Are You Looking To Adopt? Here Is All You Need To Know
If you’ve decided to go ahead with adoption in India, these are the rules and procedures you need to keep in mind.
Parenting is a huge responsibility, a lot of hard work and a test of patience but it’s an experience to cherish. After all, a child brings immense laughter and joy in your life.
In today's scenario, with an hectic lifestyle, job pressures and late marriages, conceiving often becomes an issue and couples often have to resort to medical help to fulfill their desire for a child.
Most infertility treatments are stressful, complicated, expensive and have a low success rate. In such cases, adoption can be a great option.
Are You Eligible to Adopt?
Adoption is a conscious decision in which not only the expectant parents are involved but also their close families. The process is long which requires patience and perseverance.
Prospective adoptive parents should be physically, mentally and emotionally stable. They should also be financially capable to support the new life that they are welcoming and they should not have any life-threatening disease at the time of adoption.
Before looking to adopt a child, the parents should have at least two years of stable marital relationship.
The consent of both parents is mandatory before adoption. But the option is not just limited to married couples. Single people, both female and male, can also adopt if they so wish.
But while a single female can adopt a boy or a girl child, a single male is not eligible to adopt a girl child.
Parents looking to adopt can be from any religion, non-resident Indians and even non-Indians based outside of India. They are all eligible to adopt a child under Juvenile Justice Act(C&PC), 2015.
Differently-abled couples are eligible to adopt, depending on the nature and extent of their disability. Gay or lesbian couples can adopt but only as single parents, not as a family.
Does Age Play a Factor in Adoption?
The age limit of adopting parents depends upon the age of the child being adopted.
If the age of the child is four years, then the composite age of both the parents should be 90 years.
A baby, or a toddler or an older child can be adopted. But the composite age of the parents will keep on increasing as the age of the child increases.
Minimum age difference between the child and either of the prospective parents should not be less than 25 years.
If the prospective parents are older, adopting a baby or toddler might be difficult and agencies might suggest adopting an older child.
The How-to of Adoption
There is a simple online procedure by which you can register as an applicant willing to adopt.
1. Registration and Application
Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) of Government of India is the nodal body that facilitates the adoption of Indian children according to official guidelines.
Firstly, the parents have to register themselves online on the website (http://carings.nic.in) to be considered as prospective adopters.
Secondly, for the successful submission of the registration form, a list of documents have to be uploaded on the website.
Once the documents are submitted online, the application is ready to be considered.
The waiting time for the application to be accepted varies in each case. It depends upon the waiting list at the agency and also on the availability of a child that matches with your criteria.
The status of application can be regularly tracked on the website.
2. Documents Required:
- Proof of Identity (voter card/PAN Card/Passport/driving license)
- Birth certificates of parents
- Proof of residence
- Proof of income
- Marriage certificate
- Family Photograph
- Medical practitioner's certificate for parent's fitness
- Two letters of recommendation from persons who know the family well (not from immediate relatives)
- An undertaking from a relative to take care of the child in case of mishap if the prospective is a single parent
3. Home Study Report
Once the registration is completed, the parents are required to get a Home Study Report by contacting the concerned Specialized Adoption Agency.
This report is an assessment of the future parents’ capability of looking after the adopted child.
This is done by a professional social worker who visits the home of the prospective parents. This report is completed within 30 days from the time of submission of the required documents. Once it is finished, it is shared with them and remains valid for a period of three years.
The Price of Adoption
According to the Adoption Regulations 2017 the Specialized Adoption Agency (SAA) the charges of adoption are as follows:
• Home Study Report INR 6000
• Child care corpus fee INR 40,000
• Each post-adoption follow-up visits INR 2,000 (Total 4 visits in 2 years).
The Changing Face of Adoption
Unlike in the past, today people are more open and accepting about adoption.
There are plenty of pre-adoption counselling sessions available for parents who want to adopt.
These sessions are aimed at helping parents understand the adoption process and teach them how to resolve emotional, psychological or other child related issues. Overall, they help individuals become better parents.
Counsellors also advise adoptive parents to tell the child about adoption at a young age to avoid complications later.
But not only do such sessions focus on adopter parents, they also focus on adoptee children by educating them about the process of adoption.
In fact, agencies like The Specialized Adoption Agency or Child Welfare Committee become very useful in cases where an adoptive child wishes to know his roots.
Such agencies help the child discover where she/he came from.
Adopting the Right Way
In order to avoid the government procedural hassles, a lot of parents try to circumvent their way by choosing to adopt directly from nursing homes through middlemen. This creates serious problems in the future both for the parents and the child.
Under such circumstances, one should strictly follow the legal adoption process, no matter how intimidating it looks. It is the right way of approaching this very sensitive issue.
(For more parenting stories, follow FIT)
(Nupur Roopa is a freelance writer, and a life coach for mothers. She writes articles on environment, food, history, parenting and travel.)
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