Adoption Process in India

Adoption procedure


Adoption is a legal process in India, governed by specific laws. Adoption of Indian children is regulated by the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Women and Child Development. This body enables Indian and foreign nationals to adopt Indian children within the legal framework.

Read: Busting Adoption Myths in India


Eligibility For Adoption

Marital Status

  • Married couples, single persons/widows, divorcees- are allowed to adopt, but adoption agencies usually do not encourage adoption by single men.
  • The couple should preferably have been married for at least 5 years to attest for the stability of the relationship.


  • To adopt a child, the combined age of a couple should not be more that 90 years, and the individual age of single parent should not be more than 45 years.
  • In the case of special children, the age of the prospective parent may be relaxed to a maximum of 55 years.
  • A single parent below the age of 45 years and who can fulfill other criteria can also adopt. The age difference between the adoptive single parent and the adoptive child should be at least 21 years. The single parent should have additional family support system. Widows can also adopt.
Read: Are you ready to adopt?

Procedure For Adoption – Now Made Online And Hassle-Free

CARA has formulated new guidelines effective from August 1, 2015 which makes the adoption procedure convenient and hassle-free.

  • Entire registration process is now online
  • An upgraded CARINGS portal (
  • Timelines prescribed for greater efficiency
  • Specialised Adoption Agencies (SAAs) to facilitate in-country and inter-country adoptions
  • Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) can select their State for Adoption,
  • Specialised Adoption Agency (SAA) for Home Study Report and track their applications
  • Equal priority for NRIs and Resident Indian
  • All adoptions outside CARINGS strictly prohibited
  • Mandatory registration for all Child Care Institutes (CCI)

Registration and home study of the prospective adoptive parents

To adopt a child in India, a couple will need to go through the following procedure:

  • Prospective adoptive parents in India who wish to adopt a child should register online, fill up the application form and upload it along with the relevant documents.
  • After completion of registration the parents will receive a registration number from the acknowledgement slip which they can use for viewing the progress of their case.
  • A home study report of the adoptive parents will be prepared by the SAA in the State through a social worker
  • The report will be completed within one month from the date of submission of the documents and immediately shared with the prospective adoptive parents.
  • It will also be posted in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System by the SAA or District Child Protection Unit or State Adoption Resource Agency
  • This report will remain valid for two years and will be the basis for child adoption by the adoptive parents from anywhere in the country.
  • The adoptive parents will be declared eligible and suitable by the SAA based on the home study report and supporting documents.
  • In case an adoptive parent is not declared eligible or suitable, the reasons for the same will be recorded in the Chid Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System. In such a scenario, the parent can appeal against the decision of rejection to CARA

Selecting a Child

  • The prospective adoptive parents will be given an opportunity to view the photographs, child study report and medical examination report of up to six children, in one or more specialised adoption agencies
  • After reviewing this, the prospective adoptive parents can reserve one child within a period of forty eight hours for possible adoption
  • The SAA will then organise a meeting of the parents with the child.
  • The matching process will be completed within a maximum period of fifteen days from the date of reserving the child
  • While accepting the child, prospective parents have to sign the medical examination report and the child study report
  • The baby is handed over to the couple for pre-adoption foster care within ten days from the date of acceptance.
Read: 6 things to keep in mind while choosing baby's name

Follow-Up and Adoption

  • The specialised adoption agency will report the progress of the child online along with photographs of the child on a six-monthly basis for two years from the date of pre-adoption foster placement with the prospective adoptive parents.
  • A social worker from the adoption agency may periodically visit the adoptive parents for up to one year after the adoption. This is to assess and review the well-being of the child and his/ her bonding with the adoptive parents.

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