considering other assets such as your own house etc.
Does adoption ensure the same legal rights as for a biological child?
Under HAMA, a child adopted by the couple has the same rights as a child born to those parents. Neither the adoptive parents nor the child to be adopted can overturn the valid adoption. Adoptions under the GAWA only appoints the couple as guardians and the child as a ward and do not grant permanent rights to name, religion, maintenance or inheritance.
Can a single/divorced woman adopt?
Yes, under HAMA, a female Hindu who has never married, has divorced or been widowed, can adopt a son or a daughter. She will however have to show an additional family support system and have to appoint a guardian for her child in case of her untimely death.
Can a single/divorced man adopt?
Yes, as per CARA a single/divorced man can only adopt a male child.
How can one find the status of one’s application for adopting a child?
You need to keep in regular touch with the adoption agency or the ACA you registered with for frequent knowing about the process. As per CARA, the agency must wind up the home study within 3 months since the date of registration. You also have complete rights to know about any delays or any developments from the agency.
How can I determine the health of the child shown to me?
Prospective adoptive parents have complete rights to take the child to be adopted for a full check-up to an independent paediatrician. All CARA-certified agencies run HIV and Hepatitis B tests on the children in their care. The agency also must provide any non-identifying details about the child’s and the birth parents’ medical history, if known to the adoptive parents. Additionally, the adoptive parents will be handed over any medical bills and records in the child’s name.
Adoption is a simple, private and a legal process in India. But you should carefully study all the rules and regulations before initiating the procedure in order to avoid any sort of discomfort to yourselves and even the child.
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| Feb 09, 2018