ADOPTION UNDER JUVENILE JUSTICE (CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN) ACT, 2015

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015

56. Adoption

(1) Adoption shall be resorted to for ensuring right to family for the orphan, abandoned and surrendered children, as per the provisions of this Act, the rules made thereunder and the adoption regulations framed by the Authority.
(2) Adoption of a child from a relative by another relative, irrespective of their religion, can be made as per the provisions of this Act and the adoption regulations framed by the Authority.
(3) Nothing in this Act shall apply to the adoption of children made under the provisions of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 (78 of 1956).
(4) All inter-country adoptions shall be done only as per the provisions of this Act and the adoption regulations framed by the Authority.
(5) Any person, who takes or sends a child to a foreign country or takes part in any arrangement for transferring the care and custody of a child to another person in a foreign country without a valid order from the Court, shall be punishable as per the provisions of section 80.

57. Eligibility of prospective adoptive parents

(1) The prospective adoptive parents shall be physically fit, financially sound, mentally alert and highly motivated to adopt a child for providing a good upbringing to him.
(2) In case of a couple, the consent of both the spouses for the adoption shall be required.
(3) A single or divorced person can also adopt, subject to fulfilment of the criteria and in accordance with the provisions of adoption regulations framed by the Authority.
(4) A single male is not eligible to adopt a girl child.
(5) Any other criteria that may be specified in the adoption regulations framed by the Authority.

58. Procedure for adoption by Indian prospective adoptive parents living in India

(1)
Indian prospective adoptive parents living in India, irrespective of their religion, if interested to adopt an orphan or abandoned or surrendered child, may apply for the same to a Specialised Adoption Agency, in the manner as provided in the adoption regulations framed by the Authority.
(2)
The Specialised Adoption Agency shall prepare the home study report of the prospective adoptive parents and upon finding them eligible, will refer a child declared legally free for adoption to them along with the child study report and medical report of the child, in the manner as provided in the adoption regulations framed by the Authority.
(3)
On the receipt of the acceptance of the child from the prospective adoptive parents along with the child study report and medical report of the child signed by such parents, the Specialised Adoption Agency shall give the child in pre-adoption foster care and file an application in the court for obtaining the adoption order, in the manner as provided in the adoption regulations framed by the Authority.
(4)
On the receipt of a certified copy of the court order, the Specialised Adoption Agency shall send immediately the same to the prospective adoptive parents.
(5)
The progress and wellbeing of the child in the adoptive family shall be followed up and ascertained in the manner as provided in the adoption regulations framed by the Authority.

59. Procedure for inter-country adoption of an orphan or abandoned or surrendered child

(1) If an orphan or abandoned or surrendered child could not be placed with an Indian or non-resident Indian prospective adoptive parent despite the joint effort of the Specialised Adoption Agency and State Agency within sixty days from the date the child has been declared legally free for adoption, such child shall be free for inter-country adoption:
Provided that children with physical and mental disability, siblings and children above five years of age may be given preference over other children for such inter-country adoption, in accordance with the adoption regulations, as may be framed by the Authority.
(2) An eligible non-resident Indian or overseas citizen of India or persons of Indian origin shall be given priority in inter-country adoption of Indian children.
(3)
A non-resident Indian or overseas citizen of India, or person of Indian origin or a foreigner, who are prospective adoptive parents living abroad, irrespective of their religion, if interested to adopt an orphan or abandoned or surrendered child from India, may apply for the same to an authorised foreign adoption agency, or Central Authority or a concerned Government department in their country of habitual residence, as the case may be, in the manner as provided in the adoption regulations framed by the Authority.
(4)
The authorised foreign adoption agency, or Central Authority, or a concerned Government department, as the case may be, shall prepare the home study report of such prospective adoptive parents and upon finding them eligible, will sponsor their application to Authority for adoption of a child from India, in the manner as provided in the adoption regulations framed by the Authority.
(5)
On the receipt of the application of such prospective adoptive parents, the Authority shall examine and if it finds the applicants suitable, then, it will refer the application to one of the Specialised Adoption Agencies, where children legally free for adoption are available.
(6)
The Specialised Adoption Agency will match a child with such prospective adoptive parents and send the child study report and medical report of the child to such parents, who in turn may accept the child and return the child study and medical report duly signed by them to the said agency.
(7)
On receipt of the acceptance of the child from the prospective adoptive parents, the Specialised Adoption Agency shall file an application in the court for obtaining the adoption order, in the manner as provided in the adoption regulations framed by the Authority.
(8)
On the receipt of a certified copy of the court order, the specialised adoption agency shall send immediately the same to Authority, State Agency and to the prospective adoptive parents, and obtain a passport for the child.
(9)
The Authority shall intimate about the adoption to the immigration authorities of India and the receiving country of the child.
(10)
The prospective adoptive parents shall receive the child in person from the specialised adoption agency as soon as the passport and visa are issued to the child.
(11)
The authorised foreign adoption agency, or Central Authority, or the concerned Government department, as the case may be, shall ensure the submission of progress reports about the child in the adoptive family and will be responsible for making alternative arrangement in the case of any disruption, in consultation with Authority and concerned Indian diplomatic mission, in the manner as provided in the adoption regulations framed by the Authority.
(12)
A foreigner or a person of Indian origin or an overseas citizen of India, who has habitual residence in India, if interested to adopt a child from India, may apply to Authority for the same along with a no objection certificate from the diplomatic mission of his country in India, for further necessary actions as provided in the adoption regulations framed by the Authority.

