Adoption procedure in India 2022

Adoption procedure in India 2022


Adoption is the legal process by which an adopted child becomes the lawful child of his/her adoptive parents, with all of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities that a biological child has.

Principles of adoption in India

Adoptions of children from India are governed by the following fundamental principles:

While processing any adoption, the child’s best interests must take precedence.

Preference will be given to placing the child for adoption with Indian citizens, with proper consideration for the principle of placing the child in his/her own socio-cultural environment.

All adoptions must be registered on the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System, and the authority must keep the information confidential.

Stakeholders in the adoption process

1. CARA (Central Adoption Resource Authority): CARA ensures that the adoption process runs well by issuing Adoption Guidelines that spell put the procedures and protocols that all stakeholders in the adoption program must follow.

2. State Adoption Resource Agency (SARA): In collaboration with the Central Adoption Resource Authority, the State Adoption Resource Agency serves as a nodal authority within the state to promote and supervise adoption and non-institutional care.

3. Specialised Adoption Agency (SAA): The State Government recognizes a Specialised Adoption Agency (SAA) for the purpose of putting children for adoption under sub-section 4 of Section 41 of the Act.

4. Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency (AFAA): An AFAA is a foreign social or child welfare agency that has been approved by the Central Adoption Resource Authority on the recommendation of the concerned Central Authority or Government Department of that country to coordinate all aspects of the adoption of an Indian child by a citizen of that country.

5. District Child Protection Unit (DCPU): A DCPU is a unit established at the district level by the State Government under Section 61A of the Act. It identifies orphaned, abandoned, and surrendered children in the district and petitions the Child Welfare Committee to declare them legally free for adoption.


The prospective adoptive parents should be in good physical, mental, and emotional health as well as financially capable and eager to adopt a child. They should also be free of any life-threatening medical conditions.

Any prospective adoptive parent can adopt a child, regardless of his or her marital status or whether or not he or she has a biological son or daughter.

Any single female can adopt a child of any gender.

A single male person is ineligible to adopt a female child.

Both spouses’ approval is required in the care of a couple.

A couple cannot adopt a child unless they have been married for at least two years and have a healthy marital relationship.

The age of potential adoptive parents on the day of registration will be used to determine eligibility, and prospective adoptive parents’ eligibility to apply for children of different ages will be as follows:

Table 1

Age of the child

Maximum composite age of prospective adoptive parents

Maximum age of the single prospective adoptive parent

Up to 4 years

90 years

45 years

Above 4 up to 8 years

100 years

50 years

Above 8 up to 18 years

110 years

55 years

The child of any of the prospective adoptive parents should have a minimum age difference of twenty-five years.

The age of eligibility will be determined by the prospective adoptive parents’ age at the time of registration.

In the event of relative adoptions and step-parent adoptions, the age criteria for prospective adoptive parents will not apply.

Couples with three or more children are not eligible for adoption, save in the cases of special needs children as defined in sub-regulation (21) of regulation 2, difficult to place children as defined in regulation 50, relative adoption, and step-parent adoption.

How to adopt a child

Only by submitting an online application at and following the processes outlined in the Adoption Regulations, 2017 may a child be adopted. To adopt a child, one must register online through CARINGS. If one is unfamiliar with or unable to register online, they may contact their district’s District Child Protection Office (DCPO).

Adoption Procedure

1. In-country

Parents can register on CARINGS through the website

Select the preferred adoption agency and state for the HSR (Home Study Report).

User ID and Password are generated automatically.

It is required to upload the documents within 30 days of registration.

A registration number is generated.

Within 30 days of the date of submission of required documents on CARINGS, the Specialised Adoption Agency (SAA) conducts a Home Study Report (HSR) of the PAPs (Prospective Adoptive Parents) and uploads it on CARINGS.

Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) suitability is assessed (if not found suitable, PAPs are informed of reasons for rejection).

PAPs reserve one child from a pool of up to six children based on their preferences. Within 15 days following the reservation, PAPs visit the adoption agency to finalize the adoption.

If the child is not finalized within a certain period of time, the PAPs’ seniority is reduced.

SAA completed the referral and adoption procedure once the child is accepted by the PAPs.

PAPs place the child in foster care prior to adoption, and SAA files an adoption petition with the court.

For a period of two years, a post-adoption follow-up report is completed.

2. Parents in-country – Instructions for Online Parent Registration for Adoption

The registration is for Indian citizens who are residents in India.

Provide correct residential address as well as phone number, including area code.

You or your spouse must have a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card, which you must upload in portable document format (.pdf).

One must upload a .jpg image of oneself (in case of a single parent) or family (in case of a couple) (3.5 * 4.5 cm). 

After completing the registration process, you will receive an online acknowledgment letter with the registration and credential information.

If one loses the online acknowledgment letter, they can get a new one by clicking the Forgot Password link on the Track Status page.

Upload the following documents:

- Photograph of a person or people who are adopting a child (postcard size)

- Birth certificate

- Proof of address (Adhaar card/Voter Card/License/Passport/Electricity bill/ Telephone bill)

- Proof of previous year’s income (Salary slip/Government-issued income certificate/ Income tax return)

- Upload the marriage certificate if one is married.

- Attach a copy of the divorce decree if one is divorced.

- Upload the spouse’s death certificate if the spouse has died.

- A medical certificate stating that the PAPs are free of any chronic, infectious, or deadly diseases and are suitable for adoption.

If one provides inaccurate or missing information, the application may be rejected.

One should contact the adoption agency after registering.

For verification, all original documents must be provided.

The adoption agency will determine the adoption eligibility.

3. From in-country to inter-country

CARINGS would transition children from in-country adoption to inter-country adoption on a time plan as follows:

If the child is under the age of 5, after 60 days.

If the child is over the age of 5 or is a sibling, after 30 days.

If the child has any intellectual or physical disabilities after 15 days.

When comparing the HAMA and JJ Acts, the adoption procedure differs significantly. Despite the fact that the principle of a Uniform Civil Code is enshrined in the Constitution, it has yet to be implemented. When it comes to adoption laws, a standardized procedure is required.

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