Consulate General of IndiaSan Francisco, California
Serving the states of: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and territory of Guam
8. 1 It is open to the Court looking into the matter of appointment of guardian under the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 in exercise of its powers under Section 11 to appoint any independent, reputed Social or Child Welfare Agency, as a Scrutiny Agency for scrutinizing an application from prospective adoptive parents for adoption of a child. The agency must be a body of experts in the field of ChildCare and Welfare, not itself involved in any manner in the placement of children in adoption. At present there are two scrutinizing agencies, namely, Indian Council for Social Welfare and Indian Council of Child Welfare being appointed by the Court. The Court may be requested to appoint any other eligible child or social welfare agency as scrutinizing agency, which preferably meets the eligibility criteria as laid down by CARA.
Procedure for Recognition
8.2 CARA shall maintain a panel of agencies, which according to it can satisfactorily perform the functions of a scrutinizing agency. The procedure to be adopted for recognition of an agency as scrutinizing agency other than Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) and Indian Council of Social Welfare (ICSW) will be as follows: -
(i) the agency should apply to CARA for recognition as a scrutinizing agency.
(ii) The agency should fulfil all the criteria laid down by CARA for recognition as scrutinizing agency.
(iii) CARA may seek such information as may be necessary from the scrutinizing agency regarding its bona fides and performance on the basis of such report issue a recognition certificate.
(iv) A scrutinizing agency would be recognized initially for a period of three years, renewable as per the procedure given in these guidelines.
Criteria for Recognition
8.3 (i) The agency should be an independent, reputed social child welfare agency.
(ii) The agency must be a body of experts in the field of childcare and welfare
(iii) The agency should not be involved in the placement of children in adoption.
(iv) It should be a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
(v) All the office bearers should be Indian nationals.
(vi) The agency should run on a non-commercial and non profitable basis.
Renewal of Recognition
8.3 (a) Every recognized scrutinizing agency should apply for renewal of recognition, 6 months prior to the date of expiry of the previous recognition. If the performance of the scrutinizing agency has been found satisfactory and there are no adverse reports from any court or the State Government concerned and also if any reports or returns asked for by CARA are submitted by it regularly without delay, recognition may be renewed from time to time but each time only for a period of 3 years.
8.4 Any scrutinizing agency may be de-recognized by CARA at any time following reports of malpractice from and State Government or any Court, after giving the agency an opportunity to place its case before CARA.
Functioning of Scrutinizing Agency
8.5 It shall be incumbent upon every scrutinizing agency to perform the following functions: -
(1) To scrutinize the following documents:
(i) Application for guardianship/adoption made on behalf of the prospective adoptive foreign parents.
(ii) Home Study Report.
(iii)Child Study Report.
(iv) Any other documents/certificates attached with the application.
(2) To ensure that the application or copy of the application, as the case may be, has been duly forwarded by a foreign agency to CARA.
(3) To ensure that before a child is placed in guardianship with a foreign adoptive parents, a no objection certificate has been obtained from the concerned VCA.
(4) To satisfy itself that the child in question is legally free for adoption.
(5) To see the child in person and to check that the information given to prospective adoptive parents regarding the child is correct. In case of any change in the medical/physical status of the child, the scrutinizing agency should ensure that the information of the change is given to the prospective adoptive parents and their consent obtained before a final order is passed by the court concerned.
(6) To satisfy itself that the prospective adoptive parents/guardians are fit persons for adopting the child in question.
(7) To ensure that the adoption would be in the best interest of the child.
(8) To assist the court in ascertaining whether the child has been voluntarily surrendered by the biological parents/parent.
(9) To ensure and satisfy itself that no one, including Indian as well as foreign agencies concerned are making any profit out of the adoption in question.
(10) To verify, in case of older children, the child's own views regarding the adoption. This may be reported to CARA immediately.
(11) To ascertain, as far as possible, as to what are the laws regarding adoption of foreign children in the country of the prospective adoptive parents and there is a reasonable assurance that the child would be adopted within the minimum possible period but in any case within a period not exceeding two years.
(12) To ensure that all the precautionary measures are taken before the handicapped, sibling, older age and other special needs children are placed to a family who are really interested in such children.
8.6 The scrutinizing agency will submit the report to CARA once every six months of all the cases it has scrutinized.
8.7 In case of any difference between scrutiny agency and placement agency in regard to placing of a child or matching of the child with the prospective adoptive parents or any other related issues, the scrutiny agency may refer it to CARA for consideration. The decision of CARA on such cases shall be final.
8.8 Whenever an Indian parent makes an application for appointing himself or herself as guardians of a child or a Hindu parent applies for permission to adopt a child and, if the case is referred to it by the court, the scrutinizing agency may charge such amount of expenses upto Rs. 150 as directed by the court unless a higher amount is awarded by the court.
When a foreign agency makes an application for guardianship, the scrutinizing agency may charge from the Indian agency an amount as directed by the Court varying between Rs. 450 and Rs. 500, for actual expenditure incurred and the concerned Indian agency shall have the right to recover such amount from the foreign parents whose application for guardianship it has processed. This amount may exceed Rs. 500 if the court concerned specifically orders the actual incremental amount to be paid for the specific work done.