Procedure For Inter-Country Adoption As Per The Hague Convention
The CARA Guidelines 2011 has laid down the modalities of inter country adoption. A brief of the same is given below.
The authorities and agencies involved in Inter-country adoption process
- Court of Competent Jurisdiction who can pass Order for Adoption;
- Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)
- Central Authority in the receiving Country (CA)
- Indian Diplomatic Missions Abroad
- Foreign Diplomatic Missions in India
- Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency (AFAA)
- State Adoption Resource Agency (SARA)/Adoption Coordinating Agency (ACA)
- Recognised Indian Placement Agency (RIPA)
- Adoption Recommendation Committee (ARC
Registration for NRI or OCI or PIO or Foreign PAP(s).
- The PAP(s) desiring to adopt any child or children from India may register with the Authorized Foreign Adoption Agency (AFAA) or Central Authority (CA) or Government Department dealing with adoption matters in the receiving country.
- The PAP(s) with the assistance of AFAA or CA shall obtain the permission of the competent authority of their country for adopting a child from India.
Home Study and other requirements.
- A professional social worker of the AFAA or Central Authority or Government Department dealing with adoption matters in the country of the habitual residence (365 days or more) of the PAP(s), shall conduct their Home Study and shall prepare the HSR and the HSR shall contain all documents as specified in Schedule VI of CARA Guidelines.
- All documents forming part of the Home Study Report shall be notarized and the signature of the notary is to be apostilled by competent authority of the receiving country.
- If the documents are in any language other than English, then the originals must be accompanied by translations in English attested by competent authority.
- The HSR of PAP(s) shall remain valid for a period of two years but the medical status of the PAP(s) should not be more than one year old at the time of referral of the child.
- The Home Study Report should also indicate preferences, if any, of the PAP(s) about the child's age, sex, physical and medical condition, or location within India.
Identification of RIPA by CARA.
- 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.
- 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
- 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-à-vis in-country adoptions, etc.
- The process mentioned in sub-paragraphs (2) and (3) shall be completed preferably within a period of fifteen days from the receipt of dossier.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Referral and Acceptance
- The RIPA shall be responsible for assigning, referral and placement of the child.
- 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.
- CARA shall have the right to accept or reject the recommendation of the RIPA.
- 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.
- The RIPA shall forward the referral constituting the Child Study Report and Medical Examination Report of the child to the AFAA or CA.
- The AFAA or CA shall transmit the referral to the PAP for acceptance.
- On acceptance of the child by the PAP(s), the AFAA or CA shall send back the original copy of the “referral for adoption” to RIPA, along with the following documents, namely:
- Notarized or attested copy of the CSR and MER duly signed by PAP(s)
- 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
- 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
- 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.
Recommendation for Inter-country Adoption by Adoption Recommendation Committee
- 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.
- 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.
- The SARA or ACA shall ensure that the Recommendation Certificate is issued expeditiously within a period of 15 days from date of receipt of the dossier.
- In case of a special needs child, the SARA or the ACA should issue the Recommendation Certificate within a period of 5 days from the date of receipt of the dossier.
- In case of medical special needs, the SARA or the ACA may ask the RIPA to get a Certificate from a reputed medical institution or a Government Medical Officer.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Committee shall also verify the documents filed by the RIPA and ensure that procedures have been correctly followed by the RIPA.
- 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.
- 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.
Issue of No Objection Certificate (NOC) by CARA
- 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.
- The ACA or SARA shall send a copy of the Recommendation Certificate to the concerned RIPA.
- CARA shall constitute a 'No Objection Certificate (NOC) Committee', which shall include CARA officials and external experts for issuing 'No Objection Certificate' in each case of inter-country adoption.
- After approval of the proposal by the NOC Committee, the NOC shall be issued in each case.
- The process for issue of NOC in accordance with Article 17 of the Hague Convention would be completed within a period of fifteen days from the date of receipt of completed dossier in CARA.
- A copy of the NOC issued by CARA shall be mailed to RIPA and a copy thereof to SARA or ACA, AFAA or CA.
Pre-adoption Foster Care.
- 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.
