Procedure For In Country Adoption

The following fundamental principles shall govern adoptions of children from India, namely: -  

  1. The child's best interest shall be of prime importance while deciding any placement; 
  2. Preference shall be given to place the child in adoption within the country; 
  3. Adoption of children shall be guided by a set procedures and in a time bound manner; 
  4. No one shall derive any gain, whether financial or otherwise, through adoption. 

Person competent to be adopted

Any orphan, abandoned or surrendered child can be adopted following due procedure laid down in these Guidelines if such child is declared legally free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). 

Person competent to adopt

In accordance with the provisions of sub-section (6) of section 41, the Court may allow a child to be given in adoption, -  

(a) To an individual irrespective of his or her marital status; or 

(b) To parents to adopt a child of the same sex irrespective of the number of living biological sons or daughters; or 

(c) To a childless couple.

Additional Eligibility Criteria for Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs)

(1) No child may be given in adoption to a couple unless they have at least two years of stable marital relationship.  

(2) Couples in live-in relationship are not eligible to adopt a child.  

(3) To adopt a child in the age group of 0-3 years, the maximum composite age of the PAPs should be 90 years wherein the individual age should not be less than 25 and more than 50 years.

(4) To adopt children above three years of age, the maximum composite age of the PAPs should be 105 years wherein the individual age of the PAPs should not be less than 25 years and more than 55 years.  

(5) In case a single PAP desires to adopt, he or she should not be less than 30 years of age and shall not be above the age of 50 years. The maximum age shall be 45 years to adopt children in the age group of 0-3 years and 50 years for adopting children above 3 years.  

(6) The PAPs should have adequate financial resources to provide a good upbringing to the child.  

(7) The PAPs should have good health and should not be suffering from any contagious or terminal disease or any such mental or physical condition, which may prevent them from taking care of the child. 

(8) Adoption of a second child is permissible only when the legal adoption of the first child has been finalized but this is not applicable in case of siblings.  

(9) An un-married or single male person is not permitted to adopt a girl child. 

Procedure for adoption

(1) The PAPs may adopt a child in accordance with the procedure, namely: -  

(a) The Indian PAPs habitually residing in India shall adopt a child only through a Government recognized adoption agency known as Specialised Adoption Agency. 

(b) The PAPs shall register only with one recognised adoption agency, which should preferably be nearest to their place of residence.  

(c) The PAPs in India can also register online at  

(d) The PAPs residing abroad shall adopt children only through CARA authorised agencies known as Authorized Foreign Adoption Agency(AFAA).  

(e) The PAPs should register with an AFAA or Central Authority nearest to their place of residence. 

 (f) In countries where there is no AFAA or Central Authority, the Indian nationals may approach the Indian High Commission or Embassy for processing and forwarding their case to CARA.  

(2) After registration, the PAPs shall follow the adoption procedure as provided in these Guidelines and as per the details given in CARA’s website 

Restoration efforts.

1. 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. 

2. 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

Declaration of a child legally free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee.- 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.

Home Study and other requirements. -

(1) The documents mentioned at Schedule-V shall be furnished by the PAPs to the concerned Specialised Adoption Agency to facilitate conduct of home study. 

 (2) Home Study of the PAP(s) shall be conducted within a maximum period of two months from the date of acceptance of registration only by the professional social worker authorized by the ecialised Adoption Agency nearest to their current place of residence.  

(3) The Home Study Report shall be based on procedures as laid down at Schedule-VI.  

(4) The Home Study Report of PAP(s) shall be valid for adoptions from any where in the country for a period of two years.  

(5) The Medical Examination Report of the PAP(s) should not be more than one year old at the time of referral of the child.

Referral and Acceptance

In case a matching does not take place, the PAPs shall be eligible for reconsideration only after a lapse of three months from the date on which the last child was shown to them.

Follow up visits and post-adoption services

(1) The Specialized Adoption Agency shall carry out half yearly follow-up visits of the child from the time the child has been placed in pre-adoption foster care till a period of two years after the legal adoption.  

(2) The copies of the follow-up reports of the children shall be submitted by the Specialized Adoption Agency to SARA or ACA.  

(3) In cases of disruption of adoption, the Specialized Adoption Agency shall make efforts for alternate rehabilitation of the child

Home Study and other requirements

(1) 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. 

 (2) 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.  

(3) If the documents are in any language other than English, then the originals must be  accompanied by translations in English attested by competent authority. 

(4) 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. 

 (5) 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. 

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.

(3) The date of birth of the child as mentioned in the court order would be taken as the date of birth.

Child to travel with adoptive parents

The adoptive parent or parents shall have to come to India and accompany the child to their country.


(Last updated on 22 February 2019)