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
Adoption : Chapter 2
Role of Government of India
2.1 In the Government of India all matters relating to adoption shall be dealt within the Ministry of Welfare. The Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) set up on 28-6-1990 under the aegis of the Ministry of Welfare in pursuance of Cabinet decision dated 9-5-1990 and when the Central Adoption Resource Agency is set up under these guidelines, then such Central Adoption Resource Agency shall deal with all matters concerning adoption as specified hereinafter.
2.2 The Government of India, Ministry of Welfare shall, from time to time, frame rules and guidelines and issue instructions to State Governments, voluntary agencies and voluntary coordinating agencies as well as to scrutinizing agencies to facilitate and promote in-country adoption and to regulate inter-country adoption of Indian children.
List of Recognized Foreign Agencies for Adoption
2.3 The Central Adoption Resource Agency, shall maintain a list of all recognized foreign agencies for adoption enlisted by the Government of India. Copies of the lists of these agencies shall be supplied by the Central Adoption Resource Agency to the various High Courts in India, all the State Governments, all recognized Indian agencies, all voluntary coordinating agencies, all scrutinizing agencies and all Indian missions abroad as well as all passport offices once every year.
List of Recognized Indian Agencies for Adoption
2.4 The Central Adoption Resource Agency shall also prepare a list of all recognized Indian agencies for adoption. It shall publish once a year the list of these agencies operating in each State in three leading newspapers having wide circulation in the State, one in the English language, one in the Hindi language and the third in the regional language of that State. The list shall also be sent to all the High Courts in the country for circulation to the District Courts in each State, all the State Governments, all recognized Indian placement agencies, all foreign enlisted agencies, all Indian Missions abroad, all voluntary coordinating agencies and all scrutinizing agencies.
Liaison with Indian Diplomatic Missions
2.5 The Central Adoption Resource Agency shall maintain liaison wit h Indian diplomatic missions abroad in order to safeguard the interests of children of Indian origin adopted by foreign parents against neglect, maltreatment, exploitation or abuse and to maintain an unobtrusive watch over the welfare and progress of such children, For this purpose, the Central Adoption Resource Agency shall inform every Indian diplomatic missions concerned whenever an Indian child is taken in adoption or for the purpose of adoption, by foreign parents. The names, addresses and other particulars of such children and their adoptive/prospective adoptive parents shall be supplied to the Indian diplomatic missions as early as possible and in any case before the end of every quarter.
Meeting of Agencies Involved in Adoption
2.6 The Central Adoption Resource Agency shall arrange every year a meeting of all recognized placement agencies, voluntary coordinating agencies and scrutinizing bodies for discussing matters of mutual interest and such other matters as are considered necessary and expedient.
Role of the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA)
2.7 As per the directions of the Supreme Court of India in Writ Petition (CRQ No. 117 1/82 and on the basis of a Cabinet decision dated 9-5-1990, the Government of India in the Ministry of Welfare vide Resolution No. 1-10/88-CH(AC) dated 28th June, 1990 published in the Gazette of India No. 166 dated 3rd July, 1990 has set up a Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) to act as a clearing house of information in regard to children available for in country and inter-country adoption and to regulate, monitor and develop programs for the rehabilitation of children through adoption.
Headquarters and Regional Office of CARA
2.8 Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) shall have its headquarters in New Delhi. Branches/Regional Offices of Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) may, however, be set up at such places as may be considered appropriate.
Central Adoption Resource Agency
2.8A The Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) shall function under the overall policy guidance of a Steering Committee consisting of the following:
(i) Chairman (Non-Official).
(ii) Secretary (CARA)--Member Secretary cum Executive Officer.
(iii) One representative from Indian Council for Child Welfare (parent body).
(iv) One representative from Indian Council for Social Welfare (parent body).
(v) Four representatives of recognized placement agencies, one from each region, doing at least more than 50 per cent in-country adoption.
(vi) One representative from among voluntary coordinating agencies.
(vii) One representative from the Ministry of External Affairs.
(viii) One representative from the Department of Women and Child Development.
(ix) One representative from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The tenure of the members representing recognized placement agencies and voluntary coordinating agencies shall be for a period of two years on rotational basis. On the expiry of the tenure, the members shall not be eligible for renomination for the next succeeding period of two years.
The appointment of the Chairman would be in an honorary capacity. The Member Secretary cum Executive Officer of Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) would be an official of the rank of Deputy Secretary/Director in the Government of India who would enjoy a reasonable tenure, preferably five years.
2.9 The Central Government may pay to the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) such sums of money as may be considered necessary for the performance of its functions under this Resolution.
2. 10 The accounts of the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) shall be maintained and audited in such manner as may, in consultation with Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, be specified by the Central Government.
2. 11 The Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) shall, subject to the approval of the Central Government, frame its own regulations and bye-laws for discharging its functions in consonance with its aims and objectives.
2.12 The Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) shall have the power to constitute a Committee which will exclusively look into matters pertaining to promotion of in-country adoption and advice CARA on suitable policies and programs for this purpose.
