8. Priorities for Rehabilitation of a Child. -
(1) The best interest of the child is served by providing him or her an opportunity to be placed with a family within his or her own socio-cultural milieu in the country itself.
(2) Due consideration should be given to the child’s upbringing and to his or her ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic background while placing him or her in adoption but, a child can be placed with any Indian PAP(s) within the country without any geographical barrier.
(3) The citizens of a country that has ratified the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993 and who are also habitual residents of a country that has ratified the said Convention can adopt a child from India.
(4) Indian nationals who live in countries which are not signatories to the Hague Convention are also eligible to adopt.
(5) Preference shall be given for placing a child in in-country adoption and the ratio of in-country adoption to inter-country adoption shall be 80:20 of total adoptions processed annually by a RIPA, excluding special needs children.
(6) The following order of priority shall be followed in case of inter-country adoptions;
(i) Non Resident Indian (NRI);
(ii) Overseas Citizen of India (OCI);
(iii) Persons of Indian Origin (PIO);
(iv) Foreign Nationals.
10. Procedure in case of Orphan and Abandoned Children.-
It shall be the duty of every person, whether an individual or a nursing home or hospital or any other institution who or which finds an abandoned child or an orphan child without family support, to report the fact immediately either to the officer in charge of the nearest police station or the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) or Childline (Tel 1098) or the Specialised Adoption Agency in that area, as is practicable.
11. Admission. -
(1) In case an abandoned child or an orphan child is received by a Specialised Adoption Agency, it shall admit the child to its home on a temporary basis and such admission shall be finalised only after authorisation by the Child Welfare Committee.
(2) The details of all children admitted by a Specialised Adoption Agency shall be entered in the Master Admission Register in the format as at Schedule-I.
(3) On admission of the child, the Specialised Adoption Agency shall give a name to the child, if not already given, record his or her brief social background, identification marks, height and weight and also cause medical examination of the child conducted.
(4) The child shall be photographed and if the child is abandoned, a report along with a photograph of the child shall be filed with the nearest police station within twenty-four hours of finding the child.
(5) The Specialised Adoption Agency shall take all necessary steps for the welfare of the child as per these Guidelines.
12. Production of child before CWC. -
(1) The Specialised Adoption Agency shall produce the orphan or abandoned child, who is in their temporary care, before the Child Welfare Committee within twenty-four hours of receiving such a child, excluding the time taken for the journey.
(2) A copy of the report filed with the police station in whose jurisdiction the child was found abandoned shall also be submitted to the Child Welfare Committee.
(3) In case of a child under two years of age, who is unable to travel because of medical reasons, the Specialised Adoption Agency shall send a written report along with the photograph of the child to the Committee within twenty four hours and produce the child before the Committee as soon as the child is medically fit along with the medical certificate to that effect.
(4) The Specialised Adoption Agency shall make a report to the Child Welfare Committee on the circumstances under which the child came to their notice and efforts made by them for informing the police and the missing person’s squad or missing persons bureau in the State and the Centre.
13. Restoration efforts. -
(1) The Specialised Adoption Agency shall make restoration efforts in addition to the efforts made by the Child Welfare Committee to trace the parents or biological family of the abandoned child.
(2) The Specialised Adoption Agency shall also conduct an independent enquiry for the same purpose.
(3) In case of children below two years of age, the Specialized Adoption Agency shall make a notification in at least one leading national newspaper and one regional language newspaper having circulation in its area.
(4) A notification may also be made in a newspaper of the language spoken by the child and the notification shall be released in the area where the child was found abandoned.
(5) For children of two years or above, a television or radio announcement shall also be made.
(6) In case of children below two years of age, the process prescribed at sub paragraph (2) to (4) shall be completed within a period of sixty days from the date the child is found and in case of children of two years or above of age, the time period shall be four months.
(7) In case a claimant appears for the child, the Specialized Adoption Agency shall refer the case to the Child Welfare Committee and the Special Adoption Agency shall abide by the decision taken by the Child Welfare Committee.
(8) In case, even after the lapse of the time period mentioned in sub paragraph (6), no claimant comes forward to claim the child, the Specialised Adoption Agency shall submit a declaration to the Child Welfare Committee stating that there has been no claimant for the child.
(9) A report on the efforts made by the Specialised Adoption Agency for tracing the child’s background shall also be submitted to the Child Welfare Committee to assist them in taking an informed decision.
(10)The child shall not be considered for adoption until the Child Welfare Committee issues a Certificate declaring him or her to be legally free for adoption.
14. Procedure in case of Surrendered Children. -
(1) A child may be surrendered in case: -
(i) The child is born as a consequence of non-consensual relationship;
(ii) The child is born of an unwed mother or out of wedlock;
(iii) One of the biological parents of the child is dead and the living parent is incapacitated or unfit to take care;
(iv) The parents of the child are compelled to relinquish him or her due to physical, emotional and social factors beyond their control.
