Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body of Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India. It functions as the nodal body for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions. CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003. CARA primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated or recognised adoption agencies. The legal authorities/agencies involved in In-country adoption are (1) Competent Court, (2) Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), (3) State Adoption Resource Agency (SARA), (4) Recognised Indian Placement Agency (RIPA), or (5) Specialised Adoption Agency (SAA). PAPs (Prospective Adoptive Parents) are authorised through the following State stated stages of legal adoption process in India.
(a) PAPs desiring to adopt a child shall register themselves only with one with RIPA/SAA preferably nearest to their current place of residence. Such agencies shall guide the PAPs on the registration process.(b) On receipt of the application for registration (Annexure-V) along with necessary documents and requisite registration fee, the RIPA/SAA shall register the PAPs for adoption and issue them a registration slip. (c) CARA shall also provide facility to the PAPs for online provisional registration through its website (www.cara.nic.in). (d) In case, the PAPs wish to adopt a child from RIPA/SAA other than the one where they have registered, but within the same state, the PAPs shall approach the SARA with their registration slip. The SARA will contact the RIPA/SAA from which the PAPs wish to adopt so that such PAPs are immediately included in the waiting list of PAPs of that RIPA/SAA. (e) In case the PAPs desire to adopt a child from any State other than where they are currently residing, they may approach the SARA of the State where they are residing, with their registration slip. The SARA will convey the registration of such PAPs immediately to the SARA of the State from which the PAPs want to adopt the child so that such PAPs are immediately included in the waiting list of PAPs in that state.
(a) In order to facilitate an informed decision by the PAPs, the concerned RIPA/SAA shall provide pre-adoption counseling to them. Such agency shall also prepare the PAPs for the adoption and related process by providing them with all relevant information.
(a) Documents listed at Annexure-VI shall be furnished by the PAPs to the concerned SAA/ RIPA to facilitate conduct of home study.(b) Home Study of the PAPs shall be conducted only by the professional social worker authorized by RIPA/SAA nearest to their current place of residence. The Home Study Report shall be based on the procedure laid down in Annexure-VII. (c) The HSR of PAPs shall be valid for adoptions from any where in the country for a period of 2 years. However, the MER of the PAPs should not be more than one year old at the time of referral of the child.
(a) RIPA/SAA shall constitute an 'Adoption Committee' consisting of the Secretary/Managing Trustee of the SAA, a senior professional social worker, Visiting Medical Officer and one other functionary of the RIPA/SAA. This Committee would do the assignment of the child.(b) Assignment of any child with PAPs shall be done by the 'Adoption Committee' only after the child has been declared legally free for adoption by the CWC and the PAPs have been found eligible by the RIPA/SAA to adopt. (c) The RIPA/SAA shall make the best efforts to assign a child as per required description given by the PAPs, if any. (d) After matching the child, the RIPA/SAA shall advise PAPs to see the child physically before they give their acceptance. They shall be shown the matched child/children only at the premises of RIPA/SAA. The PAPs, if they so desire, may get the child medically examined by their own doctor. (e) The CSR and MER of the matched child (or children in case of siblings) shall be forwarded by the RIPA/SAA to the PAPs for acceptance. This process is known as "referral". The PAPs shall accept the referral in writing within a maximum period of 10 days. (f) In case the referred child is not acceptable to the PAPs, a maximum of two other children shall be shown to them at a given time. In case, the matching does not take place, the PAPs would be eligible for reconsideration only after a lapse of three months from the date when the last child was shown to them. (g) In case of placement of older children (7 years and above), written consent of the child for the proposed placement shall be obtained. In case the child can not read and write, verbal consent can be taken in the presence of the 'Adoption Committee' who shall record the same and take the signature/thumb impression of the child on the recorded statement. The date on which the consent of the child is obtained should be clearly indicated. (h) If the PAPs decide to adopt the proposed child, they shall give their formal acceptance for the adoption by signing on the CSR and MER of the child.
(a) The Child can be placed in pre-adoption foster care after acceptance of referral by the PAPs. The PAPs shall be required to sign a foster care affidavit and undertaking before the child is placed in their temporary custody. Before physically entrusting the child to the prospective adoptive parents, the adoption agency should ensure that they have record of local contacts of the PAPs including contact details of two close relatives. During such period of foster care, the PAPs, shall have the right to take the child to any place within the country after duly informing the RIPA/SAA. However, the child must be brought for the legal process as and when required by the Court.
(a) The child can be legally placed in adoption with the PAPs by the competent court. For this purpose, the court having jurisdiction over the area where the RIPA/SAA is located will be the competent court.(b) The RIPA/SAA shall file a petition in the competent Court for obtaining the necessary adoption orders under the relevant Act within five days of acceptance of referral by PAPs. The adoption petition shall contain all requisite documents as prescribed in Annexure-VIII. (c) RIPA/SAA shall ensure that the petition is filed within 10 days of the acceptance of referral by PAPs and shall pursue the same regularly with the court so that the legal adoption is completed at the earliest. (d) In accordance with the directions of the Honourable Supreme Court of India in the case of L.K.Pandey vs Union of India (WP No 1171 of 1982), the competent Court shall dispose off the case within a maximum period of 2 months from the date of filing. For the best interest of the child, the competent court may, to the extent possible, dispose of the case in the first hearing itself. (e) The RIPA/SAA shall forward a copy of the court order and the adoption deed to the concerned SARA and the PAPs.
(a) The RIPA/SAA shall carry out half yearly follow-up visits to 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.(b) The copies of the follow-up reports of the children shall be submitted by the RIPA/SAA to SARA. (c) In cases of disruption of adoption, the RIPA/SAA shall make efforts for alternate rehabilitation of the child.