Functions of CARA
2.13 The functions of the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) shall be as follows:
(1) To act as a clearing house of information in regard to children available for inter-country adoption as well as for in-country adoption;
(2) To receive applications or copies of applications alongwith requisite documents (as prescribed by the Supreme Court of India in CRL (WP) 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 in the foreign country or through an organization owned or operated by the Government in that country.
(3) Whenever such applications are received directly by Central Ad6ption Resource Agency (CARA) to forward such applications to one of the Indian social or child welfare agencies recognized by CARA for processing applications of foreign parents for adoption in the competent court;
(4) To receive names and particulars of children available for adoption who are under the care of Indian social or child welfare agencies recognized by CARA and to maintain a register containing the names and other particulars of such children;
(5) To receive periodical data from all Indian social or child welfare agencies recognized by CARA about the children admitted to their Children's Home and the Children given in adoption in-country as well as inter-country in a proforma prescribed by CARA;
(6) To monitor and regulate the working of Indian social or child welfare agencies recognized by CARA consistently with their independent and voluntary functioning;
(7) To inspect Indian social or child welfare agencies recognized by CARA and to report to the Central Government on the working of such agencies;
(8) To call for annual audited statements of account from Indian social or child welfare agencies recognized by CARA;
(9) To receive data from competent courts about children whose guardianship has been awarded in favor of foreign adoptive parents and/or who have been adopted by Indian nationals, both residents and non-residents;
(10) To send periodical data to Indian's Diplomatic Missions abroad in a proforma prescribed by CARA in respect of Indian children taken abroad;
(11) To receive periodical reports about the children taken by foreign parents for the purpose of adoption in a proforma prescribed by CARA from all recognized social or child welfare agencies in foreign countries through India's Diplomatic Mission in the country where such agency is located;
(12) To obtain Periodical Progress reports of children from foreign adoptive parents as well as from recognized social or child welfare agencies in foreign countries, to examine such reports and to take such follow-up action as deemed necessary;
(13) To organize and arrange periodical meetings of VCAs working in the field of adoption for discussing matters of common interest.
(14) To arrange sponsorship of children through community support by means of publicity and awareness programs;
(15) 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;
(16) To arrange training programs for social workers and others engaged in child welfare activity specially in the rehabilitation of children by means of adoption, and also to bring about standardization of training courses conducted by the voluntary agencies;
(17) To assist the courts to cross-check or re-verify the information furnished to them by various sources including the placement agencies and scrutinizing agencies or to provide an independent advice in matters relating to adoption of children;
(18) To initiate action on any other activity relating to adoption of children within the country and abroad.
Procedure to be followed
2.14 After careful consideration the Supreme Court of India has laid down that the following requirements should be insisted upon so far as a foreigner wishing to take a child in adoption is concerned. Every application from a foreigner desiring to adopt a child must be sponsored by social or child welfare agency recognized or licensed
by the Government of the country in which the foreigner is resident and enlisted by CARA, Ministry of Welfare, Government of India. No application by foreigner for taking a child in adoption should be entertained directly by any social child welfare agency in India working in the areas of inter-country adoption or by any institution or center or home to which children are committed by the Juvenile Court.
The original application alongwith original documents as prescribed by the Supreme Court of India would be forwarded by the foreign enlisted agency to a recognized placement agency in India. The foreign enlisted agency shall also send a copy each of the application as well as all the prescribed documents including Home Study Report enclosed with it to the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) duty Notarized by Notary Public whose signature would be duly attested either by an officer of the Ministry of External Affairs or Justice or Social Welfare of the country of a foreigner or by an Officer of the Indian Embassy or High Commission or Consulate in that country. A list of required documents is given at Annexure 'A'. The Home Study Report being a crucial document should broadly include the following information:
(a) Social Status and family background;
(b) Description of Home;
(c) Standard of living as it appears in the Home.
(d) Current relationship between husband and wife;
(e) Current relationship between the parents and children (if any children);
(f) Development of already adopted children (if any).
(g) Current relationship between the couple and the members of each other's family;
(h) Employment status of the couple;
(i) Health details such as clinical test, hear condition, past illness etc. (medical certificate etc.)
(j) Economic status of the couple;
(k) Accommodation for the child;
(l) Schooling facilities;
(m) Amenities in the Home;
(n) Reasons for wanting to adopt an Indian child;
(o) Attitude of grant-parent and relatives towards Adoption;
(p) Anticipated plans for the adoptive child;
(q) Legal status of the prospective adoptive parents.
The sponsoring agency should carefully get the Home Study Report prepared by the professional social worker broadly on the basis of the above information.
The receipt of the original application as well as original documents would not entitle the placement agency to proceed with the case. It can proceed only after getting 'NO OBJECTION CERTIFICATE' from the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA), Ministry of Welfare.
Therefore, no recognized placement agency can process the application in the competent court for inter-country adoption without having "NO OBJECTION CERTIFICATE" issued by the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA), Ministry of Welfare, Central Adoption Resource Agency shall however ensure that such certificate should as far as possible be issued within a reasonable period of time say 5 weeks from the date of receipt of the certified copies of the application and other documents from them. In case Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) rejects the application, it may specify the reasons for such refusal to the Indian recognized placement agency.