(v) In all cases of surrender child, the admission procedure as laid down in sub paragraph 11 (2), (3), (4) and (5) shall be followed.
(2) In case the child is surrendered through the Specialized Adoption Agency, the procedure will be as follows:-
(i) The Specialised Adoption Agency shall produce the child to be surrendered along with the surrendering parent(s) before the Child Welfare Committee within twenty-four hours of receiving such child, excluding the time taken for the journey.
(ii) On directions of the Child Welfare Committee, the Specialised Adoption Agency may continue to keep the child in its temporary care until his or her restoration or rehabilitation.
(iii) In case of a single mother, unwilling to appear before the Child Welfare Committee, one member of the Child Welfare Committee, preferably female, may meet the mother separately.
(vi) In case of biological parents surrendering a child, this process shall be before a two member Child Welfare Committee.
(v) In case the Committee is not sitting, the child may be produced before the single member of the Committee as per the provisions contained in sub-section (2) of section 30.
(3) The information to be submitted to the Child Welfare Committee by the Specialised Adoption Agency, among other details, shall contain the following namely:-
(a) The details of the biological mother and father, including:-
(i) The social and psychological background;
(ii) The proof of address and identity ;
(iii) Known medical history of both biological parents and
(iv) Details of close relatives, if available.
(b) The details of the child being surrendered, including:--
(i) Social and psychological background;
(ii) Details of sibling(s), if any;
(iii) Known medical history;
(vi) Date and place of birth along with birth certificate, if available.
15. Completing the surrender process. -
(1) In case the parents or one of parents approaches a Specialised Adoption Agency for surrendering the child, the agency shall make all efforts, including counselling, to prevent surrender of such child.
(2) Efforts shall also be made by the Child Welfare Committee for exploring the possibilities of parents retaining the child by counselling of the parents and explaining the consequences of surrender.
(3) If the parents are still unwilling to retain the child, such a child shall be kept initially in the custody of the SAA.
(4) If the surrender is inevitable, a deed of surrender as provided in Schedule-II shall be executed and signed by the person or persons surrendering the child and two other witnesses in the presence of the Child Welfare Committee.
(5) If a child born after wedlock is surrendered, both parents should sign the surrender document and in case one of them is dead, proof of death in support thereof is to be furnished.
(6) Where the death certificate is not available, a certificate from local Panchayat or Municipal authority should be produced.
(7) When a child is born to a married couple but is surrendered by one biological parent and the whereabouts of the other parent is not known, the child shall be treated as abandoned and further procedures shall be followed accordingly.
(8) In case of a child born out of wedlock, only the mother herself can surrender the child and if she is a minor, the signature of an accompanying close relative will be obtained on the surrender document.
(9) If the surrender is effected by any person other than the biological parent(s), the child shall be treated as abandoned and the same procedure shall be followed as that for an abandoned child.
(10) The Specialised Adoption Agency shall facilitate the surrender process before the Child Welfare Committee.
(11) The Specialised Adoption Agency and the Child Welfare Committee shall ensure that the surrendering parents or the legal guardian is made aware that they can reconsider the surrender and reclaim the surrendered child only within a period of sixty days from the date of such surrender.
(12) In all cases of surrender, confidentiality shall be maintained by the authorities and agencies involved in the process.
(13 ) The Specialised Adoption Agency or the CWC shall ensure that a copy of the Surrender Deed is retained by the surrendering parents or legal guardian, as the case may be, for reconsideration of their decision to surrender the child.
(14) The Committee shall declare the surrendered child legally free for adoption after the expiry of a reconsideration period of sixty days.
16. Declaration of a child legally free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee.-
(1) If all efforts for tracing the parents of an orphan or an abandoned child placed with a Specialised Adoption Agency on a temporary basis, have failed, and, in case of surrendered children, if the reclaim period of sixty days is over, the particular agency shall approach the Child Welfare Committee for declaring the child legally free for adoption.
(2) After satisfying itself that the due procedure, as laid down in the Act and the rules made there under, has been followed and that nobody has come forward to claim the child within the stipulated period, the Child Welfare Committee shall issue a Certificate declaring the child legally free for adoption.
(3) The certificate under sub paragraph (2) shall be made as per format provided inSchedule-III.
(4) No child of the age of seven years or above, who can understand and express his or her opinion, shall be declared legally free for adoption without his or her consent.
(5) A child becomes eligible for adoption only after the Child Welfare Committee has declared the child legally free for adoption through a certificate as mentioned in sub Para (b) above.
29. Identification of RIPA by CARA. -
(1) The AFAA or CA or concerned Government Department of the country receiving the child shall forward one attested or notarized copy of the HSR (not original) directly to CARA for identifying a suitable RIPA.
