Adoption in or from India

So, you want to adopt in India? You may know that adoption in or from India is not a smooth journey. It involves long waiting time, a lot of paperwork, and a complex legal procedure. In this article, we discuss all you need to know about what might be one of the most trying but ultimately fulfilling experience of your life.

Adoption by Indian citizens

Adoption by Indian citizens in India is governed by ‘personal laws’. These are the laws for different religions propagated in India. As per their personal laws, Muslims, Christians and Jews cannot adopt. Hence, they usually go for guardianship of a child through the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890, which is subject to court’s approval.  In this case, the adoptive couple are guardians and not parents of the adopted child. Under this Act, Christians can only only under foster care and the foster child is free to break away all ties from the guardian parents on becoming a major.

On the other hand, Indian citizens who are Hindus, Jains, Buddhists or Sikhs, can adopt formally as per the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956.

Adoption of abandoned, surrendered or abused children is governed by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

Adoption by foreigners 

Are you Non-Resident Indians, Overseas Citizen of India or foreign prospective adoptive parents, you should know that there is no specific law governing adoption in that case. One can still adopt under the Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children, 2015. These Guidelines govern the adoption procedure of orphans, abandoned and surrendered children in India. 

On the other hand, any Non-Resident Indian, Overseas Citizen of India or foreign prospective adoptive parents, living in a country which is a signatory to the Hague Adoption Convention, can approach the Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency or the Central Authority concerned, as the case may be, for preparation of their Home Study Report and for their registration in Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (for more information, contact Miss Legal India).

Hence, in the absence of any concrete Act for intercountry adoption, the procedures laid down by the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 are to be followed.

While the adoption laws are common across India, there are certain adoption guidelines and paperwork requirement that may differ for each State.

Following is the list of documents to be prepared for the adoption process:

  • Adoption application

  • 4 x 6 size photographs – 4 copies of husband and wife together

  • Marriage certificate and proof of age

  • Reason for adoption

  • Latest HIV and Hepatitis B report of the couple

  • Income certificate

  • Proof of residence

  • Investment details

  • Reference letter from 3 people

  • Any other document which may be required by the agency or the court

Need to know more? Get in touch with Miss Legal India.

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