Supreme Court of India has laid down that every
application from a foreigner/NRI/PIO (as applicable)
desiring to adopt a child must be sponsored by a social
or child welfare agency recognised or licensed by the
Government or a Department of the Foreign Govt. to
sponsor such cases in the country in which the foreigner
is resident. The foreign agency should also be an agency
‘authorised’ by CARA, Ministry of Social Justice &
Empowerment, Govt. of India. No application by a
foreigner/NRI/PIO for taking a child in adoption should
be entertained directly by any social or child welfare
agency in India.
Criteria for Foreign Prospective Adoptive Parent/s (FPAP):
Married couple with 5 years of a stable
relationship, age, financial and health status with
reasonable income to support the child should be
evident in the Home Study Report.
Prospective adoptive parents having composite age of
90 years or less can adopt infants and young
children. These provisions may be suitably relaxed
in exceptional cases, such as older children and
children with special needs, for reasons clearly
stated in the Home Study Report. However, in no case
should the age of any one of the prospective
adoptive parents exceed 55 years.
Single persons (never married, widowed, divorced) up
to 45 years can also adopt.
Age difference of the single adoptive parent and
child should be 21 years or more.
FPAP in no case should be less than 30 years and
more than 55 years.
second adoption from India will be considered only
when the legal adoption of the first child is
Same sex couples are not eligible to adopt.
following procedures will be followed in all cases of
Step I) Enlisted Foreign Adoption Agency
The applicants will have to contact or register with
an Enlisted Foreign Adoption Agency (EFAA)/Central
Authority/Govt. Deptt. in their country, in which
they are resident, which will prepare the Home Study
Report (HSR) 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
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
The adoption application dossier should contain all
documents prescribed in Annexure-2. All documents
are to be notarized. The signature of the notary is
either to be attested by the Indian Embassy/High
Commission or the appropriate Govt. Department of
the receiving country. If the documents are in any
language other than English, then the originals must
be accompanied by attested translations
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.
Step II) Role of Recognised Indian
Placement Agency (RIPA)
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.
case no suitable match is possible within 3 months,
the RIPA will inform the EFAA and CARA with the
Step III) 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
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
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
Step IV) Matching of the Child Study
Report with Home Study Report of FPAP by RIPA
Step V) 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.
any query or clarification is sought by CARA, it
will be replied to by the RIPA within 10 days.
Indian Placement Agency can file an application in
the competent court for inter-country adoption
without a “No Objection Certificate” from CARA.
Step VI) Filing of Petition in the Court
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.
per the Hon’ble Supreme Court directions, the
concerned Court may dispose the case within 2
Step VII) Passport and Visa
RIPA has to apply in the Regional Passport Office
for obtaining an Indian Passport in favour of the
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 VIII) Child travels to adoptive
4.2 Criteria for eligible children:
The child must be legally free for adoption.
Clearance from ACA/State Government is mandatory for
all children except wherever exempted under the
Siblings/twins/triplets cannot be separated except
in exceptional cases.
Two unrelated children cannot be proposed to a
foreign family at a time.
child may as far as possible be placed in adoption
before it reaches the age of 12.
The consent of the child has to be obtained wherever
4.3 Where there is no Enlisted Foreign
Adoption Agency (EFAA)
case of an Indian National residing in a country where
there is no Enlisted Agency, CARA may allow an
organisation or individual recommended by the Indian
Embassy to do the Home Study Report (HSR), undertaking
as prescribed in the Guidelines and other documentation.
The said application may be forwarded with the approval
of the Indian Embassy to CARA.
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. In case of
resident non-citizens where the host Govt. may not be
willing to sponsor the cases, the documentation may be
done through the Embassy of the country to which the
applicant belongs. Home studies however will have to be
prepared by a qualified Agency/Social Worker in all
cases. In case CARA receives the papers it will send
those papers to any of the Recognised Indian Placement
Agencies (RIPA) for further processing the case only
after HSR has been approved by it. The procedure to be
adopted thereafter shall be the same as indicated in the
4.4 Foreign nationals living in India
case of foreigners who have been living in India for one
year or more, the HSR and other connected documents may
be prepared by the RIPA which is processing the
application of such foreigners for the guardianship of
the child. An undertaking should be given by the
concerned Embassy/High Commission that the child will be
legally adopted in that country and also mention an
agency/orgn. who would send the progress reports and
take care of the child in case of any disruption as and
when the child is taken abroad. However a certificate is
required from the competent authority in the country of
permanent residence of the FPAP indicating that the
child shall be allowed to enter the country and get
adopted in due course.
4.5 Rights of the child taken abroad
the Court makes an order appointing adoptive parents as
the guardians of the child, the order shall contain an
undertaking of the adoptive parents that they shall
protect and safeguard the best interest of the child and
that the child would be legally adopted in the receiving
State not later than two years from the date of the
order. On such adoption in the receiving State, subject
to the Laws of the country the child would have all
rights recognized under International Law.