(2) CARA shall have a Screening Committee to examine the prima facie suitability of PAPs proposed for inter-country adoption and also identify the RIPA where the dossier will be forwarded and the Committee, headed by an official of CARA, shall also consist of external experts.
(3) While deciding to forward the dossier to a particular RIPA, the Committee shall keep in mind the preference of the PAP(s) for a particular State, availability of children and performance of the RIPA vis-ŕ-vis in-country adoptions, etc.
(4) The process mentioned in sub-paragraphs (2) and (3) shall be completed preferably within a period of fifteen days from the receipt of dossier.
(5) The identified RIPA shall be informed by CARA and CARA shall also advise the concerned AFAA or CA or Government Department to send the original dossier to the identified RIPA.
(6) The identification of RIPA by CARA shall in no way ensure referral of a child from India and it is not obligatory on CARA to ensure referral of a child.
(7) The RIPA shall not entertain any application received directly from any AFAA or CA or PAPs from out of India, for adoption of an Indian child.
0. Referral and Acceptance. -
(1) The RIPA shall be responsible for assigning, referral and placement of the child.
(2) In case a RIPA does not find the PAP(s) suitable after detailed scrutiny of their dossier forwarded by CARA, it shall, within fifteen days of receipt of the original dossier, inform CARA about the same along with the reasons thereof.
(3) CARA shall have the right to accept or reject the recommendation of the RIPA.
(4) After detailed scrutiny of the dossier and their acceptance as eligible PAPs, the RIPA shall match a child according to the request given by the PAP(s) as far as possible.
(5) The RIPA shall forward the referral constituting the Child Study Report and Medical Examination Report of the child to the AFAA or CA or concerned Government Department of the receiving country, as the case may be.
(6) The AFAA or CA or concerned Government Department of the receiving country, as the case may be, shall transmit the referral to the PAP for acceptance.
(7) On acceptance of the child by the PAP(s), the AFAA or CA or concerned Government Department of the receiving country, as the case may be, shall send back the original copy of the “referral for adoption” to RIPA, along with the following documents, namely:-
(i) Notarized or attested copy of the CSR and MER duly signed by PAP(s);
(ii) Power of attorney of the PAP(s) in favour of the official or social worker of the RIPA for filing the case in the court;
(iii) A certificate under Article 5 or agreement under Article 17 of the Hague Convention, as applicable, issued by the CA or competent authority of the receiving country
(8)The process of inter-country adoption of a child shall be completed by the AFAA or CA within a period of forty-five days from the date of the referral.
31. Recommendation for Inter-country Adoption by Adoption Recommendation Committee. -
(1) The State Government shall constitute a Committee to be known as the Adoption Recommendation Committee (ARC) to scrutinize and issue a Recommendation Certificate for placement of a child in inter-country adoption.
(2) The Adoption Recommendation Committee shall consist of Director or Commissioner of the State Government dealing with children in need of care and protection or his representative, Programme Manager (Non-institutional care-SARA) and one external expert or psychologist who has no linkage with any adoption agency.
(3) Till SARA is operational in a State, the Chairperson of ACA or his representative shall function as a member of the Committee (in place of Programme Manager) along with the other members.
(4) On receipt of referral accepted by the PAPs, the RIPA shall forward two copies of the dossier which includes HSR of the PAPs and the CSR (including MER) duly signed by the PAPs to SARA or ACA along with a cheque or draft of Rs.2,500- drawn in favour of SARA or ACA, as the case may be, towards administrative expenses.
(5) The amount received shall be utilised for meeting the expenses in connection with processing the dossiers, payment to external experts and for other adoption promotion activities.
(6) The list of documents forming part of the dossier shall be as specified in Schedule-X.
(7) A sample affidavit to be executed on stamp paper of sufficient value and to be filed by the RIPAs is at Schedule -XI.
(8) The SARA would act as a secretariat to the committee constituted under sub-paragraph (1).
(9) The SARA shall receive the dossiers of cases for inter-country adoptions from the RIPA and put up the same before the ARC for issue of Recommendation Certificate.
(10) Till SARA becomes operational in a State, the ACA would perform the functions of SARA in that State.
(11) The SARA or ACA, as the case may be, shall ensure that the Recommendation Certificate is issued expeditiously within a period of 15 days from date of receipt of the dossier.
(12) In case of a special needs child, the SARA or the ACA, as the case may be, should issue the Recommendation Certificate within a period of 5 days from the date of receipt of the dossier.
(13) In case of medical special needs, the SARA or the ACA, as the case may be, may ask the RIPA to get a Certificate from a reputed medical institution or a Government Medical Officer.
(14) In case of siblings and older children, the ARC shall ensure that there is no waiting Indian PAPs within the region for such child or children.
