CARA Guidelines for Adoption Process
Below you will find the Guidelines to the inter-country adoption process from India.
This information comes from the CARA website which can be found here.
The authorities/agencies involved in Inter-country adoption will be
- Competent Court
- Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)
- Central Authority in the receiving Country (CA)
- Indian Diplomatic Missions Abroad
- Foreign Diplomatic Missions in India
- Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency (AFAA)
- State Adoption Resource Agency (SARA)
- Recognised Indian Placement Agency (RIPA)
- Adoption Recommendation Committee (ARC)
- Adoption Coordinating Agency (ACA)
Stage I : Registration for NRI/OCI/PIO/Foreign PAP(s)
a) PAP(s) desiring to adopt child/children from India may register with the Authorized Foreign Adoption Agency (AFAA) or Central Authority/Government Department dealing with adoption matters in the receiving country.
b) The PAP(s), with the help of AFAA/CA should obtain the permission of the competent authority of their country for adopting a child from India.
Stage II : Home Study and Other requirements
a) A professional social worker of the AFAA or Central Authority/Government Department dealing with adoption matters in the country of the habitual residence(365 days or more) of the PAP(s), shall conduct their Home Study and shall prepare the HSR. The HSR shall contain all documents as prescribed in Annexure-VII).
b) All documents forming part of the Home Study Report should be notarized and the signature of the notary is to be apostilled by competent authority of the receiving country. If the documents are in any language other than English, then the originals must be accompanied by translations in English attested by competent authority
c) The HSR of PAP(s) shall remain valid for a period of two years. However, the medical status of the PAP(s) should not be more than one year old at the time of referral of the child.
d) The Home Study Report should also indicate preferences, if any, of the PAP(s) about the child’s age, sex, physical/medical condition, or location within India.
Stage III: Identification of RIPA by CARA
a) The AFAA/CA/concerned Government Department of the receiving country shall forward one attested/notarized copy of the HSR(not original) directly to CARA for identifying a suitable RIPA. The AFAA/CA/concerned Government Department of the receiving country, as the case may be, may indicate their preference for a particular RIPA(s), if any. However, indicating a preference will not be an assurance that the dossier will be sent to the RIPA indicated by them.
b) CARA shall have a Screening Committee to examine the prima facie suitability of PAPs proposed for inter-country adoption. This Committee, headed by an official of CARA, shall also consist of:
- A child development expert/psychologist
- Legal expert
- Professional Social Worker
- Medical expert
c) If, prima-facie, CARA finds the PAP(s) suitable, it shall identify a suitable RIPA within a period of fifteen days keeping in mind the request of the PAP(s), preference for a particular RIPA(s) ,availability of children and performance of the RIPA vis-à-vis in-country adoptions, etc . CARA reserves the right to forward the dossiers to any of the RIPAs as per decision of the Screening Committee.
d) The identified RIPA shall be informed by CARA. CARA shall also advise the concerned AFAA/CA/Government Department to send the original dossier to the identified RIPA.
e) Identification of RIPA by CARA will in no way ensure referral of a child from India. It will not be obligatory on CARA to ensure referral of a child.
f) RIPA shall not entertain any application received directly from any AFAA or CA or PAPs from out of India, for adoption of an Indian child.
Stage IV : Referral and Acceptance
a) RIPA shall be responsible for assigning, referral and placement of the child.
b) In case a RIPA does not find the PAP(s) suitable after detailed scrutiny of their dossier, it shall, within 15 days of receipt of the original dossier, inform CARA about the same along with the reasons thereof.
c) After detailed scrutiny of the dossier and their acceptance as eligible PAPs, the RIPA shall match a child according to the request given by the PAP(s) as far as possible.
d) The RIPA shall forward the referral constituting CSR and MER of the child to the AFAA/CA/concerned Government Department of the receiving country.
e) AFAA/CA/concerned Government Department of the receiving country shall transmit the referral to the PAP for acceptance.
f) On acceptance of the child by the PAP(s), the AFAA/CA/concerned Government Department of the receiving country shall send back the original copy of the “referral for adoption” to RIPA, along with the following documents:
(i) Notarized/ attested copy of the CSR and MER duly signed by PAP(s), and;
(ii) Power of attorney in favour of the official/social worker of RIPA for filing the case in the court.
(iii) A certificate under Article 5 or agreement under Article 17 of the Hague Convention, as applicable, issued by the CA/competent authority of the receiving country
This process shall be completed by the AFAA/CA within 45 days of the receipt of the referral.
Stage V : Recommendation for Inter-country Adoption by ARC
a) The State shall constitute a Committee to scrutinise and issue Recommendation Certificate for placement of a child in inter-country adoption. This Committee would be designated as Adoption Recommendation Committee (ARC) and would consist of Director/Commissioner of the State Deptt. dealing with children in need of care & protection or his representative, Programme Manager(Non-institutional care-SARA) and one external child expert/ Psychologist who has no linkage with any adoption agency. Till SARA is operational in the state, the chairperson of ACA or his representative will be part of the Committee (in place of Programme Manager) along with the other members as stated above.
b) On receipt of referral accepted by the PAPs, the RIPA shall forward two copies of the dossier which includes HSR of the PAPs and the CSR (including MER) duly signed by the PAPs to SARA/ACA alongwith a cheque/draft of Rs.2,500/- favouring SARA/ACA. This amount would be utilised for processing the dossiers, payment to external experts and for other adoption promotion activities.
c) The dossier shall contain all documents as stated in Annexure-XI along with affidavit on stamp paper by the RIPA (as per format in Annexure-XII).
d) SARA would act as a secretariat to this committee. It shall receive the dossiers of cases for inter country adoptions from the RIPA and put up the same before the ARC for issue of Recommendation certificate. Till SARA becomes operational in the State, the ACA would perform this function.
