CARA - Draft Guidelines on Adoption of Indian Children
DRAFT GUIDELINES ON ADOPTION OF INDIAN
CHILDREN WITHOUT PARENTAL CARE
CENTRAL ADOPTION RESOURCE
MINISTRY OF WOMEN & CHILD DEVELOPMENT
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
• Goals & Fundamental Principles
• Best Interest of Child
• Curent Legal Practice
• Shishu Greh Scheme
• Scope of the Guidelines
• In-country & Inter-country Adoptions
• Adoption Provisions under different legislations
PART II :
Child Care & Rehabilitation Priority
• Hierarchy of Life environments
• Safety/Protection Needs of a Child
• Restoration and Family Preservation Efforts
• Domestic Adoption
• Inter-country Adoption
• Institutional Care
• Care & Rehabilitation in Emergency Situations
Registration, Recognition, Accredition & Enlistment
• Specialized Adoption Agency(SAA)
• Adoption Co-ordinating Agency(ACA)
• Enlisted Foreign Agencies for Adoption(EFAA)
Role and Functions of various Authorities
• Govt. of India
• CARA & Central Authorities
• Designated Courts
• India’s Deplomatic Missions Abroad
• State Government & Uts
• Adoption Advisory Committee
• SARA(State Adoption Resource Agency)/State Adoption Cell
• Child Welfare Committee
• Birth Certificate issuing Authority
Role and Functions of Associated Agencies/ Stake holders
• ACA(Adoption Coordinating Agency)
• SAA(Specialized Adoption Agency)
• EFAA(Enlisted Foreign Adoption Agencies)
• Scrutiny Agencies
• Adoptive Parents Asociations
• Police and Local Authority
• Hospitals & Nursing Homes
• Birth Certificate issuing Authority
• RPO(Regional Passport Office)
• Biological Parents,Community & Civil Society
Procedure for Legal Adoption
• Source of Children
• Admission Procedure(Transfer of Children)
• Ascertaining Legal Status
• Efforts for Domestic Adoption(Indians residing in India)
• Procedure related to Children
• Procedure related to Prospective Adoptive Parents (Indians in India)
• Adoption by prospective NRI/OCI/PIO/Foreign Parents
Rights, Safeguards, Ethical Issues & Guides to Good Practice
• Rights of insttuionslized Children and Children placed in Adoption
• Issue of Safeguards
• Post-adoption Issues
A. Adoption Provisions under different legislations
B. Format of CSR & PER
C. Guideline for Preparing HSR
D. Master Admission Register for Children
E. Reporting Formats & Online Reporting System from SAA to various
F. Documents to be filed with Adoption Petition in case of domestic
G. Checklist of documents in case of PAPs residing abroad
H. Minimum Standards & Recommended Staff Provision for SAA.
I. Criteria for Prospective Adoptive Parents and Criteria for Children to be
J. Reimbursement of Adoption Fee (In-country & Inter-country)
K. Registration Format for PAPs in India
L. WHO Growth Standards
M. Rights of Children in Institutions
The family is the natural environment for the growth and well being of the
children as family environment alone can provide them the best opportunity to
fulfill their potential. Government of India considers adoption as the best non-
institutional support for rehabilitation of orphan, abandoned and surrendered
children who become homeless and whose separation from their biological
parents can not be avoided for various reasons. In pursuance of its
constitutional mandate, the Government of India has evolved a National Policy
for the Welfare of Children. The thrust of this policy is summed up in the
"The Nation's children are a supremely important asset. Their nurture and
solicitude are our responsibility. Children's programme shall find a prominent
part in our national plans for the development of human resources, so that our
children grow up to become robust citizens, physically fit, mentally alert and
morally healthy, endowed with the skills and motivations needed by society.
Equal opportunities for development to all children during the period of growth
should be our aim, for this would serve our larger purpose of reducing
inequality and ensuring social justice."
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child-1989 recognizes family as the
fundamental group of the society and the natural environment for growth and
well being of all its members and particularly children. Hague Convention on
Inter-country Adoption-1993 stipulates rights and safeguards for all adoptable
children. JJ Amendment Act-2006 provides measures for family preservation
and rehabilitation of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children. A
Comprehensive Child Welfare and Protection Policies under National Plan of
Action-2005 and Integrated Child Protection Services (ICPS) have stipulated
child care standards for institutionalized children, their rights and safeguards.
Following upon the above mandate, the Govt. of India has evolved several
programmes to ensure the betterment of children and their development in a
wholesome manner. The Ministry of Women & Child Development, Govt. of
India has been mandated, amongst others, with the welfare of such children in
difficult circumstances and considered most vulnerable. The rehabilitation of
such children through adoption is one of the major planks of the Ministry’s
policies for children. This policy keeps in mind the fact that the full and
wholesome growth of a child is possible only in an atmosphere of parental love
and guidance. It recognizes the family as the central fulcrum around which
both mental and physical development of a child is given full opportunity to
In order to facilitate the implementation of the norms, principles and
procedures relating to the adoption of children laid down by the Honourable
Supreme Court in their judgments dated the 6th Feb. 1984, 27th Sep. 1985 and
3rd Dec. 1986 in Writ Petition L. K. Pandey vs. Union of India (NO. 1171) of
1982, the Government of India issued Guidelines vide Ministry of Welfare
Resolution No. 13-33/85-CH (AC) dated the 4th July 1989.
The Government of India issued the Revised Guidelines for Adoption of Indian
Children vide notification dated the 29th May 1995 after examining subsequent
directions laid down by the Supreme Court of India and the recommendations
of the Task Force constituted under the Chairmanship of Justice P. N.
Bhagawati, retired Chief Justice of Supreme Court of India. Subsequently, the
Government of India converted the Central Adoption Resource Agency into an
autonomous body with effect from the 18th March, 1999. It was designated as
Central Authority by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment on
17.7.2003 for the implementation of the Hague Convention on Protection of
Children & Cooperation in respect of Inter-country Adoption (1993). The
Ministry of Women & Child Development has of late been mandated to look
after the subject matters ‘Adoption’ & ‘Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of
Children) Act, 2000’ pursuant to 16th Feb. 2006 notification of Govt. of India
regarding reallocation of the Business.
Also, the Govt. enacted the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act,
2000 and further amended it in the year 2006 to ensure adequate protection
and rehabilitation measures for children in need of care and protection. In the
year 2004 and 2006, Government came out with In-country Guidelines 2004
and “Guidelines for Adoption from India 2006” respectively.
India signed the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption-1993 on 9
January, 2003 and ratified it on 6 June, 2003 with a view to strengthening
international cooperation and protection of Indian children placed in inter-
country adoption. For the purpose of implementation of the Convention,
Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India is functioning as
the Administrative Ministry and Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) as
the Central Authority.
In accordance with article 3 of the Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC), the
best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration in all actions
concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare
institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies. This
principle, reiterated in article 21 CRC in relation to adoption, implies a case-by-
case appreciation of the interest of the child, and conflicts with a general
approach, which considers the adoption of a child as beneficial for him in all
The present Guidelines shall be applicable to recognized adoption agencies in
the country as provided under JJ Amendment Act 2006.
1.2 Goals & Fundamental Principles
The child welfare goals of most vulnerable category of children, i.e.
orphan/abandoned and surrendered children are safety (child protection),
family preservation (restoration to biological parents and strengthening family
approach) and their rehabilitation in various non-institutional services as
visualized in the UN Convention on Child Rights and Hague Convention on
Inter-country Adoption (both ratified by India), principles laid down by the
Honourable Supreme Court of India in the series of Judgments delivered in L.K.
Pandey vs. Union of India and Others between 1984 and 1991 and various
other court orders from time to time. Central Adoption Resource Authority is
authorized to promote in-country adoption and regulate inter-country adoption,
implement various measures necessary to establish uniform standards in
sourcing of children for the purpose of adoption, procedure followed in
adoption, quality child care, hierarchy of care options and rehabilitation
priorities, registration and licensing procedure, monitoring provisions,
standardization of documents, their safeguards and ethical practices in all
Prevention of separation of a child from his/her biological parents/guardians
and long term institutionalization of all adoptable children, child’s reintegration
with biological parents and/or guardians and family reintegration constitute the
most desirable permanent solution. As guiding principles in this regard,
international law provides that family solutions must be envisaged as a priority
and domestic measures must be given preference over those that may be
available outside the country (principle of subsidiary).
