Is a Foreigner resident in India allowed to adopt in India?

Dated: 2022-08-10 03:50:45

I am from France and reside in India along with my wife and one child. We want to adopt one more child. Can I do so? If yes, how and what is the procedure.

Answers by Lawyers

If  the foreign national is a citizen of a country that has ratified the Hague Convention and, has been living in India for one year or more, the PAP(s) may approach CARA along with a certificate of  ‘No-objection to the proposed adoption’ from the Embassy/Mission of the country of their nationality. The Embassy/Mission shall in addition, give an undertaking for post-adoption follow-up (as stipulated in Chapter IV of the CARA Guidelines).

CARA in turn, shall refer the case to a RIPA for carrying out the Home Study and preparation of PAP(s)’ dossier.

The procedures stipulated under these Guidelines for inter-country adoption shall be followed by the RIPA.

In case, the PAPs continue to reside in India during the stipulated post-adoption follow-up period, the concerned RIPA would undertake to ensure post-adoption  follow-up.

The concerned embassy or mission shall also ensure that the adopted child acquires citizenship of the country of his or her parents immediately after adoption decree and a copy of the citizenship order shall be forwarded to CARA and the concerned RIPA.

 

Summary of Legal Procedure for Adoption of Child by Foreign Parents.

Step 1: Enlisted Foreign Adoption Agency (EFAA):

The applicants will have to contact or register with an Enlisted Foreign Adoption Agency (EFAA)/Central Authority/Government Department in their country, in which they are resident, which will prepare the Home Study Report (HSR). HSR includes details like social & economic status of family, description of home, current relationship between husband & wife, employment status of adoptive parents etc. The validity of “Home Study Report" will be for a period of two years. HSR report prepared before two years will be updated at referral.

The applicants should obtain the permission of the competent authority for adopting a child from India. Where such Central Authorities or Government departments are not available, then the applications may be sent by the enlisted agency with requisite documents including documentary proof that the applicant is permitted to adopt from India.

A copy of the application of the prospective adoptive parents along with the copies of the HSR and other documents will have to be forwarded to RIPA by the Enlisted Foreign Adoption Agency (EFAA) or Central Authority of that country.

Wherever there is no Foreign Adoption Agency enlisted by CARA in any country, the concerned Government Department Ministry or any authorized body of that country may forward the original application and related documents of the prospective adoptive parents to CARA through the Indian Embassy/High Commission.

Step 2: Role of Recognised Indian Placement Agency (RIPA):

On receipt of the documents, the Indian Agency will make efforts to match a child who is legally free for inter-country adoption with the applicant.

In case no suitable match is possible within 3 months, the RIPA will inform the EFAA and CARA with the reasons therefore.

 

Step 3:   Child being declared free for inter-country adoption - Clearance by ACA

Before a RIPA proposes to place a child in the Inter country adoption, it must apply to the ACA for assistance for Indian placement.

The child should be legally free for adoption.  ACA will find a suitable Indian prospective adoptive parent within 30 days, failing which it will issue clearance certificate for inter-country adoption.

ACA will issue clearance for inter-country adoption within 10 days in case of older children above 6 years, siblings or twins and Special Needs Children as per the additional guidelines issued in this regard.

In case the ACA cannot find suitable Indian parent/parents within 30 days, it will be incumbent upon the ACA to issue a Clearance Certificate on the 31st day.

If ACA Clearance is not given on 31st day, the clearance of ACA will be assumed unless ACA has sought clarification within the stipulation period of 30 days.

NRI parent(s) (at least one parent) holding Indian Passport will be exempted from ACA Clearance, but they have to follow all other procedures as per the Guidelines.

Step 4:    Matching of the Child Study Report with Home Study Report of FPAP by RIPA: After a successful matching, the RIPA will forward the complete dossier as per Annexure 3 to CARA for issuance of “No Objection Certificate". 

Step 5:     Issue of No Objection Certificate (NOC) by CARA:

RIPA shall make application for CARA NOC in case of foreign/PIO parents only after ACA Clearance Certificate is obtained.

CARA will issue the ‘NOC’ within 15 days from the date of receipt of the adoption dossier if complete in all respect.

If any query or clarification is sought by CARA, it will be replied to by the RIPA within 10 days.

No Indian Placement Agency can file an application in the competent court for inter-country adoption without a “No Objection Certificate" from CARA.

Step 6:    Filing of Petition in the Court:

On receipt of the NOC from CARA, the RIPA shall file a petition for adoption/guardianship in the competent court within 15 days.

The competent court may issue an appropriate order for the placement of the child with FPAP.

As per the Hon’ble Supreme Court directions, the concerned Court may dispose the case within 2 months.

Step 7:  Passport and Visa:

RIPA has to apply in the Regional Passport Office for obtaining an Indian Passport in favour of the child.

The concerned Regional Passport Officer may issue the Passport within 10 days.

Thereafter the VISA entry permit may be issued by the Consulate/Embassy/High Commission of the concerned country for the child.

Step 8: Child travels to adoptive country: The adoptive parent/parents will have to come to India and accompany the child back to their country.

Krishnaveni Advocate
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