e) The SARA/ACA shall ensure that the recommendation certificate is issued expeditiously within a period of 15 days from date of receipt of dossier.
f) In case of a special needs child, the SARA/ACA should issue the Recommendation Certificate within a period of 5 days from receipt of dossier,. In case of medical special needs, the SARA/ACA may ask the RIPA to get a Certificate from the Government Medical Officer.
g) In case of siblings and older children, the procedure and time limit specified in sub para (d) shall apply.
h) The Committee constituted for issue of Recommendation certificate should satisfy itself about the suitability of the PAPs vis-a-vis the child proposed for adoption. It shall also verify the documents filed by the RIPA and ensure that procedures have been correctly followed by the RIPA. In case, at any stage, SARA/ACA/ARC is not satisfied with the documents produced for obtaining recommendation certificate, it shall conduct appropriate investigation before disposing off the matter.
i) The Recommendation Certificate (RC) issued by the Committee shall contain a positive recommendation that the Committee has no objection to the child being placed with the proposed PAPs in inter-country adoption. (Annexure-XIII)
Stage VI : Issue of No Objection Certificate (NOC) by CARA
a) Upon issue of recommendation certificate by the Adoption Recommendation Committee, the SARA shall retain one copy of the dossier and send the second set of dossier along with recommendation certificate to CARA. Till SARA becomes operational in the State, the ACA would perform this function. A copy of the RC shall also be sent to the concerned RIPA.
b) CARA shall constitute a ‘No Objection Certificate (NOC) Committee’ which would include at least one external expert in the field of child development/ psychology/social work. This committee would be responsible for issuing ‘No Objection Certificate’ in each case of inter-country adoption.
c) The NOC Committee constituted by CARA shall examine the relevant documents submitted by the RIPA and verify that due procedures as laid down in these guidelines have been followed. The committee shall also examine whether matching and placement of the child with PAPs is in the best interest of the child.
d) After approval of the proposal by the NOC Committee, the NOC would be issued in each case.
e) CARA reserves the right to reject any case for inter country adoption which is not found suitable by the NOC Committee by recording reasons for the same.
f) The process for issue of NOC would be completed within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of completed dossier in CARA.
g) NOC would be issued in accordance with Article 17 of the Hague Convention.
h) A copy of the NOC issued by CARA shall be mailed to RIPA and a copy thereof to SARA/ACA, AFAA/CA/concerned Government Department of the receiving country.
Stage VII: Pre-adoption Foster Care
(a) The child can be given in physical custody by the RIPA to the PAP(s) in pre-adoption foster care only after issue of NOC by CARA.
b) The adoption agency in India shall inform the PAPs that such foster care shall have to continue till such time that the final adoption order is issued. The child in foster care, shall under no circumstances, be returned to the adoption agency by the PAPs for temporary care unless there is a disruption and the PAPs do not wish to go ahead with the adoption.
c) The Indian adoption agency before physically entrusting the child to PAPs shall inform them that the adoption process may take more than the stipulated period, so as to enable the PAPs to take an informed decision regarding taking the child in foster care.
d) The PAPs shall not be allowed to take the child out of the city without the written permission of the concerned Indian adoption agency.
e) The PAPs would be required to produce a certificate from the competent authority of the receiving country permitting them to take the child in foster care. The PAP(s) shall also be required to sign a foster care affidavit stating that they would not leave the country without valid court order.
Stage VIII : Filing of the Petition in the Court
a) Within 05 days of receipt of NOC from CARA, RIPA shall proceed to obtain a Court Order from the competent court in India along with the requisite documents as prescribed in Annexure-VIII. RIPA shall not file an application in the competent court for inter-country adoption without “NOC” from CARA .
b) Inter-country adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children shall proceed under the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act 2000, as amended in 2006.
c) In accordance with the directions of the Honourable Supreme Court of India in the case of L.K.Pandey vs Union of India(WP No 1171 of 1982), the competent Court shall dispose off the case within a maximum period of 2 months from the date of filing.
d) As each case for inter-country adoption will be processed by CWC, State Government through the ARC and CARA, the competent court may, to the extent possible, dispose of the case in the first hearing itself in the best interest of the child.
e) The RIPA shall forward a copy of the court order and the adoption deed to CARA/SARA/ACA/AFAA/CA.
f) On receipt of the Court Order, CARA shall issue a Conformity Certificate (CC) under Article 23 as per provisions of the Hague Convention. (Annexure-XIV).
Stage IX : Passport and Visa
a) No orphan, abandoned, surrendered child who has been adopted shall be allowed to leave the country without a valid NOC from CARA.
b) The RIPA shall apply for passport for the adopted child after the court order is received. The application shall include documents mentioned in Para 6.8 of these Guidelines.
c) The concerned authorities shall expeditiously (maximum of ten days in case of passport) issue the passport/visa to enable the adopted child to leave with
his/her adoptive parents to their habitual place of residence(Reference Circular No VI/401/118/2000 dtd 3.1.2001 of Ministry of External Affairs).
Stage X : Child travels with adoptive parents
The adoptive parent/parents shall have to come to India and accompany the child back to their country.
Stage XI : Progress Reports
The AFAA/CA/concerned Government Department of the receiving country shall keep CARA and concerned RIPA informed about the progress of placement through quarterly post-placement reports during the first year and half yearly reports during the second year of the child’s arrival in the receiving country. Such follow-up shall continue upto a period of two years after the child acquires citizenship of the receiving country (Annexure-XV).
All agencies and authorities involved in the adoption process shall adhere to Time lines stipulated for in-country adoption as provided at Annexure-IX.