The principal goal is to find a loving and caring family for every adoptable child
and to ensure “best interest of the child” at various stages in the adoption
process. All homeless children including orphan and abandoned children must
have access to non-institutional services and every effort shall be made to stop
any kind of illegal or unethical practices in the name of adoption. Placement of
children in adoption must be guided by a procedure in a time bound manner at
all stages, so that adoptable children find themselves in adoptive families at the
earliest possible time. The sooner they are placed with alternate families; it is
better for their overall growth and development.
The goal as envisaged under the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption
is to protect the rights of children, birth families and adoptive parents involved
in adoptions with other countries that are parties to the Convention. It is
intended to provide every child a family to ensure better social and emotional
development of the destitute and orphan children within their own socio-
cultural milieu, to encourage and propagate adoption of children within the
country and to regulate and facilitate the procedure for Inter-country adoptions
so as to bring uniformity throughout the country in this regard.
1.3 It rests on three major principles:
i) Subsidiarity, whereby international adoption may only be considered in
the absence of domestic solutions (i.e., only if the child cannot be
brought up by his or her own parents, other members of the family or
adoptive parents within the country of origin);
ii) Prohibiting improper financial or other gain and requiring that only costs
and expenses, including reasonable professional fees, be charged;
iii) And the primacy of the child's best interests (requiring a central point of
contact or central authority in each country to coordinate inter-country
adoption policy and practice; to establish legal safeguards to ensure that
inter-country adoptions take place in the best interest of the child and
with respect to his/her fundamental rights (as recognized in
International Law) to ensure and secure in the Contracting States
international recognition of adoption, in other words, an adoption made
in one country will be recognized in other countries; providing for a
system of accreditation for inter-country adoption practitioners; requiring
that consent to adopt be informed and freely given; and requiring
preservation of medical and other records etc.).
1.4 Best Interest of Child
The Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by the General Assembly of
the United Nations on 20 November 1989 and ratified by India recognizes that
each child should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of
happiness, love and understanding and a child, by reason of his physical and
mental immaturity needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate
legal protection, before as well as after birth. It further states that in all actions
concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare
institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the
best interest of the child shall be a primary condition.
In accordance with article 3 of the Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC), the
best interests of the child shall be the primary consideration in all actions
concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare
institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies. This
principle, reiterated in article 21 CRC in relation to adoption, implies a case-by-
case appreciation of the interest of the child, and conflicts with a general
approach, which considers the adoption of a child as beneficial for him in all
cases. Article 18 and 27 of CRC confirm the importance of the responsibility of
parents for the upbringing of their children, but at the same time, the CRC
requires the State Parties to provide necessary assistance to parents (or other
care takers) in the performance of their parental responsibilities.
Article 21 of the Convention deals with safeguards pertaining to inter-country
adoptions. It also emphasizes on priority to in-country adoption, status of
children in inter-country adoption to be equivalent to national adoptions, the
placement of children should have no improper financial gain and the
placement of child in inter-country adoption involves competent authorities of
both the countries.
1.5 Current Legal Practice
In the absence of legislation on adoption, the court procedure is followed as per
judgement delivered by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in L.K. Pandey vs.
Union of India, WP No 1171 of 1982 and its subsequent cases. The present
practice is that children from India placed in international adoptions are
usually taken under Guardian and Wards Act, 1890 (GAWA) where Indian
courts only grant guardianship rights to the foreign nationals with a view to
taking guardianship of a particular child to take out of the country and adopt
as per their country laws. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of
Children) Amendment Act, 2006 applies to all children as well as parents
irrespective of their religion and gender. All adoptable children under category
of children in need of care and protection (as defined under JJ Act), shall be
processed under this specific legislation by district courts, city civil courts,
family court and other appropriate courts as may be defined under State JJ
Rules to be framed based on the above Act. The legislation being child focused
legislation, guarantees all rights to an adopted child and it is also recognized
under international obligations by all Hague member countries.
On implementation of JJ Amendment Act-2006 and its State Rules, all cases of
orphan, abandoned and surrendered children have to be processed under the
Act so that unrelated children have adequate safeguards in their placement.
1.6 Sishu Greh Scheme
The “Scheme of Assistance to Homes for Children (Sishu Greh) to Promote In-
country Adoption” has been in operation since 1992-93 to promote in-country
adoption. The Scheme was revised w.e.f. 1st April,2001 with the objective of
bringing State Govt.-run-institutions within its ambit so that all
institutionalized children who are legally free for adoption can find families
within the country.
Integrated Child Protection Scheme of Ministry of Women and Child
Development is an intervention of holistic approach towards child protection
1.8 Scope of the Guidelines
These Guidelines shall be applicable for all orphans, abandoned and
surrendered children under the age of 18 years as far as their adoption in
loving and caring alternate families is concerned both within the country and
abroad. The proposed Guidelines should assist States to ensure the rights of all
children to have access to non-institutional care, enforce uniform standards in
case of all adoptable children and ensure basic minimum requirements in case
of special needs children etc.
These Guidelines would essentially seek to ensure that children do not find
themselves on the streets or in residential homes pointlessly, rather they find
care and rehabilitation services as per their specific needs and rights. The above
Guidelines shall replace (i) Guidelines for In-country adoption, 2004 and (ii)
Guidelines for Adoption from India, 2006. Cases of all orphan, abandoned and
surrendered children shall be processed as per the provisions prescribed under
the present Guidelines and appropriate legislations and Rules in force.
1.9 In-country & Inter-country Adoption
Adoption proposals received from Indians residing in India shall be processed
by SAAs as per procedure given under the Guidelines. Applications of
NRI/OCI/PIO and foreign parents sponsored by EFAAs/Central Authorities or
Govt. Departments to CARA shall be treated as inter-country adoptions. An
inter-country adoption is one in which the adoptive parents and the child do
not have the same nationality as well one in which the habitual residence of the
adopters and the child is in different counties.
1.10 Adoption Provisions under different Legislations
All children in need of care and protection shall be resorted to procedure
established under JJ Amendment Act 2006, its National Model Rules or State
Rules and the present Guidelines. Even in cases of family adoption, if children
are found to be such category (children in need of care and protection), their
adoption may be finalized under JJ Amendment Act 2006.Details about
adoption provisions under different legislations are placed at Annexure-A.
PART - II
CHILD CARE & REHABILITATION PRIORITIES
The family is the primary setting for children's development. The separation of
children from their families can result from many causes, including the death of
one or both parents, abandonment, natural calamities, displacement, poverty,
gender issues, children suffering from special needs or simply the inability or
unwillingness of the family to provide care. It is true that the best institutional
care cannot replace the warmth of family life and therefore, children need not
be separated from their biological family on the ground of poverty or gender
issues and therefore each case of such child should be carefully planned. It is
imperative to ensure primacy of efforts to maintaining the child with his or her
parents by providing necessary support to the latter in their care-giving role, i.e.
preventing unwarranted or arbitrary separation ensuring the planned provision
of a range of alternative care options, with priority to family and community
based solutions, securing permanency for the child without undue delay
through, wherever possible, reunification with the family or in an alternative
stable family setting, protection from abuse, neglect and exploitation in all care
Hierarchy of life environments
• family solutions (prevention of abandonment and keeping the child in
his/her family, returning the child to his/her family of origin, foster care,
internal or intercountry adoption) must take precedence over long-term
• Permanent solutions (keeping or reintegrating the child in his/her family
of origin, adoption) must take precedence over temporary solutions that
• Temporary solutions (foster care, placement in an institution) must give
priority to the reintegration of the child in his/her family of origin, or else
to the search for a permanent solution.
• National solutions (family reintegration, internal adoption) must take
precedence over international solutions (inter-country adoption).
Priority No I
Safety/Protection Needs of a Child
When children are admitted into adoption agencies/child care institutions, their
protection or safety need is to be accorded highest priority. The child’s best
interests and respect for his/her fundamental rights shall govern any protective
measure taken for a child. Child Protection incorporates both prevention and
rehabilitation aspects. Children have a right to be prevented from becoming
subjects of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation while during their stay in
the institutions. “Child Protection” is about protecting children from or against
any perceived or real danger or risk to their life, their personhood and
childhood. It is about the reducing their vulnerability to any kind of harm and
protecting them in harmful situations. While protection is a right of every
child, infants and young children are more vulnerable then others. Adoption
agencies are required to support preventive interventions, promote community
based care and quality standards so that every child has access to
safety/protection need as soon as it is admitted in the home.
Priority No II
Restoration & Family Preservation Efforts
The family preservation services may include family support interventions,
health and nutrition programmes, education programmes, psychosocial
support, household economic strengthening programs etc. SAAs are urged to
promote family foster care and sponsorship programme to prevent separation of
children from their biological parents.
