The process of adopting a child in India is not a cakewalk, owing to the various legal procedures which one has to go through before finally realising the fulfilment of the same. Adoption is generally opted by either a childless couple or a single parent. Indian, Non-resident Indian, as well as Foreign citizens are entitled to adopt a child from/in India. Here is a complete overview of all the fundamental information you need to have to ensure an effortless adoption.
Fundamental postulates governing adoption of children in India:
- The welfare of the child will be given utmost consideration while sanctioning a request for adoption.
- So far as the preference for adoptive parent(s) is concerned, priority will be given to Indian citizens. Moreover, as far as possible, the authorities will try to place the child in his own socio-cultural environment to make room for a comfortable upbringing of the adopted child.
- Every resident Prospective Adoptive Parent (PAP) is required to register with the government’s adoption portal created to ensure smoothness and security of the adoption process. To ensure successful execution of the process, the PAP will have to fill up an application form and upload the documents as required. The Authority ensures complete confidentiality of the same.
Grounds for eligibility to adopt a child:
- The physical, mental, and emotional stability of the prospective adoptive parents is an essential prerequisite for prospective adoptive parents. Coupled with the aforementioned criteria, they should also be financially capable and motivated to provide for the child’s requirements. They should not be afflicted by any terminal medical condition.
- Neither the marital status nor the having of a biological son or daughter will have any bearing on the eligibility of the prospective adoptive parent to adopt a child.
- A single female is permitted to adopt a child of either gender.
- However, a single male is not allowed to adopt a girl child.
- The concurrence of both the spouses is required in case of a couple.
- The legal rights to adopt a child will be given to only those couples who have had at least two years of longstanding marital relationship.
- To decide the eligibility of the adoptive parents, their age shall be counted as on the date of registration for adoption. There is a different way to calculate the eligibility of the prospective adoptive parents to adopt a child of various age groups.
- To adopt a child of up to 4 years, the maximum combined age of the prospective adoptive parents should be 90 years, while that for a single parent should be 45 years.
- In case of a child above 4 and up to 8 years, the combined age of the prospective adoptive parents should be within 100 years, while that for single parent should be 50 years.
- For adopting a child above 8 and up to 18 years, it is necessary for the composite age of the prospective adoptive parents to be within 110 years. In case of single parent, however, the maximum age should not be more than 55 years.
- In order to be eligible for adopting a child, the age difference between the child and either of the prospective adoptive parents should be at least 25 years.
- The application for adoption by couples who already have more than four children will not be sanctioned by the authority.
It is important to note that registration with the government portal is a mandatory step in adopting a child. For those who are unfamiliar with the procedure of registering online for the same, may approach the District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) of their district with any queries.
Unlike earlier, prospective adoptive parents are now barred from making a choice from among the three referred children. So, the government’s adoption portal now refers only one child and hence, the prospective adoptive parents are available with the option to either accept or reject the child.
Timeframe for the completion of the formalities of adoption:
The total timeframe for the completion of the formalities of adoption in India is generally between 18-24 months. However, the authorities are working towards ensuring speedy execution of the same. Despite the availability of older children for adoption, almost half of the families in India prefer a child under the age of three years.
A majority of the above quoted timeframe is spent in waiting for a referral. Once the child has been matched with the prospective adoptive parent(s), it takes around 8-16 months for placement. Generally, boys are placed earlier than girls. The process of adopting a child can become extremely seamless if the prospective adoptive parents observe the above mentioned guidelines.