The adoption process if you use IAC as agency
If you are looking to adopt from India then you should consider the service that the Inter-country Adoption Centre is offering.
The Inter-country Adoption Centre situated in Barnet, North London, is the only 'foreign adoption agency' in the UK and it only facilitates adoptions from India. They call it a 'Linking Service'. This service has only come into effect since 6 June 2011 and is already is proving to be very popular.
Not everyone can qualify for IAC service. There are certain criteria that you need to meet. You have to:
- Live within the boundaries of a Local Authority in England
- Fulfil the adoption eligibility criteria of both India and England (including those laid down by the Home Office Borders and Immigration Agency)
- Are not adopting a named child (ie. someone known to you)
- Agree to work exclusively with IAC
Although there is a fee applicable for this service, the IAC is not able to guarantee either a placement or a time frame for the placement to take place.
On your first enquiry to the IAC for information about their service you will be sent an information pack which outlines how the process works.
After reading this and deciding to go ahead you will complete an 'ILS Initial Interest Form' which you will send back to the centre.
You will then be invited to attend a meeting, either in a group or individually, at their offices in Barnet.
This information meeting will cover:
- Adoption eligibility and suitability criteria of both England and India
- The adoption process in detail
- Your understanding of adoptions and adoption process from India in both short and long-term
- Information about the children available including age, background and characteristics
If you wish to use the services of IAC then you will book an 'Intake Interview' with the ILS (India Linking Service) social worker and pay a fee of £250.
This interview should take place early on in your adoption process and before the completion of your Home Study
For this interview you will need to take your passport for identification purposes and documentary evidence of your Immigration Status or Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) status if necessary.
You will then need to register by completing the IAC ILS Registration Form giving a brief profile of you and your family, with an initial payment of £1000.
At this time you will need to give the linking service consent to contact the local authority who is doing your Home Study and they will inform them that you will be using the linking service.
As soon as you have a date for your Panel let the linking service know so they can begin moving on the paperwork.
You will be invited to attend another meeting where you will enter into a written agreement with IAC to facilitate your adoption of a child from India.
You will then have to pay the second fee as well as a fee for future required post placement reports.
The written agreement outlines the agreement between yourselves and the agency and the fact that you will not use someone else at the same time as using the linking service. IAC promises to act according to their procedures and practice and will liase with the authorities in India on your behalf; as well as your local authorities. You agree to pay fees as stated with the understanding that the agreement does not guarantee the ultimate placement of a child. If you are successful with adopting a child you commit to fulfilling the Indian authorities requirements for post placement reports and that you will comminssion and paay IAC to prepare these reports.
After all the paperwork has been completed then you will attend a one day workshop on Adopting from India in Barnet.
The workshop will outline the adoption process and procedures and will give you advice on travel, introductions, preparing a life book as well as introducing you to an adult adoptee from India who can answer some of your questions.
Making the link with RIPAs and CARA
You are allocated a social worker who will be your contact person for all communications with Department of Education, CARA and RIPAs. She will collate all the relevent paperwork that is involved between these agents, and maintain continual communication between you and them.
The linking service works in different regions of India, and your child may come from these regions, but not exclusively, as CARA may refer a child from another region. If you would like to adopt from a specific region then this will be taken into consideration. Your social worker will send your profile to India and the RIPAs with whom they are working.
Your adoption will be processed in date order, taking the date IAC recieves the contract and payment of your application.
If you have any significant change of circumstances that may affect your adoption you must let the linking service know as soon as possible. (A significant change of circumstance include serious illness, pregnancy, change of employment, redundancy, criminal charges or any
other situation which may impact upon your eligibility or suitability)
A review of your application and suitabiltiy will be carried out on an annual basis. It is possible that at this time a new medical and CRB will need to be undertaken so that it is less than a year old at the time of filing the adoptoin petition in the Indian courts.The linking service will liaise with your local authority/assessing agency on these aspects.
The time line for finding your child in India can be relatively long. To make this wait less stressful and isolating you will be invited from time to attend Waiting Adopters' workshops.
Finding your child
The IAC will be involved with your RIPA in identifying your child.
When a child has been identified the linking service will share with you his or her medical and social reports as well as the opinion of IAC's Medical Advisor the health and development of the child. You will have the opportuntiy to discuss the proposed match with the linking social worker and your local authorities social worker may also be present.
If you and the RIPA agree that the match is acceptable, and the linking service are happy that the adoption should proceed - you will be invited to meet the child in India.
Meeting your Child
You and your partner will travel out to India to meet your child.
The linking service will liaise with the RIPAs and will be involved with helping you make your travel arrangements to meet your child.
When you meet your child and decide that you would like to adopt him or her you will notify IAC in writing that you would like to go ahead with the adoption.
The linking service will formally notify the Dept of Education and will begin to process the adoption.
Each region in India has a different process in regard to adoption and for the amount of time you will spend in India. Generally you would be expected to travel twice to India and IAC will confirm the exact procedure at the time of you agreeing to adopt your child.
Depending on your court order and your nationality, you will be advised as to whether your child requires a visa or you can immediately apply for a British Passport. The linking service will let you know the procedure and the time line.
You could also obtain up-to-date
information from the Home Office website http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk
You should confirm with IAC the date of the Court Order in India, the date of the child’s placement with you and the date of your proposed return to the UK. We also ask that you notify IAC that you have returned to England with the child within three days of your arrival. If you have not been granted a full and final order by the Indian court, you are also required to inform the local authority where you live within three days of your arrival in England, and within 14 days of your arrival you must advise your local authority in writing of your intention to adopt the child.
Adoption Support following placement
Following the child’s arrival in England, IAC ILS undertakes one home visit to meet with you and your child.
If the adoption is a full Convention Adoption, there is no further statutory work necessary in the UK. However, as per the undertaking to the Indian Court, IAC will be required to complete the post placement reports as stipulated in the court order or by CARA. If an entrustment has been granted, then the Local Authority has a duty to monitor the child’s placement with you. In these situations IAC may undertake this work as well, if the Local Authority had commissioned IAC to carry out these duties on their behalf, otherwise this will fall to your Local Authority. IAC will however complete the post placement reports and will be required to visit you and your child in addition to any Local Authority monitoring visits.
IAC will require all adopters to whom it provides an ILS to commission IAC to provide progress reports in a timely fashion as required by the Indian authorities.
As part of the assessment package, intercountry adopters are offered one workshop free of charge if they attend within two years of placement.
Adopters are also encouraged to join support groups like asha for adoptive parents and adopted people from India.
Confidentiality and Security of Information
Adoption Agencies are required by Regulation to adhere to strict rules concerning confidentiality and security of information received from and about users of their services.
The information received in connection with an application will be treated in the strictest confidence and stored securely in your and your child’s individual case file.
Intercountry Adoption Centre Adoption Agency will not disclose any identifying information about you to third parties without your permission, unless such disclosure is required by Regulation.
• Offering information and assisting you where necessary, with the paperwork for entry clearance or British passport and exit clearance from India.
• Offering information on the adoption support available to you in England after adoption, both through IAC and through services offered by your Local
Authority and other Adoption Support agencies.
• Processing relevant paperwork in relation to the match in connection with notifications required by DfE and statutory notifications as required under
regulation (including to Local Authority, GP, PCT and Education if child is of school age).