Every effort must be made to retain a child with his/her biological parents.
Prevention of family separation is called for in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights (Article 16) and is integral to the United Nations Convention on
the Rights of the Child (Articles 5–9, 18, 24, 27-29).
Restoration of a child to the biological parent/s or preventing abandonment of a
child from biological parent/s are important decisions and such decision-
making in the best interests of the child should be based on rigorous
assessment, planning and review, through established structures and
mechanisms. It should be carried out on a case-by-case basis, by suitably
qualified persons, preferably in a multidisciplinary team.
Family preservation efforts should aim to empower families with attitudes,
skills, capacities and tools to enable them to provide adequately for the
protection, care and development of their children. A family strengthening
approach may include parenting courses, the promotion of positive parent-
child relationships, conflict resolution skills, and opportunities for income
generating activities, support services, including financial assistance and care
facilities for parents and children together when necessary. Agencies and
authorities should make every effort to prevent the separation of children from
their parents or primary caregivers, unless the best interests of the child so
require, and ensure that their actions do not inadvertently encourage family
separation by providing services and benefits to children alone rather than to
Should family reintegration prove impossible within an appropriate period, or
be deemed contrary to the child’s best interests, other long-term options such
as sponsorship, foster care, appropriate residential care or adoption should be
envisaged. That child welfare service providers are expected to check whether
children who are deprived of parental care be placed with relatives or other
adults known to them, so that they can stay in a familiar environment.
The Juvenile Justice Act 2000(amended in 2006) provides for the reintegration
of children into the community by means of adoption, foster care and
SAAs are encouraged to develop programmes for family based non-institutional
care including sponsorship (both preventive and rehabilitative) and foster care
(temporary foster care and pre-adoption foster care) support.
Family foster care for older children may be considered as an important option
in this regard.
Priority No III
The Supreme Court of India in its series of judgements in L.K.Pandey vs. Union
of India case and the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child
adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1989 as well as the
Hague Convention on Inter-country adoption of 1993 clearly lay down that the
best interest of the child without a family is served by providing it an
opportunity to be placed with a family within its own socio-cultural milieu.
Thus every child has a right to be considered for placement with a family
belonging to its own national and cultural background within the country.
Inter-country adoption is therefore, to be seen as an option, which is to be
considered only when the above is not possible.
Priority No IV
In the light of Article 21(b) of UNCRC, inter-country adoption may be considered
as an alternative means of child care, if the child can not be placed in a suitable
foster or in an adoptive family or can not in any suitable manner be cared for in
the child’s country of origin. This may be read with Article 4.b of Hague
Convention on Inter-country Adoption 1993. Further on perusal of the Hague
Convention of Art 16.1b, it is said that due consideration be given to the child’s
upbringing and to his or her ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic
background while doing placement for his/her adoption. Inter-country adoption
may be seen as the next priority while making rehabilitation efforts for such
children, which can be preferred to institutionalization.
In view of the above and letter issued by Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs vide
DO No OI-16011/10/2006 dtd 20th Novemeber 2006, priority for adoption may
be given as under:
1. Indians in India
2. NRI/OCIs(No SARA Clerance required)
Priority No V
In spite of its best efforts to place children in non-institutional care, if a
particular SAA does not succeed, the next alternative left with it is to fit such
children into appropriate care provisions keeping their best interest as priority.
A list of such institutions may be maintained by SAA, CWC and SARA to enable
such children to get appropriate child care as envisaged under JJ Amendment
While under institutional care, such children should enjoy all rights as
enshrined in UNCRC, i.e., including the right to maintain regular contact with
biological family and other significant people if such contact is not conflicting
with their best interest, the right for siblings to stay together or maintain
regular contact, the right to an identity, the right to respect of the child’s ethnic,
religious, cultural, social and linguistic background, the right to privacy, the
right to good quality health care adapted to the needs and well-being of the
individual child, the right to respect for the child’s human dignity and physical
integrity, protection against corporal punishment and all forms of abuse, the
right to equal opportunities, the right to have access to all types of education,
vocational guidance and training under the same conditions as for all other
children, the right to be prepared for active and responsible citizenship through
play, sport, cultural activity, informal education and increasing responsibilities,
the right to participate in decision-making processes concerning the child and
the living conditions in the institution and the right to make complaints to an
identifiable, impartial and independent body in order to assert children’s
Care and Rehabilitation in Emergency Situations
All principles set out in the present Guidelines should continue to apply in
situations of emergency arising from natural and man-made disasters.
Identifying, registering and documenting unaccompanied or separated children
are priorities in any emergency and should be carried out as quickly as
possible. Registration activities should be conducted by or under the direct
supervision of Government authorities and explicitly mandated agencies with
responsibility for and experience in this task. The children may not be shifted to
far off places unless it is so required and their identity should be preserved at
all costs. Temporary foster care or institutional care may be considered as
appropriate alternative in such cases. In case the relatives/ guardians are alive,
such children have a right to be united with their relatives/guardians provided
there is nothing wrong in such efforts. If it has been established beyond all
doubts that there is no surviving relative/guardian, in such case, the child may
be placed in domestic adoption. No action should be taken that may hinder
eventual family reintegration.
REGISTRATION, RECOGNITION, ACCREDITION & ENLISTMENT
Adoption of unrelated children shall be processed only through
licensed/recognized agencies as provided under these Guidelines. In case of
domestic adoption, which means Indians residing in India, children shall be
processed through SAA while in all other cases such as NRIs/OCIs/PIOs and
foreigners, adoption applications can be sponsored from the receiving country
to CARA and such applications can be processed through SAA (RIPA).
3. 1 Specialized Adoption Agency (SAA)
Criteria of Recognition
The State Governments (the term "State Government" to include Union Territory
Administration wherever applicable) through SARA shall recognize suitable
children's homes as SAA for placing children in adoption. Out of all CCIs, only
selected units may be registered as Specialized Adoption Agency as per JJ Act
for infants and young children (0-6 yrs). State Govt. may make efforts to
recognize at least one SAA in each district. The State Govt. shall periodically
renew recognition. In case children above 6 years are available in the
institutions who are either orphan/abandoned or surrendered, additional
facilities may also be provided for education, recreation etc. The mandatory
requirement of such agency is that it should have adequate infrastructure and
facilities of quality childcare to meet any casualty or emergency situation while
the child is admitted into the agency or stays for a short-term.
Out of all CCIs, the state govt. may like to recognize a few institutions to deal
with high-degree special needs children (suffering from HIV/AIDS, mentally
retarded and other hard to place category) where experts are available to
provide quality care and treatment on long-term basis for those children who
are not adoptable.
The State Government shall issue recognition certificate as SAA to suitable CCI
under Section 41(4) of the JJ Amendment Act – 2006 on the basis of the
(i) Only such voluntary agencies/institutions as are primarily engaged
in non-profit activities and preferably having child welfare
programmes and registered under the Societies Registration Act,
1860 / Public Trust Act can apply for registration as CCIs and
further for recognition as SAA.
(ii) All such CCIs shall be registered under Section 34 (3) of the JJ Act.
(iii) Such institutions should have other social and charitable activities
to qualify to be approved as SAA in the State.
(iv) It should have computer and internet connection to feed online
data to various authorities
(v) For applying recognition as SAA in the State or UT, such CCI has to
enclose above documents along with its Annual Reports (for last
three years), list of professional and child care staff, copy of its
Memorandum of Association and Management Committee (MC) and
minutes of its MC supporting such decision.
(vi) By virtue of recognition by State Govt, SAAs shall become eligibile to
become member of SARA/ACA.
(vii) Such agency should adhere to guideline or rule laid down by the
State Government /Central Government or CARA on Adoption from
time to time.
(viii) All such homes must have a high standard of child care facilities to
ensure that children are rehabilitated and their health improved
before they are placed in adoption. All the agencies shall observe
prescribed & adequate standards in child care and professional and
child care staff as per the broad criteria placed at Annexure – B.
The number of Ayas and nurses and other staff shall vary in
proportion to the number of children in the Home. For children,
between 3 and 6 years proper recreational and pre-school
educational facilities must be provided.
(ix) It shall be mandatory for all the Homes/ Institutions to have
qualified professional and child care staff for running child welfare
programme. Professional social worker should be an MSW or
Master Degree holder in Psychology.
(x) It is also advised to have a part time legal consultant who can help
in completion of legal formalities for placement of the child.