- The adoption agency in India shall inform the PAPs that such foster care shall have to continue till the final adoption order is issued.
- 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.
- 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.
- The PAPs shall not be allowed to take the child out of the city without the written permission of the concerned Indian adoption agency.
- 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.
- 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.
Filing of the Petition in the Competent Court.
- 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.
- The RIPA shall forward a copy of the court order and the adoption deed to CARA, SARA or ACA and AFAA or CA.
- On receipt of the Court Order, the CARA shall issue a Conformity Certificate (CC) under Article 23 as per provisions of the Hague Convention.
Passport and Visa.-
- No orphan, abandoned, surrendered child who has been adopted shall be allowed to leave India without a valid NOC from CARA.
- The RIPA shall apply for passport for the adopted child after the court order is received.
- The date of birth of the child as mentioned in the court order would be taken as the date of birth.
- 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.
Child to travel with adoptive parents.
The adoptive parent or parents shall have to come to India and accompany the child to their country.
The AFAA or CA receiving the child shall keep CARA and concerned RIPA informed about the progress of placement as per format provided in Schedule-XIV through quarterly post-placement reports during the first year and half yearly reports during the second year of the child's arrival in the receiving country and such follow-up shall continue up to a period of two years after the child acquires citizenship of the receiving country.
Special Category of PAPs for Inter-country Adoption.
Inter-country adoption by Indian nationals in countries where there is no AFAA or CA shall be followed as under:-
- In the case of Indian nationals residing in a country where there is no AFAA or CA to sponsor applications, CARA may allow an organisation or individual recommended by the concerned Indian Mission to do the Home Study Report (HSR) and prepare adoption dossier which would then be forwarded to CARA through the Indian Embassy or High Commission.
- An official of the concerned Indian Mission may also prepare the HSR and adoption dossier of the PAP(s).
- The organisation or individual recommended by the concerned Indian Mission shall also be required to give an undertaking to CARA to send progress reports for a period of two years following legal adoption and also take action, as stipulated in these Guidelines, in case of disruption of adoption or repatriation of adopted child.
Adoption by foreign nationals living in India.
- In case of foreign nationals who are citizens of a country that has ratified the Hague Convention and they have been living in India for one year or more, the PAP(s) shall approach CARA along with a certificate of No-objection to the proposed adoption from the embassy or mission of the country of their nationality.
- On receipt of the No Objection Certificate, CARA 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 cases referred to in sub-paragraph (1), the Embassy or Missions in India of the country of the nationality of the PAPs shall give an undertaking for post-adoption follow-up as stipulated in Chapter IV of these Guidelines.
- In case, the PAPs continue to reside in India during the stipulated post-adoption follow-up period, the concerned RIPA would undertake such follow-ups and report to the concerned embassy or mission and CARA.
- 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.
Adoption by OCI living in India.
- The OCI (s), who are citizens of a country that has ratified the Hague Convention and they have returned to India and have been residing in India for more than one year, shall be eligible to adopt a child following procedure of Inter-country adoption under these Guidelines.
- The PAP(s) shall approach CARA along with a certificate of No-objection to the proposed adoption from the embassy or mission of the country of their nationality.
- On receipt of the certificate of No Objection, CARA 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 such cases, the Embassy or Missions in India of the country of the nationality of the OCI shall give an undertaking for post-adoption follow-up as stipulated in Chapter IV of these Guidelines.
- In case, the OCI continues to reside in India during the stipulated post-adoption follow-up period, the concerned RIPA would undertake such follow-ups and report to the embassy or mission and CARA.
Adoption by repatriated Indian Nationals.
Adoptions by repatriated Indian nationals holding Indian passport who have returned to India and have been residing in India for more than one year, will be processed as an in-country adoption.
The PAPs are required to bear following administration expenses in the process of adoption.
- The PAPs shall be required to contribute US$ 5000 towards the Child Care Corpus (CCC), maintained by the agency from where they are adopting the child. This amount shall also cover all expenses incurred to finalize the adoption.
- If Siblings, US$5000 for one child and US$2500 for each other child.
- It can be paid in two equal installments – first at the time of referral and second at the time of NOC from CARA