Adopting a child in India is a long and arduous process despite seeming easy.

The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body of the Government of India mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions. CARA primarily deals with the adoption of orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children and is the central authority to deal with inter-country adoption according to The Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoptions (1993).

Here are rules for Non-Resident Indians (NRI’s) to adopt a child in India.

(Below information updated in April, 2018)

1. Prospective adoptive parents should be physically, mentally and emotionally stable, financially capable, motivated to adopt a child and should not have any life-threatening medical condition.

2. An adoptive father, irrespective of his marital status and whether or not he has his own biological son or daughter, can adopt a child.

3. A single woman is eligible to adopt a child of any gender.

4. A single man is not eligible to adopt a girl.

5. In the case of a couple, the consent of both spouses is required.

6. No child shall be given in adoption unless the couple has at least two years in a stable marital relationship.

7. The minimum age difference between the child and either of the prospective adoptive parents should not be less than 25 years.

8. The parent’s age on the date of registration shall be considered to apply for children of different age groups. 

9. For a child up to the age of four years, the maximum combined age of parents allowed is 90 and of a single adoptive parent 45. 

10. For four to eight-year-olds, the maximum combined age of parents allowed is 100 and a single parent 50; while from eight to 18 years of age, the age for both parents can be 110 years, or a single parent can be 55 years. 

11. Couples with more than four children will not be considered for adoption.

12. To simplify procedures, federal guidelines in 2015 mandate that instead of parents contacting different state adoption agencies, there is direct communication via an online system. 

13. Couples select the state, male or female child, normal or child with disability, on the Central Adoption Resource Authority portal before being offered options of six children and are then directed to agencies.

14. Parents can register on the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System online.

Source: Central Adoption Resource Authority, (CARA) Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.

Read the story of The Woman Behind Two Thousand Adoptions.

Also watch A Sit Down with Omana Menon – Adoption veteran offers couples advice on the adoption process.

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