In addition to the provisions provided under this Guidelines, SAA is required to
comply with procedures and child care standards as provided under JJ
Amendment Act 2006 and its corresponding National Model Rules or State JJ
Rules and Schemes framed by Government of India known as Integrated Child
Protection Scheme (ICPS) for protection and rehabilitation of all children in
need of care and protection. All SAAs are required to ensure that a child’s right
to grow up in safe, stable and trustworthy relationships is assured and
institutionalization of the child is considered as the last resort.
3.2 SAA (RIPA)
Only such SAA having adequate infrastructure and other social and child
welfare activities may be recommended by the State Government to CARA for
recognition as RIPA and such agencies will be known as RIPA and accredited
agencies of CARA for placing children both in domestic and inter-country
Criteria for recognition
In addition to the requirements as mentioned above in case of SAA, SAA (RIPA)
is required to have additional facilities for special needs children and large
number of children not able to find family within the country etc. CARA may
consider recognition of such agencies as RIPA based on State Government’s
recommendation and additional facilities available therein. Only Recognised
Agencies can undertake Inter-country Adoption. RIPAs will be known as
accredited bodies for the purpose of processing inter-country adoption
applications. Any Indian agency desirous of undertaking inter-country adoption
work shall apply for recognition to the Central Adoption Resource Authority,
through the State Government concerned.
Conditions for Recognition
a) It shall be a society registered under the Societies Registration Act,
1860 or a Trust created under the Charitable Trust Act, or an
organization registered under an appropriate law or an organization
which has worked for the welfare of children during the proceeding
b) The organization shall be duly licensed by the State Government as
SAA under the provisions of JJ Amendment Act 2006 or relevant
c) It shall have a duly constituted Executive Committee. The Chief
Executive of the organization as well as the majority of members of
the Board/Executive Committee should be Indian citizens;
d) It should have appropriate children’s home for the protection and up-
keep of children including infants;
e) It should be running on a non-commercial, non-profitable basis;
f) It should have at least one qualified Social Worker on its staff to carry
out the adoption work;
g) The Chief Executive of the organization should be willing to sign a
written undertaking to follow the guidelines laid down by the
Supereme Court of India and those prescribed, from time to time, by
the Government of India and the Regulations if any, made by CARA.
h) Recognition of the agency should be recommended by the State
Government concerned or if it is not so recommended, the reason for
the refusal should be given. CARA may accept or reject the reasons
for refusal. The decision of CARA shall be final.
Recognition to an Indian accredited agency shall be granted normally for a
period of 5 years, subject to the conditions laid down in these Guidelines. The
decision of CARA shall be final in this regard.
Renewal of Recognition of RIPA
RIPA should apply for renewal of recognition, 6 months prior to the date of
expiry of the previous recognition. The original application should be sent by
the agency to the appropriate authority of the State Government and a copy of it
should simultaneously be forwarded directly to CARA. The State Government
will forward the original application to CARA along with its comments within a
period of two months from the date of receipt of the complete application. If the
State Government does not respond within stipulated time from the date of
receipt of application, CARA and consider the renewal of recognition.
Recognition would normally be renewable for a period of five years subject to
the following conditions:
• Recommendation/views of the concerned State Government
accompanied by the inspection report of the Agency.
• Satisfactory performance in relation to in-country adoption will be an
important factor to assess and consider further renewal of recognition of
any RIPA. The agencies shall sufficiently exhibit their involvement in the
area of In-country adoption. The Agencies will place 50% or more
children in adoption to Indians in India.
• Regular submission of Annual report, monthly reports of the Agencies
and audited statement of accounts as prescribed, adoption charges per
child, donations received, if any.
• No instance of proved malpractice against the RIPA.
• Whether the agency is still recognized by the appropriate authority of
concerned State govt. for running the children Home and doing in
country adoption under relevant rules.
• List of children placed in in-country and inter-country adoption, year-
wise for the period of five years to support the data submitted.
Agencies to maintain Accounts
Every agency shall maintain proper accounts to be audited
by a Chartered Accountant every year.An attested copy of audited accounts
together with audit report shall be furnished by every agency within one month
from the date accounts have been audited by the Chartered Accountant, to the
relevant Department of the State Government concerned and to the CARA. An
attested copy of the FCRA accounts submitted to the Home Ministry should be
furnished to CARA together with the audited accounts, by the agency. The
adoption charges and donations received from different sources will be
submitted to CARA at the end of every financial year. The SAA (RIPA) is
required to maintain child-wise adoption fee as well as any sponsorship fee or
donation received from EFAA/Central Authority.
Receipt of applications for Inter-country Adoptions
All applications for inter-country adoptions shall be received by CARA. No
Recognised Indian Placement Agency shall entertain any application for
adoption of an Indian child from foreigners [including NRIs/PIOs (as
applicable)], Enlisted Foreign Adoption Agency/central authority or from the
appropriate Government authority/duly authorized body in countries where
there is no enlisted agency. The applications received in CARA will be
distributed to RIPAs keeping in view the availability of children as also the
preference if exercised for a particular RIPA. PAPs not approved by CARA, in
case of Hague countries should not be allowed to visit RIPAs for selecting
Inspection of Agencies
The premises of the Recognized Indian Placement Agencies including their
children Homes, and their records shall be open to inspection by CARA, SARA
or State Govt. or any other agency authorized by CARA.
Recognition can be withdrawn or suspended by CARA wherever the need arises
or any other suitable action can be taken against the agency after giving due
opportunity to the agency by way of show cause notice. Recognition is subject
to review any time.
3.3 Adoption Coordinating Agency (ACA)
Recognition of ACA
There will be an Adoption Coordinating Agency (ACA) in a State or in special
circumstances more than one ACA in a State or one ACA for a group of states
where there are several children homes and adoption agencies to carry out the
functions prescribed under the Guidelines and as assigned to it by CARA from
time to time. Normally recognition shall be
considered for 5 years on satisfactory performance in the promotion of in-
country adoptions and other activities, timely submission of reports and
audited statement of accounts, recommendation of State Government along
with its inspection report and such other requirements as specified by CARA
will form the basis of recognition.
Criteria for recognition
• ACA shall be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
• Its Executive Committee shall be constituted as prescribed under the
• It should not have a liason with any EFAA for donations or for funding
any of its projects.
• The agency should run on a non-commercial and non-profitable basis.
• Furnished undertaking to Comply with CARA Guidelines.
• All the Office-bearers should be Indian Nationals.
• Any new Agency applying for ACA recognition, is required to employ such
number of staff as provided under ICPS or as decided by CARA from time
• The agency must be recommended by the concerned State Government
for recognition by CARA.
Renewal of Recognition
ACA which seeks renewal of recognition should apply to CARA through the
State Government for renewal of recognition six months prior to the date of
expiry of the previous recognition. If the State Government does not respond
within the stipulated 60 day period from the date of receipt of application, it
shall be presumed that the State Government has no objection. However, CARA
may issue recognition after satisfying itself about the activities & performance
Withdrawal of Recognition
CARA shall make annual evaluation of such agencies and in case any ACA is
found lacking in discharging its activities, CARA shall take appropriate action in
terms of suspension/withdrawal of recognition after giving it an opportunity to
explain its conduct. In the event of withdrawal of recognition CARA shall evolve
suitable alternate mechanism for issue of Clearance Certificates. Any
malpractice, if proved, would immediately invite action in the shape of
withdrawal of recognition. Delay and non-compliance in the submission of
reports/accounts asked for by the State Government or CARA may also be a
ground for withdrawal of recognition.
3.4 Enlisted Foreign Agencies for Adoption(EFAA)
CARA will approve/authorize Enlisted Foreign Adoption Agencies(EFAAs) who
can forward applications of foreign prospective adoptive parents including NRIs
(Non Resident Indians), OCIs and PIOs to it for approval.
Foreign Agencies to Apply to India’s Diplomatic Missions
A foreign social/child welfare agency desirous of sponsoring applications of
foreign adoptive parents for adopting an Indian child shall make an application
for authorization to CARA through the Office of Indian Diplomatic Mission in
that country and only such foreign agencies enlisted for this purpose by CARA
shall undertake this activity.
Criteria for Enlistment of Foreign Agencies
The criteria for enlistment/authorization of foreign agencies by CARA for the
purpose of inter-country adoption are as under:-
• It will be an Agency duly registered under the relevant law of the
concerned country and should be recognized/ licensed by the
appropriate authority of that country to undertake inter-country
• It must have been duly accredited and authorized by the Competent
Authority under the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoptions, 1993
• It will submit the Memorandum, Mission statement, copies of
Registration status, latest license issued by the concerned Government
authority to undertake International Adoptions, list of Board/Executive
Members and list of countries it is working with.
