Prior to 2006 only Hindus could legally adopt a child, others could just be legally appointed parents of a child under ‘Guardian and wards Act’. Their guardianship lasted only till the ward attained the age of 18 years. But now with the amendment of ‘Juvenile justice (care & protection of children) Act, in 2006, everyone can adopt a child.
Who can Adopt?
Every adoption has to be through the court only. The court can allow adoption to a childless couple or to a person irrespective of his/her marital status or number of living biological sons or daughters. Other criteria are:–
- Two years of stable relationship in case of married couples.
- In case of a child below 3 yrs the age of the parents should be between 25 to 50 years, and aggregate of the age should be less than 90 yrs.
- In case of single parent the age should be between 30 and 50 in case of child of age more than 3 yrs, otherwise maximum age is 40 yrs.
- Parent/s should have adequate financial resources, maintaining good health and should not have any contagious disease.
- Adoption of second child is permitted only when the adoption of first child has been finalized.
- A single male is not permitted to adopt a girl child.
Steps in adopting a child:–
The adoption has to be made through Central adoption resource authority (CARA), state adoption resource authority (SARA), or Recognized Indian agencies.
The prospective parents have first to register themselves with any of the recognized agencies and get a Registration slip. Online registration facility is available with the official website of CARA. A pre-adoption counseling and all necessary help and guidance are also given by these agencies.
The applicant is required to furnish the documents including Identity proof, address proof of residing in India for at least one year, marriage certificate, Health check up certificate, recommendation letters from two respectable persons, income certificate from employer and also date of superannuation (in case of service class person), IT statement in case of self employed person, details of movable and immovable property and Bank statements for last six months showing the financial status of the family including the loans taken etc. A home study report is prepared by the concerned central or state agency which is valid for two years.
Then comes the task of ‘assignment’, or Identification of prospective child for adoption. On the basis of the required description furnished by the applicant an ‘Adoption committee’ assigns a child. Best effort is made to match the child as per the description. The details of the child are forwarded to the applicant and he is advised to see the matched child. He has to accept the referral within 10 days. In case of placement of children of 7 yrs and above his written consent is obtained.
If the prospective parents agree to adopt the child they give formal acceptance on the papers of the child. The child can be given in their temporary custody in ‘foster care’ after their formal acceptance.
Finally the recognized agency has to file a petition with all submitted documents before the competent court within 5 days of the acceptance by the parents. As per the directions of the Supreme Court the petition has to be decided within two months.
The concerned agency is required to carry out regular follow up visits to the child for a period of two years.
Thus the process of Adoption of children has been simplified and rationalized.
Post by- Rajeev