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Procedure to adopt a child in India

By Garima Singh August 04, 2016


In India the adoption procedure is governed by various statutes and guidelines provided by the Central government. These statues and guidelines have extensive provisions covering precise and clear definition of adoption, who can be adopted, who can adopt to the rights of the adopted child and other related provisions. Currently the laws of adoption are governed by personal laws as well as other statutes such as Guardian and Wards Act, 1890, The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children, 2015, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.However, in this blog post, we shall discuss the adoption procedure irrespective of the personal laws. This blog post will talk about the guidelines provided by the Central Government in 2015.

What does adoption mean?

Adoption is the process through which a child becomes the lawful child of his adoptive parents. He will have all the rights, privileges and responsibility of a biological child.

Who can be adopted?

According to Section 4 of the latest guidelines provided by the Central Government in 2015 any orphan, abandoned or surrendered child, declared legally free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee is eligible for adoption.

An orphan is a child who is without his legal parents or guardian or his parents are not capable of taking care of him.

An abandoned child is one who is deserted or unaccompanied by his parents or guardians and the Child Welfare Committee has declared him so.

A surrendered child is one who is relinquished on account of physical, emotional and social factors beyond the control of the parent or legal guardian and is so declared by the Child Welfare Committee.

Who can adopt?

  • Any Indian, NRI or foreign citizen can adopt a child, though the procedure for all three is different.
  • Any male or female irrespective of their marital status is eligible to adopt.
  • A single female can adopt a child of any gender but a single male cannot adopt a girl child.
  • If a couple is adopting, they should have two years of stable marriage and consent of both the spouses is necessary.
  • Age difference should not be less than 25years between the adoptive parents and the adoptive child.

Conditions to be fulfilled

  • The prospective parents should be emotionally, mentally and physically stable.
  • They should be financially capable to raise a child.
  • They should not have more than four kids.
  • They should not be suffering from a life threatening disease.

What is CARA?

Central adoption resource authority (CARA) is the nodal agency to regulate adoption for in-country and intra-country. It is a statutory body of the Government of India working under the Ministry of Women & Child Development. It deals with adoption of children through special recognised agencies.

Contact Details:-

 Address: Central Adoption Resource Authority, Ministry of Women & Child Development, West Block 8, Wing 2, 2nd Floor, R.K. Puram, New Delhi-110066 (India)

Telephone Numbers: +91-11-26180194



Procedure followed for adoption of a child

  1. Prospective parents register online or can reach District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) to register the prospective parents online. The application form is available at
  2. The adoption agency prepares a Home Study report describing the various factors and circumstances of the family within one month of the registration.
  3. The home study report shall be posted on the database by the adoption agency.
  4. The parents are given chance to choose their prospective child based on their preferences.
  5. They are shown photographs, child study reports and medical examination reports of up to six children.
  6. The prospective adoptive parents may reserve one child within a period of forty eight hours for possible adoption and the rest of the children would be released for other prospective parents.
  7. The adoption agency will fix the meeting of the prospective adoptive parents to access whether they are suitable parents or not. The parents should also be allowed to have a meeting with the child.
  8. The entire process of matching should not take more than fifteen days.
  9. While accepting the child the prospective adoptive parents should sign the Child Study Report in presence of social worker.
  10. If prospective parent do not accept the child or the child do not accept the parent then same procedure will be followed for other chances.

Pre-Adoption foster care

When the prospective adoptive parent accepts a child and signs on the acceptance form, he is given for foster care within 10 days of adoption.

Legal procedure

  • The specialised agency shall then file an adoption petition in the court having jurisdiction within 7 days of the acceptance.
  • The Court shall then hold the in-camera proceedings and dispose the case within 2 months.
  • The court provides for a certified copy of adoption and the same shall be forwarded by the adoption agency within 10 days.
  • After receipt of the order, the prospective adoptive parent becomes the legal parents of the child.
  • Constant follow up is required by the specialised adoption agency.

Documents Required

To know the documents required, please refer to Schedule 8 of the Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children, 2015.

Download here:


Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children, 2015 accessible on:

Tags: Adoption , Procedure , Documents required , Legal

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