• It shall be a child welfare agency with an established standing in this
field and it must be staffed with qualified social workers who have
experience in the field of adoption. It shall submit the activities of the
organization, Annual Reports for the last 3 years, list of staff with
qualification and accounts for the last two years.
• The agency shall run on a non-commercial and non-profit basis and
shall provide an annual statement on payment made to the Indian
• An undertaking by the enlisted foreign adoption agency that in case of
disruption of the foreigner's family or in case the child is not properly
looked after or is mistreated or abused in the adoptive family, it will
undertake responsibility for the care of the child under intimation to the
Indian Diplomatic Mission, the Central Adoption Resource Authority,
SARA and the concerned Recognized Indian Placement Agency
immediately with full details and action taken for care and protection of
the child. This shall include finding a suitable alternative placement for
the child with the concurrence of the SAA (RIPA), which processed the
case and report such alternative placement to the Indian Court, which
passed the order for adoption. In such a case wherein the child is being
repatriated to India either to his/her biological family, or to the
Recognised Indian Placement Agency or to any other organisation, CARA
should be consulted. All Social and Medical Reports should be furnished.
The legal status of the child, his/her rights of citizens in the foreign
country and the adoptive parents legal liabilities should be stated. A care
plan for the child will be worked out and the State Government or any
other organisation authorized by CARA will monitor the well being of the
child. All cost including repatriation and after care will be met by the
Enlisted Foreign Adoption Agency.
• The Head/Chief Executive of the Organisation should be willing to sign a
written undertaking to follow the Guidelines and to send progress reports
Procedure for Enlistment
(i) A foreign social/child welfare agency desirous of sponsoring
applications of foreign adoptive parents for adopting Indian children shall
apply for enlistment to CARA, through the office of India's Diplomatic
Mission in that country.
(ii) On the recommendation of India's Diplomatic Mission in the country
concerned, CARA shall examine the application for enlistment and
consider the agency concerned for enlistment provided it fulfils the
(iii) A foreign adoption agency may be enlisted for a period of 5 years.
Renewal of Enlistment
• Every EFAA should apply for renewal of enlistment to CARA through the
concerned Indian Diplomatic Mission, its Central Authority/Govt. Deptt.
as the case may be in Hague ratified countries, 6 months prior to the
date of expiry of the previous recognition.
• Normally recognition shall be considered for 5 years on timely
submission of annual reports and audited statement of accounts, and
such other requirements as specified by CARA will form the basis of
renewal of enlistment. The most important requirement is to furnish
status of children who have been placed through it along with their
adoption decree/citizenship certificate.
The Central Adoption Resource Authority, Ministry of Women and Child
Development, Government of India, may at any time de-enlist any Enlisted
Foreign Adoption Agency for adoption for valid or legitimate reasons to be
recorded in writing. No EFAA should have a contract with any Indian
agency/ies to allocate certain number of children against quantum of donation
or payment of more than the prescribed adoption fee. However, if at the time of
de-enlistment, there is any case under process that would be allowed to be
completed unless CARA decides it will not be in the best interests of the child to
do so. Non-submission of regular progress reports can lead to de-enlistment.
ROLE AND FUNCTIONS OF AUTHORITIES
As envisaged under Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption 1993,
authorities and agencies of both sending and receiving countries are mandated
to discharge functions in regard to rights and safeguards of children placed in
4.2 Government of India
In the Government of India, the Ministry of Women and Child Development
deals with all policy matters related to adoption. The Ministry shall have the
primary responsibility for the development and funding of various Schemes
related to adoption. Government of India is competent to frame rules and issue
Guidelines related to non-institutional care and adoption of children with loving
and caring families. The Ministry is competent to take policy decision on any
particular issue related to orphan, abandoned and surrendered children.
4.3 CARA & Central Authorities
Central Adoption Resource Authority was established on 28th June’1990 . It was
registered under the Societies Registration Act on 18th March’1999 as an
autonomous body. CARA as an autonomous body under Ministry of Women
and Child Development (WCD) promotes domestic adoption and regulates inter-
country adoption in the country. By virtue of ratification of Hague Convention,
it functions as a central authority in the matter of adoption. CARA as a sending
country is obliged to implement all provisions of the Convention. Under Article
7 of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption 1993, a contracting state
shall designate a Central Authority (CA) to discharge the duties which are
imposed by the Convention upon such authorities.
4.4 The Central Authorities of the receiving countries have to declare in
their letter of approval that:
• the PFAPs are eligible & suitable to adopt a child from India as per the
Law of their countries.
• the Home Study Report & Health Report(by the medical professional) of
the PFAPs are prepared by the professionally trained social workers of
the agencies/bodies accredited by the authority.
• the child will be authorized to enter & reside permanently & will be
treated at par with other natural born citizen of the country.
• With reference to every child, it shall send either directly or through its
accredited agencies follow-up reports with photographs of the child on a
six monthly basis for a period of 2 years. It shall also send a copy of the
citizenship certificate order alongwith re-adoption order wherever
2. Court that awarded adoption order in India
• In case of any disruption etc. it shall take following appropriate measures
as envisaged under Art. 21 of the Convention:
o to inform CARA immediately the disruption & the possibility of child’s
placement with a new prospective adoptive parent;
o and where this is not appropriate or possible, to arrange long term care
under intimation to CARA;
• It shall arrange for the return of the child to India if his/her interest so
required due to the disruption.
• Central authorities in the receiving countries where ever existing are
required to transmit the attested copy HSR in advance to CARA instead
of RIPA. Central Authority of the receiving country is required to provide
status of Indian children on annual basis to CARA. It shall discharge
such other functions as given under Hague Convention on Inter-country
4.5 Roles and Functions of CARA
CARA functions as a nodal body on adoption matter in the country include the
a) To act as the Central Authority with regard to Adoption matters as
envisaged under the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and
Cooperation in respect of Inter country Adoption, 1993 and its reinforce
the criteria for accreditation for all such adoption agencies(SAAs),
systematize the accreditation methodology, take up training and
development activities of these bodies on the rights of the child and
adoption and to monitor their activities with periodic supervision.
b) To act as a clearinghouse of information in regard to children available
for inter-country adoption as well as for in-country adoption.
c) To receive applications or copies of applications along with requisite
documents (as prescribed by the Supreme Court of India in CRL (WP) No.
1171/1982 in the matter of Shri Laxmi Kant Pandey Vs. Union of India
and Others) of foreigners desirous of taking Indian children in adoption
through a recognized social or child welfare agency known as EFAA in
the foreign country or through an organization owned or operated by the
Government in that country.
d) To coordinate with the State Governments, SARAs for promoting in-
country adoption and all other related adoption matters including
regulation and monitoring of its associated agencies such as RIPA and
e) To recognize/renew the SAAs (RIPA) as accredited bodies for processing
inter-country adoption cases.
f) To enlist/renew enlistment of foreign adoption agencies as authorized
bodies to sponsor applications for Inter country Adoption of Indian
g) To recognize/renew an Adoption Coordinating Agency (ACA) to promote
h) To issue “No Objection Certificates” in inter-country adoption cases at
i) To prepare a centralized database of all children in the adoption process
and prospective adoptive parents with the help of SARA and ACA for the
purpose of establishing central information pool on such children and
j) To inspect and evaluate the working of SAA (RIPA) and SARA directly or
through State Governments or any other agency or body constituted for
k) To call for annual audited statements of account from SAA (RIPA), ACA
l) To call for annual statements from Enlisted Foreign Adoption Agencies
on Indian children placed by them in the prescribed format.
m) To send data on adopted children periodically to Indian Diplomatic
Missions abroad in respect of Indian children taken abroad.
n) To receive periodical reports about the progress of the children taken
abroad by parents for the purpose of adoption in a Performa prescribed
by CARA from all Enlisted Foreign Adoption Agencies (EFAAs) including
central authorities/government departments in foreign countries and to
take such follow-up action as deemed necessary.
o) To organize and arrange periodical meetings of SARAs/ACAs working in
the field of adoption for discussing matters of common interest.
p) To mobilize community opinion and community resources in furtherance
of adoption of children in the country itself and take all other measures
necessary for the promotion of in-country adoption of children as well as
welfare of children generally.
q) To arrange training programmes for social workers of SAAa and other
stakeholders engaged in child welfare activity specially in the
rehabilitation of children by means of adoption.
r) To enter into bilateral agreement with Foreign Central Authorities
wherever necessary as prescribed under the Hague Convention.
s) To liaise with concerned Central Authority/other appropriate Authority,
Enlisted Agency and RIPA in case of disruption of a child placed in inter-
country adoption and to take action in the best interest of the child.
t) To be responsible for verifying qualification of foreign adoption agencies;
proposing concrete qualifying standards of foreign adopters who want to
adopt in India; reviewing adoption application and relevant certifying
documents submitted by foreign governments or adoption agencies
appointed by foreign governments; making regular assessments of inter-
country adoption practice of foreign adoption agencies which perform
Indian adoption program.
u) To work as a think tank for the Ministry in the matter of adoption and
conduct studies and propose recommendations for regulating inter-
country adoption practice; develop domestic adoption with the help of
SARA and its associated agencies.
v) To develop quality standards and indicators for adoption agencies
w) CARA may levy any recognition/renewal processing fee or any other
charges with the approval of the Ministry of Women & Child Development
from time to time.
x) To take suitable action against any RIPA/ACA for any unethical practice
in inter-country adoption or violation of the present Guidelines and
y) To handle any other matters concerning the foreign adoption work and
initiate action on any other activity relating to adoption as a child’s right
to a family.
z) The CARA shall prepare an Annual Report on its working and shall
submit it to the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Govt. of India.