60. Procedure for inter-country relative adoption

(1) A relative living abroad, who intends to adopt a child from his relative in India shall obtain an order from the court and apply for no objection certificate from Authority, in the manner as provided in the adoption regulations framed by the Authority.
(2) The Authority shall on receipt of the order under sub-section (1) and the application from either the biological parents or from the adoptive parents, issue no objection certificate under intimation to the immigration authority of India and of the receiving country of the child.
(3) The adoptive parents shall, after receiving no objection certificate under sub-section (2), receive the child from the biological parents and shall facilitate the contact of the adopted child with his siblings and biological parents from time to time.

61. Court procedure and penalty against payment in consideration of adoption

(1) Before issuing an adoption order, the court shall satisfy itself that–
(a)the adoption is for the welfare of the child;
(b)due consideration is given to the wishes of the child having regard to the age and understanding of the child; and
(c)that neither the prospective adoptive parents has given or agreed to give nor the specialised adoption agency or the parent or guardian of the child in case of relative adoption has received or agreed to receive any payment or reward in consideration of the adoption, except as permitted under the adoption regulations framed by the Authority towards the adoption fees or service charge or child care corpus.

(2) The adoption proceedings shall be held in camera and the case shall be disposed of by the court within a period of two months from the date of filing.

62. Additional procedural requirements and documentation

(1) The documentation and other procedural requirements, not expressly provided in this Act with regard to the adoption of an orphan, abandoned and surrendered child by Indian prospective adoptive parents living in India, or by non-resident Indian or overseas citizen of India or person of Indian origin or foreigner prospective adoptive parents, shall be as per the adoption regulations framed by the Authority.
(2) The specialised adoption agency shall ensure that the adoption case of prospective adoptive parents is disposed of within four months from the date of receipt of application and the authorised foreign adoption agency, Authority and State Agency shall track the progress of the adoption case and intervene wherever necessary, so as to ensure that the time line is adhered to.

63. Effect of adoption

A child in respect of whom an adoption order is issued by the court, shall become the child of the adoptive parents, and the adoptive parents shall become the parents of the child as if the child had been born to the adoptive parents, for all purposes, including intestacy, with effect from the date on which the adoption order takes effect, and on and from such date all the ties of the child in the family of his or her birth shall stand severed and replaced by those created by the adoption order in the adoptive family:
Provided that any property which has vested in the adopted child immediately before the date on which the adoption order takes effect shall continue to vest in the adopted child subject to the obligations, if any, attached to the ownership of such property including the obligations, if any, to maintain the relatives in the biological family.

64. Reporting of adoption

Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, information regarding all adoption orders issued by the concerned courts, shall be forwarded to Authority on monthly basis in the manner as provided in the adoption regulations framed by the Authority, so as to enable Authority to maintain the data on adoption.

65. Specialised Adoption Agencies

(1) The State Government shall recognise one or more institutions or organisations in each district as a Specialised Adoption Agency, in such manner as may be provided in the adoption regulations framed by the Authority, for the rehabilitation of orphan, abandoned or surrendered children, through adoption and non-institutional care.
(2) The State Agency shall furnish the name, address and contact details of the Specialised Adoption Agencies along with copies of certificate or letter of recognition or renewal to Authority, as soon as the recognition or renewal is granted to such agencies.
(3) The State Government shall get every Specialised Adoption Agency inspected at least once in a year and take necessary remedial measures, if required.
(4) In case any Specialised Adoption Agency is in default in taking necessary steps on its part as provided in this Act or in the adoption regulations framed by the Authority, for getting an orphan or abandoned or surrendered child legally free for adoption from the Committee or in completing the home study report of the prospective adoptive parents or in obtaining adoption order from the court within the stipulated time, such Specialised Adoption Agency shall be punishable with a fine which may extend up to fifty thousand rupees and in case of repeated default, the recognition of the Specialised Adoption Agency shall be withdrawn by the State Government.

66. Adoption of children residing in institutions not registered as adoption agencies

(1) All the institutions registered under this Act, which may not have been recognised as Specialised Adoption Agencies, shall also ensure that all orphan or abandoned or surrendered children under their care are reported, produced and declared legally free for adoption, by the Committee as per the provisions of section 38.
(2) All institutions referred to in sub-section (1) shall develop formal linkages with nearby Specialised Adoption Agency and shall furnish details of the children declared legally free for adoption to that Specialised Adoption Agency along with all relevant records in the manner as may be prescribed, for the placement of such children in adoption.
(3) If any such institution contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), it shall be liable to fine of fifty thousand rupees for each instance to be imposed by the registering authority and it may also attract de-recognition in the event of persistent flouting of such provisions.