After the receipt of the original application and original documents from the enlisted foreign agency by the recognized Indian placement agency, the concerned placement agency will register the name of the prospective foreign parents in the register meant for them. The recognized placement agency shall carefully examine the Home Study Report of the prospective foreign adoptive parents and start the exercise in maching the Home Study Report with the Child Study Report. When they arrive at the conclusion that a child can be placed with that particular family then they will have to ensure that the concerned child is cleared by the VCA for inter-country adoption. Thereafter the recognized placement agency will send the Child Study Report, the photograph of the child and the medical report to the sponsoring foreign agency for the approval of the prospective adoptive parents. After obtaining the approval of the child by the prospective adoptive parents the concerned recognized placement agency will apply to CARA for getting a clearance of the child. At this stage, Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) shall have to ensure that the recognized placement agency has put in adequate efforts for finding an Indian family for the said child, and the clearance by the VCA to that effect is also enclosed. CARA after going through the information furnished by the recognized placement agency and VCA will immediately give the clearance to the agency. The recognized placement agency thereafter will process the case with the competent court for awarding the guardianship of the child to the foreign prospective adoptive parents. At this stage the scrutinizing agency has to scrutinize all the documents and advise the competent court that the said inter-country adoption is in the best interest of the child. The competent court within the stipulated time as laid down by the Supreme Court of India awards the guardianship of the child to the foreign parents. On the basis of the Guardianship order of the court, the recognized placement agency is to apply in the Regional Passport Office for obtaining an Indian Passport in favor of the child. Thereafter the visa issued by the concerned Embassy/ High Commission of the concerned country for the child. The child leaves the country alongwith the prospective adoptive parents or with the escort, whatever the case may be to the country of prospective adoptive parents i.e. child's future country of residence.
The requirement of obtaining "NO OBJECTION CERTIFICATE" from Central Adoption Resource Agency will also apply in case of handicapped children, children needing urgent medical attention which the social or child welfare agency looking after the child cannot provide within the country, siblings and also children above the age of 6 years. The recognized placement agency, soon after the admission of such child without waiting for locating foreign prospective adoptive parents, shall make an application alongwith information of such child to CARA for issue of "NO OBJECTION CERTIFICATE". CARA shall ordinarily issue "NO OBJECTION CERTIFICATE" in case of handicapped/special needs children etc., within a period of one week from the date of receipt of information of such child from the Indian recognized placement agency. Simultaneously, the recognized Indian placement agencies would be allowed to send the referral of such children to foreign agencies of its choice and after the approval of the child by any foreign parents the concerned placement agency could follow the procedure as laid down in the judgment of the Supreme Court of India. At this stage the scrutinizing agency should carefully examine all the documents furnished by the foreign agencies in this regard and advise the competent court in coming to the conclusion whether it would be in the interest of the child to be given in adoption to the foreigner. However, the recognized Indian placement agency shall obtain a certificate in this regard from the concerned Chief Medical Officer of the Government hospital prior to processing the case concerning to handicapped children and the children needing urgent medical attention for record. Details of such children together with a copy (each) of the certificate(s) issued by the CMO, where required, shall be sent at the end of each month to CARA by the concerned Indian placement agency.
2. 15 Where there is no recognized foreign agency in any country, the concerned Government Department/Ministry of that country may forward the applications and related documents of the prospective adoptive parents to CARA. CARA will examine and send those papers to the recognized Indian placement agencies indicated in the application or, if there is no such indication, then to any of the recognized Indian placement agencies for further processing the case. The procedure to be adopted thereafter shall be the same as indicated in the fore-going paragraph.
The procedure for inter-country adoption at a glance may be seen at Annexure 'B'.
2.16 The recognized placement agencies should provide to the Central Adoption Resource Agency a list of the enlisted foreign agencies with which they are working or proposing to work. Where any application is originally received by the Central Adoption Resource Agency from a recognized foreign agency/Govt. Department or an Indian agency or Indian parents, the Central Adoption Resource Agency would on the basis of information available to it, send the application to any placement agency for processing it bearing in mind the operational relationship, if any, between the foreign agency and any particular placement agency. If the placement agency is unable to entertain such case, it shall promptly inform the Central Adoption Resource Agency giving reasons for not accepting the request. The Central Adoption Resource Agency may thereafter either send such case to any other recognized placement agency or even return the application to the foreign source.
2.17 The placement agencies must at the end of every quarter provide information on the number of children given in in-country adoption, the number given in inter-country adoption and the number awaiting adoption, to the Central Adoption Resource Agency.
Requirement before the Court
2.18 Where an application is made to the Court by the parents proposing to take a child in adoption or by a placement agency on behalf of such parents for appointment of such parents as guardians of the child with a view to taking the child in adoption, the certificate of no objection by the Central Adoption Resource Agency shall be produced alongwith the application and if no response has been made by the Central Adoption Resource Agency to the application for taking the child in adoption, within the time limit specified in these guidelines, the application shall be accompanied by an affidavit to be made by the placement agency stating that the requirements of the guidelines have been fulfilled in regard to obtaining certificate of no objection from the Central Adoption Resource Agency.