4.6 Designated Courts
a) In case of all children in need of care and protection, the provision of JJ
Amendment Act 2006 will be applicable. The concerned courts are
required to allocate particular day of the week/fortnight/month for
adoption cases so that adoptive parents do not have to wait long and the
cases are cleared expeditiously as directed by the Supreme Court in
India in the case of L.K.Pandey vs Union of India(WP No. 1171 of 1982).
b) High courts, district courts, city civil courts or family courts as the case
may be are required to dispose off adoption matters under JJ
Amendment Act - 2006 expeditiously in the first hearing itself and within
a period of 2 months. In case of all adoptions, the affected children will
be given the same legal status and rights of inheritance as if they were
born to the adoptive parent/s.
c) As per Article 23 of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, an
adoption certified by the competent authority of the State of the adoption
as having been made in accordance with the Convention shall be
recognized by operation of law in the other Contracting States. The
certificate shall specify when and by whom the agreements under Article
17, sub-paragraph c), were given.
4.7 India’s Diplomatic Missions Abroad
• Indian Diplomatic Missions abroad, will liaise with concerned
Central/Public Authorities to ensure safeguards of children of Indian
origin adopted by foreign parents against neglect, maltreatment,
exploitation or abuse.
• They will receive a statement of all Indian children periodically cleared for
adoption by foreign nationals (including NRIs/OCIs/PIOs) from CARA.
• Indian Missions will interact with the Foreign Enlisted Agencies and
Central Authorities in their area of jurisdiction and help to arrange get
together of the adopted children and their parents.
• The Indian Missions located in different countries will play a significant
role in the process of Inter-country adoption of Indian children. The
Missions will help CARA in maintaining liaison with the different
authorities and agencies operating in the countries of their jurisdiction.
• While recommendations for fresh enlistment should be made by the
concerned Indian Embassy/High Commission only, in case of renewals,
the same may be recommended by the Offices of the Consulate Generals
and Dy. High Commissions also.
• Attestation of Dossier/documents of prospective adoptive parents
submitted by the foreign authorities/agencies before the same is sent to
CARA, (wherever the 1961 Hague Convention on Abolishing Requirement
of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents is not applicable).
• In case of Indian passport holders residing in a country where there is no
enlisted agency or where they cannot be recommended by the host Govt.
as per local laws, the Indian Embassy may authorize a qualified social
worker to do the Home Study Report (HSR) and other documentation
including Undertaking to send progress reports etc. and send the dossier
to CARA with its recommendation.
• Whenever a report is received on adoption disruption of an Indian child
by a foreign couple, the Embassy should contact the local central
authority and other concerned authorities to ensure that the interest of
the child is being looked after. A report in this regard should also be
sent to CARA at the earliest.
• In case the child is required to be returned to India, the Embassy may
render necessary help and facilitate the repatriation of the child in
consultation with the local authorities, agency and CARA.
• The Embassy should communicate any report or observation which it
feels is important and relevant vis-à-vis inter-country adoptions to CARA.
4.8 State Government/Union Territories
4.8.1 Licensing of Children’s Homes
The State Governments (the term "State Government" to include Union Territory
Administration wherever applicable) shall register suitable children homes as
child care institutions (CCI) and further licence/recognise CCIs as SAAs(Special
Adoption Agencies) for in-country adoption as per the procedure laid down in
the State JJ Rules and CARA Guidelines in force.
Generally CCIs having basic facilities for infants and young children between
0-6 years may be selected for recognition as SSAs. Where such institutions
house older and special needs children say up to 12 years, CCIs must provide
all facilities for such children. The mandatory requirement of such agency is
that it should have adequate infrastructure and facilities of quality childcare to
meet any casualty or emergency situation while the child is admitted into the
agency or stays for a short-term. Out of all CCIs, the state govt. may like to
recognize few institutions to deal with high-degree special needs children
including those suffering from HIV/AIDS, mentally retarded and other hard to
place category where experts are available to provide quality care and treatment
on long-term basis.
4.8.2 Role and Functions
a) The concerned State Government/UT shall be responsible to enforce
standards and measures for orphan, abandoned and surrendered
children as envisaged under JJ Amendment Act 2006 and the present
Guidelines framing and notification of the State JJ Rules based on
National JJ Model Rules 2007, setting up of CWCs in all the districts of
the State, promote family based non-institutional care such as adoption,
foster care and sponsorship and such other provisions as envisaged
under JJ Amendment Act 2006.
b) It shall set up SARA(State Adoption Resource Agency) within the
Department dealing with adoption matters or convert its Adoption Cell
into SARA by appointing such staff as provided under ICPS. Until SARA
is constituted, State Adoption Cell shall perform all designated functions
and report to State Government and CARA.
c) State Government shall take regular meetings with SARA and implement
such provisions that are required for expansion of non-institutional care
including adoption programme in the State, i.e. strengthening the
knowledge base, research and documentation, developing a child
tracking system, training and development activities, advocacy and
communication, monitoring and evaluation related with the programme
d) State Governments may direct all the CWCs working in the States to
submit periodical data to SARA relating to adoption matters.
e) The State Government shall take appropriate legal action against persons
and institutions including Nursing Homes and Hospitals involved in
illegal adoption work.
f) State Government shall register of all residential institutions housing
children as CCIs and for non-compliance of this requirement, it shall
take appropriate steps against defaulting agencies/institutions housing
orphan and abandoned children for the purpose of institutionalization.
Homes not recognised by the State Governments will not be allowed to
carry out the function of adoption.
g) Having regard to the fact that adoption is the most preferred avenue for
rehabilitation of orphans and destitute children; the State Government
shall make specific provisions for its advocacy and draw up a well-
formulated media campaign for promotion of adoption. It shall inter alia
publish a list of all adoption agencies [SAAs & RIPA] in the state at least
once in a year.
h) The State Government shall take all such measures as are deemed
necessary to actively encourage in-country adoption of children in
preference to inter-country adoption. Special care/efforts shall be made
for rehabilitation of children in institutions through placement by
adoption. It shall discourage institutionalization of all adoptable children
i) Monitor the adoption programme and the activities of all adoption
agencies, ACAs and SARA within its jurisdiction.
j) Enforce the Juvenile Justice(Care and Protection) Amendment Act 2006
or its State Rules to maintain certain minimum standards for child care.
k) It will receive all applications from adoption agencies for fresh recognition
as well as renewal of recognition for inter-country adoption. Cases of
appropriate SAAs may be forwarded by the State Government to CARA
for recognition for inter-country adoption. State Governments should
not recommend either new recognition or renewals if they have not
permitted the concerned agency to undertake in-country adoption.
l) In case of accredited agencies, the State Govt. after due verification, it
will give its clear recommendation along with Inspection Report or
otherwise with supporting documents to CARA.
m) It will ensure that the adoption related State JJ Rules based on JJ
Amendment Act, 2006 and the CARA Guidelines are adhered to.
n) In case of a report of violation of guidelines by a SAA, the State
Government with the recommendation from SARA against it shall take
appropriate action after giving it a chance to keep its point of view. Any
SAA who is found to promote institutionalization of children when such
children can be rehabilitated through non-institutional means, may be
de-recognized by State Government.
In case of a report of violation of guidelines by a SAA (RIPA), the State
Government shall inform CARA for taking appropriate action. In case of
suspension/withdrawal of recognition by CARA, suitable alternative
rehabilitation plans have to be ensured by the State Government for children
awaiting adoption through other RIPA.
