How can you adopt child from India?

 How can you adopt child from India?

Adoption of child Ichhori _Webp

According to the Supreme Court, a foreigner desiring to adopt children from India must first obtain a no objection certificate (NOC) and authorization from their home country. A foreigner, a person of Indian descent, or an overseas citizen of India with habitual residency in India can apply to CARA (Central Adoption Resource Authority) for the adoption of a child from India, along with a no objection certificate from his country's diplomatic post in India.

Certification of the adoptive parents' suitability to adopt the child, counselling of the prospective adoptive parents, and authorization of the child to enter and reside in the receiving state are all required for inter-country adoption.

So, if a foreigner living abroad wants to adopt an orphan, abandoned, or surrendered child from India, they can apply to an authorised foreign adoption agency, a central authority, or a concerned government department in their country of habitual residence, following the procedures outlined in Section 59 of the CARA’s adoption regulations (3).

The court further stated that the authorised foreign adoption agency, central authority, or concerned government department of the foreign country must prepare a home study report of the prospective adoptive parents and, if they are found eligible, sponsor their application to CARA for the adoption of a child from India.

Inter-country adoption between India and the United States

Adoptions from India to the United States and from the United States to India are both possible.

Prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) living outside of India who are thinking about adopting a child from the US should check with India’s Central Authority, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), to see if their adoption is covered by the Convention.

The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption has India as a signatory (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). The Hague Adoption Convention, the United States’ implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA), and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as India’s implementing legislation and regulations, must all be followed when processing intercountry adoptions in Convention countries.

You must meet certain suitability and eligibility conditions to bring an adopted child from India to the United States. Under US immigration law, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) evaluates who is acceptable and eligible to adopt a child from another nation and bring that child to reside in the United States.

In order to immigrate to the United States on an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa, a child must also fit the definition of a Convention adoptee under US immigration law.


PAPS intending to adopt a child from India must meet the following standards imposed by India, in addition to being found fit and qualified to adopt by USCIS:

Residency Requirements: There are no requirements for residency. Some Specialized Adoption Agencies (SAAs) may require PAPS to spend seven days with the child before leaving India in order to bond with the child.

Age of Adopting Parents: In the case of a single parent adopting a child, 

 PAP must be no older than 45 years old if adopting a child under the age of four;

If adopting a child between the ages of four and eight, you must be 50 years old.

If you’re adopting a child who is eight years old or older, you must be 55 years old.

If a couple is adopting a child, the couple’s combined age cannot exceed: 

90 years if adopting a child under the age of four; 

100 years if you adopt a child aged four to eight,

110 years if you adopt a child who is eight years or older, 

These requirements may be waived in exceptional circumstances, such as the adoption of older children, siblings, or children with special needs, and they do not apply to related adoptions or step-parent adoptions.

The disparity between age between the child and either PAP must be at least 25 years.

Marriage: A married couple must have been married for at least two years and be in a healthy marital relationship. In India, same-sex couples are not eligible to adopt.

PAPs should have a minimum income to show that they are financially capable.

Other requirements: Adoption of an Indian child is limited to families with fewer than three children (biological or adopted), unless the child has special needs or is deemed difficult to place, or in the case of relative adoptions or step-parent adoptions. Except in the instance of siblings adopted at the same time, a second adoption from India would be considered only after the legal adoption of the first child is finalised. PAPs must be free of any contagious or terminal disease, as well as any mental or physical condition that would make it impossible for them to care for the child. With their home studies, families must submit a psychological evaluation completed by a licensed/trained practitioner. Adoption of a female child is not permissible for a single male.

Overseas Indian citizens (OCI card holders) and foreign nationals of countries that have signed the Convention who have lived in India for a year or more are eligible to adopt an Indian child through India’s domestic adoption processes. Such people can use the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System to apply to adopt an Indian child (CARINGS). The appropriate paperwork must be submitted (including a No Objection Certificate from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi). CARA will refer the case to a SAA to prepare the PAPs’ home study report after receiving the application and required papers. The SAA will upload the home study report into CARINGS once it is done. 

The home study submitted to USCIS in support of a Form I-800A must comply with US requirements, including being prepared by an individual or agency that meets the definition of a home study preparer in 8 CFR 204.301 and is authorised to conduct home studies under 22 CFR part 96, as well as meeting the elements of 8 CFR 204.311.

How to adopt

Adoptions from India must follow a special process designed to meet the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention because India is a signatory to the Convention. Adoptions that are not done in the proper order may result in severe delays or the child’s ineligibility for an immigrant visa to the United States.

Select a U.S.-accredited or approved adoption service provider (ASP) to serve as your primary provider [who has been authorised to operate in India by India’s Central Authority].

Apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to be found suitable and eligible to adopt (Form I-800A).

Apply to the Indian government to adopt a child and be matched with a child.

Request that the child be found provisionally eligible for immigration to the United States as a Convention Adoptee (Form I-800) and receive US approval to proceed with the adoption (Art. 5/17 letter) from USCIS.

Adopt a child in India 

Apply for your child’s immigrant visa in the United States and bring him or her home.

CARA and the SAA require adoptive parents to complete online post-placement reports on the child via their ASP. During the first year after the child arrives in the United States, the prospective adoptive parents’ ASP should upload post-placement reports into CARINGS quarterly, and twice a year during the second year. After the child becomes a citizen of the United States, the reporting continues for another two years. In addition to the reports mentioned above, certain Indian courts mandate regular follow-up visits and post-adoption counselling by a licenced social worker until the child has acclimated to his or her new surroundings.


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