(15) The Committee constituted for issue of Recommendation Certificate should satisfy itself about the suitability of the PAPs vis-a-vis the child proposed for adoption.
(16) The Committee shall also verify the documents filed by the RIPA and ensure that procedures have been correctly followed by the RIPA.
(17) In case, at any stage, SARA or ACA or ARC is not satisfied with the documents produced for obtaining recommendation certificate, it shall conduct appropriate investigation before disposing off the matter.
(18) The Recommendation Certificate (RC) issued by the Committee shall contain a positive recommendation if it is satisfied that the Committee has no objection to the child being placed with the proposed PAPs in inter-country adoption as per format in Schedule-XII
32. Issue of No Objection Certificate (NOC) by CARA. -
(1) Upon issue of Recommendation Certificate by the Adoption Recommendation Committee, the SARA shall retain one copy of the dossier and send the second set of dossier along with recommendation certificate to CARA.
(2) Till SARA becomes operational in a State, the ACA shall perform its functions under this paragraph.
(3) The ACA or SARA shall send a copy of the Recommendation Certificate to the concerned RIPA.
(4) CARA shall constitute a ‘No Objection Certificate (NOC) Committee’, which shall include CARA officials and external experts in the field of child development or psychology or social work or from the medical field and the committee shall be responsible for issuing ‘No Objection Certificate’ in each case of inter-country adoption.
(5) The NOC Committee constituted by CARA shall examine-
(i) The relevant documents submitted by the RIPA and verify that due procedures as laid down in these Guidelines have been followed.
(ii) Whether matching and placement of the child with PAPs is in the best interest of the child.
(6) After approval of the proposal by the NOC Committee, the NOC shall be issued in each case.
(7) CARA reserves the right to reject any case for inter country adoption which is not found suitable by the NOC Committee by recording reasons for the same.
(8) The process for issue of NOC would be completed within a period of fifteen days from the date of receipt of completed dossier in CARA.
(9) NOC shall be issued in accordance with Article 17 of the Hague Convention.
(10) A copy of the NOC issued by CARA shall be mailed to RIPA and a copy thereof to SARA or ACA, AFAA or CA or concerned Government Department of the receiving country, as the case may be.
33. Pre-adoption Foster Care. -
(1) A child can be given in physical custody by the RIPA to the PAP(s) in pre-adoption foster care only after issue of NOC by the CARA. (2) The adoption agency in India shall inform the PAPs that such foster care shall have to continue till the final adoption order is issued.
(3) The child in foster care, shall under no circumstances, be returned to the adoption agency by the PAPs for temporary care unless there is a disruption and the PAPs do not wish to go ahead with the adoption.
(4) The Indian adoption agency before physically entrusting the child to PAPs shall inform them that the adoption process may take more than the stipulated period, so as to enable the PAPs to take an informed decision regarding taking the child in foster care.
(5) The PAPs shall not be allowed to take the child out of the city without the written permission of the concerned Indian adoption agency.
(6) The PAPs shall be required to produce a certificate from either the mission in India of the country of the nationality or the central authority of the receiving country permitting them to take the child in foster care.
(7) The PAP(s) shall also be required to sign a foster care affidavit stating that they would not leave the country without valid court order.
34. Filing of the Petition in the Competent Court.-
(1) Within five days of receipt of NOC from CARA, RIPA shall proceed to obtain a Court Order for inter-country adoption of the child from the competent court in India.
(2) RIPA shall not file an application in the competent court for inter-country adoption without “NOC” from CARA.
(3) Inter-country adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children shall proceed under the Act.
a. In accordance with the directions of the Honourable Supreme Court of India in L.K.Pandey vs. Union of India (WP No 1171 of 1982), the competent courts are to dispose off the case within a maximum period of two months from the date of filing.
b. As each case for inter-country adoption is required to be processed by Child Welfare Committee and State Government through the ARC and CARA, the competent court may, to the extent possible, dispose of the case in the first hearing itself in the best interest of the child.
c. The RIPA shall forward a copy of the court order and the adoption deed to CARA, SARA or ACA and AFAA or CA, as the case may be.
(4) On receipt of the Court Order, the CARA shall issue a Conformity Certificate (CC) under Article 23 as per provisions of the Hague Convention as per Schedule-XIII.
35. Passport and Visa.-
(1) No orphan, abandoned, surrendered child who has been adopted shall be allowed to leave India without a valid NOC from CARA.
(2) The RIPA shall apply for passport for the adopted child after the court order is received and the application shall include documents mentioned in Paragraph 83(3) of these Guidelines.
(3) The date of birth of the child as mentioned in the court order would be taken as the date of birth.
(4) The concerned authorities may expeditiously issue the passport and visa to enable the adopted child to leave India with his or her adoptive parents to their habitual place of residence.