67. State Adoption Resource Agency

(1) The State Government shall set up a State Adoption Resource Agency for dealing with adoptions and related matters in the State under the guidance of Authority.
(2) The State Agency, wherever already exists, shall be deemed to be set up under this Act.

68. Central Adoption Resource Authority

The Central Adoption Resource Agency existing before the commencement of this Act, shall be deemed to have been constituted as the Central Adoption Resource Authority under this Act to perform the following functions, namely:–
(a)to promote in-country adoptions and to facilitate inter-State adoptions in co-ordination with State Agency;
(b)to regulate inter-country adoptions;
(c)to frame regulations on adoption and related matters from time to time as may be necessary;
(d)to carry out the functions of the Central Authority under the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of Inter-country Adoption;
(e)any other function as may be prescribed.

69. Steering Committee of Authority

(1) The Authority shall have a Steering Committee with following members:
(a)Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, who shall be the Chairperson–ex officio;
(b)Joint Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, dealing with Authority–ex officio;
(c)Joint Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, dealing with Finance–ex officio;
(d)one State Adoption Resource Agency and two Specialised Adoption Agencies;
(e)one adoptive parent and one adoptee;
(f)one advocate or a professor having at least ten years of experience in family law;
(g)Member-Secretary, who shall also be Chief Executive Officer of the organisation.

(2) Criteria for the selection or nomination of the Members mentioned at (d) to (f), their tenure as well as the terms and conditions of their appointment shall be such as may be prescribed.
(3) The Steering Committee shall have the following functions, namely:–
(a)to oversee the functioning of Authority and review its working from time to time so that it operates in most effective manner;
(b)to approve the annual budget, annual accounts and audit reports as well as the action plan and annual report of Authority;
(c)to adopt the recruitment rules, service rules, financial rules of Authority as well as the other regulations for the exercise of the administrative and programmatic powers within the organisation, with the prior approval of the Central Government;
(d)any other function that may be vested with it by the Central Government from time to time.
(4) The Steering Committee shall meet once in a month in the manner as may be prescribed.
(5) The Authority shall function from its headquarter and through its regional offices as may be set up as per its functional necessity.

70. Powers of Authority

(1) For the efficient performance of its functions, Authority shall have the following powers, namely:–
(a)to issue instructions to any Specialised Adoption Agency or a Children Home or any child care institution housing any orphan, abandoned or surrendered child, any State Agency or any authorised foreign adoption agency and such directions shall be complied by such agencies;
(b)recommending to the concerned Government or Authority to take appropriate action against any official or functionary or institution under its administrative control, in case of persistent non-compliance of the instructions issued by it;
(c)forwarding any case of persistent non-compliance of its instructions by any official or functionary or institution to a Magistrate having jurisdiction to try the same and the Magistrate to whom any such case is forwarded shall proceed to hear the same as if the case has been forwarded to him under section 346 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974);
(d)any other power that may be vested with it by the Central Government.
(2) In case of any difference of opinion in an adoption case, including the eligibility of prospective adoptive parents or of a child to be adopted, the decision of Authority shall prevail.

71. Annual Report of Authority

(1) The Authority shall submit an annual report to the Central Government in such manner as may be prescribed.
(2) The Central Government shall cause the annual report of Authority to be laid before each House of Parliament.

72. Grants by Central Government

(1) The Central Government shall, after due appropriation made by Parliament by law in this behalf, pay to the Authority by way of grants such sums of money as the Central Government may think fit for being utilised for performing the functions of Authority under this Act.
(2) The Authority may spend such sums of money as it thinks fit for performing the functions, as prescribed under this Act, and such sums shall be treated as expenditure payable out of the grants referred to in sub-section (1).

73. Accounts and audit of Authority

(1) The Authority shall maintain proper accounts and other relevant records and prepare an annual statement of accounts in such form as may be prescribed by the Central Government in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.
(2) The accounts of Authority shall be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor-General at such intervals as may be specified by him and any expenditure incurred in connection with such audit shall be payable by the Authority to the Comptroller and Auditor-General.
(3) The Comptroller and Auditor-General and any person appointed by him in connection with the audit of the accounts of the Authority under this Act shall, have the same rights and privileges and the Authority in connection with the audit of Government accounts and, in particular, shall have the right to demand the production of books, accounts, connected vouchers and other documents and papers and to inspect any of the offices of Authority.
(4) The accounts of the Authority as certified by the Comptroller and Auditor-General or any other person appointed by him in this behalf, together with the audit report thereon shall be forwarded annually to the Central Government by the Authority.
(5) The Central Government shall cause the audit report to be laid, as soon as may be after it is received, before each House of Parliament.