4.9 State Adoption Advisory Committee:
In order to promote, implement, supervise and monitor the non-institutional
programmes including adoption, foster care and sponsorship at State level, a
State Adoption Advisory Committee shall be constituted at every State/UT. The
Committee shall be competent to take all important decisions in regard to
adoption related issues in the State. The Adoption Advisory Committee will
meet quarterly to discuss child welfare measures and ways and means to
promote in-country adoption of children and regulate inter-country adoption.
Minutes of every meeting shall be sent to CARA. The tenure of such committee
will be three years. The composition of this committee shall be as under:
Sl. Members No. Designation
1. Secretary, Women & Child Development or the Administrative 1 Chairman
Department for Adoption Programme
2. Director, Women & Child Development or the concerned 1 Member
Directorate for Adoption Programme. Secretary
3. Representative of State Health Department 1 Member
4. Representative of CARA on invitation 1 Member
5. Programme Manager, SARA 1 Member
6. Chairperson/Representatives of Adoption Coordinating 1 Member
7. Representatives of SAA by rotation 2 Member
8. Expert in the field of Child Rights and Child Protection 1 Member
9. Legal Expert 1 Member
10. Representative of CHILDLINE Nodal 1 Member
4.10 SARA (State Adoption Resource Agency)
In order to support CARA in promoting in-country adoption and regulating
inter-country adoption, ICPS shall support setting up of a State Adoption
Resource Agency in every State/UT. Such SARA will coordinate, monitor and
develop the work of adoption in the State and work as a bridge between State
Government and CARA. In fact it will function as state nodal body on adoption
matters which will maintain state level data base from the admission level till
such children get adoption decree and follow up report for a period of 2 years.
4.11.1 Role and Functions
SARA shall liaise with DCPU(District Child Protection Unit) at District levels and
provides technical support to the Child Welfare Committees as and when
• Its aim will be to work with the sole objective of watching the best
interest of children, to make every effort to find a suitable Indian family
within the district, state or within the country, ensure that every child
shall be offered for the inter-country adoption when all possibilities for
placing the child in in-country adoption have exhausted.
• All PAPs registration records shall appear in the data bank maintained
by SARA, the moment they register with a SAA, ACA and DM in a Distt.
the records will be sent to the nodal body immediately.
• SARA will separately maintain a list of all such Homes or Agencies
handling in-country and inter-country adoptions and will maintain a list
of all children who are declared legally free for adoption by the competent
authorities in these institutions.
• SARA to facilitate matching the list of PAPs with that of available children
with the help of SAAs. It has to ensure that no birth mother/parent(s)
should be forced to give up their child for monitory or any other
• SARA shall monitor the adoption programme and the activities of all
SAAs & ACAs within its jurisdiction.
• SARA shall receive at the earliest information from SAA on admission of
children, in case of death of any child, legal status and adoption status,
adoptive parents registered with the SAA in the given format till online
system becomes operational and as such maintain a State level database
of all adoptable children and all PAPs.
• All state level information compiled by SARA along with children free for
inter-country adoption shall be furnished to CARA on monthly basis till
online system becomes effective.
• It will coordinate the work of all its Member Agencies and other Child
Welfare Institutions in the field of Indian adoption.
• It shall call for a periodic meeting of Adoption Advisory Committee at
least one meeting in each quarter.
• It shall separately register Indian PAPs and prepare a combined list of
PAPs from the data available from SAA sources and its own. Before
issuing Clearances for inter-country adoption in case of PIOs/foreign
PAPs, SARA shall exhaust such list who are in the queue for domestic
adoption. The decision of SARA shall be final in cases of in country
• If at the end of 60th day, no suitable Indian adoptive parents are found,
the SARA will give a Clearance Certificate to the child placed under its
assistance after seeing the child and verifying all relevant documents to
be placed with foreign adoptive parents. The Clearance Certificate must
include a current photo of the child.
• In cases where CARA Guidelines are not being followed by any RIPA, the
concerned SARA will bring it to the notice of CARA.
• The SARA shall undertake programmes for promotion of in-country
adoption and involve itself in training and development activities
including enforcement of strict criteria on quality childcare, health and
hygiene at SAAs. It will take notice of any irregularities or neglect of
children and further initimate the State Government or CARA as the case
• Besides monthly reporting, all SARAs shall submit to State Government
and CARA an annual report including an audited statement of accounts
and activities conducted throughout the year.
• If there is no SARA in particular state, until the SARA is set-up, the
concerned department of State Govt. may discharge all such functions of
SARA with the help of ACA.
• It shall function as the State level Resource Centre to coordinate, monitor
and develop the adoption programme in the State;
• It shall facilitate the setting up of SAAs and will provide legal recognition
to SAAs and maintain a comprehensive list of such agencies;
• It will ensure that all adoptions/permanent placements of children are
done in accordance with the Guidelines of the Supreme Court of India
and existing policy of Government of India and promote in-country and
regulate inter-country adoptions in coordination with CARA;
• SARA shall maintain a centralized (state-specific) database of adoptable
children with the help of District Child Protection Units, CCIs, SAAs and
• It shall supervise the work of Adoption Coordinating Agency (ACA) and
Specialized Adoption Agencies (SAA) and ensure coordination between
them within State and enhance capacity of those working in the adoption
• It shall provide comprehensive adoption data to CARA on monthly basis;
• It shall suggest necessary punitive action to State Government when
malpractices occur in the adoption programme whether by licensed
/recognized adoption agencies or by unlicensed individuals or
• It shall carry out all other functions as directed by State Government and
CARA envisaged under ICPS(Integrated Child Protection Scheme) and
take help of DCPU to carry out its mandate.
Inspection/monitoring of Adoption Agencies
SARA shall call for information and data every month from all SAAs in order to
monitor the functioning of these agencies. The data shall be called for in a
proforma to be prescribed by the Central Adoption Resource Authority. An
annual report and audited statement of accounts shall be received from all
Adoption Agencies. Monitoring should include visiting the care settings in which
they live, and undertaking investigations into any alleged situation of violation
of children’s rights in those settings, on complaint or on its own initiative,
recommending relevant policies to State Government, physical and mental
status of children etc. SARA has to conduct frequent inspections comprising
both foreseen and unannounced visits, involving discussion with and
observation of the staff and the children. To the extent possible and
appropriate, inspection functions should include a component of training and
capacity building for care providers.
SARA will periodically and at least once a year, inspect all SAAs in order to
verify the following:-
• That adoption as an activity is being pursued by the organization as a
welfare measure in the interest of children and not as a commercial
• That proper record is being maintained for children admitted to the
• That the children admitted are provided with quality child care and basic
minimum facilities for their care, education and development in the
institution or Foster Homes.
• That lists of persons interested in adopting a child are being maintained
by the organisation regularly.
• That the accounts of the organisation are being maintained and audited
annually without delay and that the auditor’s reports confirm that the
accounts are fair and accurate; that any organisation which is in receipt
of foreign funding is duly registered with the Ministry of Home Affairs
and has otherwise complied with the provisions of the Foreign
Contributions (Regulation) Act, 1976.
• That the organisation is receiving regular progress reports about the
well-being of children given in adoption.
• That qualified staff having social work experience are employed by the
agency/organisation to supervise the care of children or they have access
to such staff.
• That in the case of children placed in pre-Adoption care/foster care with
prospective adoptive parents, the cases have been legalized.
• A separate register is kept for children given in pre-adoption foster care
in all cases.
• That a Central Register of prospective adoptive parents is maintained.
• That there are sufficient carers in residential care settings to allow
individualized attention and to give the child, where appropriate, the
opportunity to bond with one of their number. Carers should also be
deployed within the care setting in such a way as to implement effectively
its aims and objectives and ensure child protection.
• That before a RIPA proposes to place a child in the Inter country
adoption, it must apply to the SARA for assistance for Indian placement.
• During inspection, SARA has to scrutinize all records and registers as
provided in Part V of the Guidelines. Besides, relevant information on
sources of the children, referrals to SARA for placement with Indian
parents, cross verification of referrals with SARA records, adoption fee
received from PAPs, follow-up of children placed in adoption,
qualification and motivation level of staff and health conditions of
• Particularly, SARA has to see about its family preservation efforts,
whether unwed mother / pregnant woman are kept in the Home or a
separate Home is there for them; if so, whether counseled to keep these
children and told of alternatives and support services available; if a child
is being surrendered by a parent other than unwed mother, then
reasons, and if any other alternative support or counseling has been
• It shall work for the training and support of professionals, improvement
of the quality of child protection services, improvement of the legal
framework for intervention in tune with the UN Convention on the Rights
of the Child.
• In addition to the above, the State Government has to verify the records
that are maintained in case of all inter-country adoptions.
Issue of SARA Clearance
• SARA 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 regard.
• In case the SARA cannot find suitable Indian parent/parents within 60
days, it will be incumbent upon the SARA to issue a Clearance Certificate
on the 61st day.
• NRI/OCI parent(s) (at least one parent) holding Indian Passport will be
exempted from SARA Clearance, but they have to follow all other
procedures as per the Guidelines.
• The Clearance Certificate (CC) stating that all efforts to find a suitable
Indian family for the child within the time frame have been exhausted
and hence the child is released for inter-country adoption, shall be co-
signed by the Director concerned (DWCD/Social Welfare) and the
Chairperson/Secretary of ACA. However, in absence of the Director, the
Programme Manager, SARA shall be empowered to be the co-signatory on
the Clearance Certificate.
4.12 CWC (Child Welfare Committee)
Composition of the CWC, tenure of the Committee, qualifications of Chairman
and members of the Committee, conditions for their selection and
disqualifications, allowances, sitting, role and functions, procedure in relation
to the Committee and, production of a child before CWC procedure for inquiry,
production of a child before the Committee shall be as per JJ Model Rules
(2007) or its corresponding State JJ Rules. CWC shall determine legal status of
all orphan, abandoned and surrendered children. It shall work as a single
window system in case of all such children for declaring children legally free for
adoption. However, it will not be involved in placement activities. The procedure
in regards to production of a Child before CWC and further its declaration
about the Child’s legal status shall be as per Rules under JJ Amendment Act
2007. CWC shall send report on children declared free for adoption to SAAs,
ACA and SARA.
The issue of transfer of a child from one to another institution, say from
CCI/unrecognized agency to SAA has to be dealt carefully and in such case, an
orphan, abandoned or surrendered child for non-institutional care shall be
transferred as far as possible to the nearest SAA by an order of the nearest
CWC. All other requirements and procedures shall be applicable as provided
under the JJ Rules to be framed by State Government or Model JJ Rules-2007.
No child can be transferred from one place to another within the state without
the consent of concerned CWC.
The CWC shall facilitate transfer of children at all levels for either their
restoration to their families or placing the child in long or short-term
rehabilitation through institutionalization, adoption, foster care and
sponsorship. In such matters, the CWC may be guided by the simple logic that
in the best interest of a child, the child needs to be transferred to the nearest
SAA. In case the agency has its own unit within the state, such transfer to its
own unit only may be permitted after the child is declared free for adoption.
Inter-state transfer can be done with the agreement of both the State
Governments through their Directors/Commissioners of the concerned
Departments in the best interest of the child with the help of SARA. Transfer of
the child should be accompanied by available documents pertaining to its
admission, preliminary case history, documentary evidence to prove that the
child is legally free for adoption, and a permission letter of transfer of the child.
The SAA shall verify all the facts before accepting the child, as it is legally
responsible for the placement.
In case in a SAA, a child is not able to find a family within 6 months, in such
case the child may be transferred by CWC to the nearest SAA/RIPA in the state
for further rehabilitation SARA has to ensure that no orphan, abandoned or
surrendered child is institutionalized without adequate reasons.
4.13 Birth Certificate issuing Authority
Birth registration of a child is mandatory. The SAA has to retain the name of the child if
already known or otherwise has to give him/her a new name. Birth certificate shall in
case of an orphan, abandoned or surrendered child shall be issued based on
court order. In case of a surrendered child, the SAA shall record the exact time
and date of birth of the baby before taking custody of the baby. In case of
abandoned child, where the date of birth has not been recorded officially
anywhere, the Adoption Agency concerned must make an application to the
local Magistrate along with any other material which the Adoption Agency
considers relevant in the form of an affidavit made by a responsible person
belonging to the Adoption Agency. Such information may also be supported by
an assessment of the civil surgeon. The local magistrate will then pass an order
approving the particulars to be entered in the birth certificate and on the basis
of the magisterial order; the requisite certificate will be issued by the local birth
certificate issuing authority of the city/town/area where the child has been
found. This process shall be initiated only after the adoption is finalized, so that
the particulars of the adoptive parents are available for inclusion in the
certificate. In case the child has attained the age of three, and the adoption has
still not been finalized, the Agency may obtain a birth certificate, if it is found
necessary, after informing the court in the form of an affidavit:
That to the best of its knowledge the child has attained the age of three years;
a. That his/her adoption has not been finalized and is likely to take some
time or may never be finalized in all probability;
b. That a certificate is required for educational/medical/legal purposes or
any other reasonable purpose, which may be specified.
c. That person(s) will stand in as local parents to the child (this
person/these persons shall be a responsible person/responsible persons
belonging to the agency) till such time he/she attains majority, or is
adopted, whichever is earlier. In such cases a second birth certificate
may be issued after adoption to provide for a change in the name/names
of the child and the adoptive parent(s) after obtaining an order to that
effect from the court, which had passed order for issuing the original
d. In the birth certificate itself, the name of the city or village of birth may
figure instead of the name of the Orphanage and the name of the
adoptive parents may appear as “parents”.
ASSOCIATED AGENCIES: ROLE & FUNCTIONS
5.1 SPECIALIZED ADOPTION AGENCY (SAA)
(i) SAA (Specialized Adoption Agency)
In order to facilitate the placement of orphaned, abandoned and surrendered
children for adoption, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children)
Amendment Act 2006 empowers the State Government to recognize one or more
of its institutions or voluntary organizations in each district as SAA for placing
children in domestic adoption. The SAA shall work under the overall
supervision of SARA. In order to run a SAA, a Child Care Institution (CCI) must
be registered under the provisions laid down by the Juvenile Justice (Care and
Protection of Children) Amendment Act 2006 under Section-34(3). The State
Government shall recognize such CCI as SAA under the provisions of
Section-41(4) of the Act. A SAA may be an NGO or Government run Home
getting grants from central government to place children in domestic adoption
or licensed by State Government for such purpose.
ii) RIPA(Recognized Indian Placement Agency)
CARA is empowered to give special accreditation to SAAs to place children in
inter-country adoption in accordance with the provisions laid down under
Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption. CARA shall recognize/accredit
selected SAAs as Indian Placement Agencies for Inter-country Adoption (RIPA)
based on State Government’s recommendation. RIPAs shall function as
accredited bodies as per the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption 1993.
As per article 11 of Hague Convention on Protection of Children and
Cooperation – 1993:
An accredited body shall –
a) pursue only non-profit objectives according to such conditions and
within such limits as may be established by the competent authorities
of the State of accreditation;
b) be directed and staffed by persons qualified by their ethical standards
and by training or experience to work in the field of inter-country
c) be subject to supervision by competent authorities of that State in
regards to its composition, operation and financial situation.
Role and Functions of SAA
SAA has to motivate people to adopt, match home study with the child study
report possibly by a Committee constituted for the purpose, organize training
and development activities to spread awareness about the programme, promote
ethics that may include respect for human dignity, respect for moral integrity.
SAA should retain professional social worker/counselor having Master of Social
Work or Psychology to deliver best service to the client.
Counselling service to unwed mother/biological parents, older children and
adoptive parents should be confidential, complete, appropriate and prompt.
The entire programme of child rehabilitation should be seen purely as a welfare
measure and not as a sort of profit. It has to dispel all mis-misinformation
related to child adoption, educate and enrich the staff working in the Agency in
early childhood care, guard itself against the violations of established norms
and rule of law and should have a multidisciplinary team to put holistic
approach to the very cause of adoption.
Every SAA shall maintain a separate file for each child with the child's complete
case history. Every child should have a Child Study Report, which shall be
shown to the prospective adoptive parents. Format of such a report is placed at
SAA may lodge complaint with CWCs and police authorities if nursing homes/hospitals
are found involved in Illegal adoptions.
SAA has to carry out such functions as mentioned in the following paragraphs.
Developing good practice
SAA is required to promote non-institutional care and ensure every child’s right
to a family. It has to strengthen the family as a unit and prevent family
disintegration and develop preventive, supportive, community-based, family-
oriented outreach programmes for children in need of care and protection as
defined under JJ Amendment Act, 2006.
Determining Adoptability of a Child
A child’s adoptability must be established before a particular matching is
considered. Adoptability establishes that a child has no legal claimant. When
the child seems legally adoptable because of parental consent, SAA has to
ensure that the consent is freely given, without pressure, without material
compensation, or otherwise.
The SAA must counsel and assist the parents of the child to consider
alternatives other than adoption, ensure that the parents are informed of the
possibility of a future contact in the event of a search for origins by their child
and in such cases, the biological parents would be required to cooperate with
the SAA to meet the child.