Fundamental principles governing adoption in India

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Under the Adoption Regulations 2017

3. Fundamental principles governing adoption

The following fundamental principles shall govern adoptions of children from India, namely:-

(a) the child’s best interests shall be of paramount consideration, while processing any adoption placement;

(b) preference shall be given to place the child in adoption with Indian citizens and with due regard to the principle of placement of the child in his own socio-cultural environment, as far as possible;

(c) all adoptions shall be registered on Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System and the confidentiality of the same shall be maintained by the Authority.

4. Child eligible for adoption

The following shall be eligible for adoption, namely:-

(a) any orphan or abandoned or surrendered child, declared legally free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee;

(b) a child of a relative defined under sub-section (52) of section 2 of the Act;

(c) child or children of spouse from earlier marriage, surrendered by the biological parent(s) for adoption by the step-parent.

5. Eligibility criteria for prospective adoptive parents.- (1) The prospective adoptive parents shall be physically, mentally and emotionally stable, financially capable and shall not have any life-threatening medical condition.

(2) Any prospective adoptive parents, irrespective of his marital status and whether or not he has biological son or daughter, can adopt a child subject to following, namely:-

(a) the consent of both the spouses for the adoption shall be required, in case of a married couple;

(b) a single female can adopt a child of any gender;

(c) a single male shall not be eligible to adopt a girl child;

(3) No child shall be given in adoption to a couple unless they have at least two years of stable marital relationship.

(4) The age of prospective adoptive parents, as on the date of registration, shall be counted for deciding the eligibility and the eligibility of prospective adoptive parents to apply for children of different age groups shall be as under:-

Age of the child Maximum composite age of prospective Maximum age of single
adoptive parents (couple) prospective adoptive parent
Upto 4 years 90 years 45 years
Above 4 and 100 years 50 years
upto 8  years
Above 8 and 110 years 55 years
upto 18 years

(5) In case of couple, the composite age of the prospective adoptive parents shall be counted.

(6) The minimum age difference between the child and either of the prospective adoptive parents shall not be less than twenty-five years.

(7) The age criteria for prospective adoptive parents shall not be applicable in case of relative adoptions and adoption by step-parent.

(8) Couples with three or more children shall not be considered for adoption except in case of special need children as defined in sub-regulation (21) of regulation 2, hard to place children as mentioned in regulation 50 and in case of relative adoption and adoption by step-parent.

CHAPTER II

PROCEDURE RELATING TO CHILDREN FOR ADOPTION

6. Procedure relating to orphan or abandoned child.- (1) The provisions relating to the process of declaring an orphan or abandoned child, as legally free for adoption are laid down in sections 31, 32, 36, clauses (a) to (c) and clause (h) of sub-section (1) of section 37 and section 40 of the Act, as well as under the relevant provisions of the rules made thereunder.

(2) An orphan or abandoned child received by a Child Care Institution, including a Specialised Adoption Agency, directly without the involvement of Child Welfare Committee, shall be produced before the Child Welfare Committee within twenty-four hours (excluding the journey time) along with a report as per the format given in Form 17 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 and a copy of such report shall be submitted by the Child Care Institution or the Specialised Adoption Agency, as the case may be, to the local police station within the same period.

(3) If a child is under treatment or not in a condition to be produced before the Child Welfare Committee, only documents related to the child shall be produced before the Child Welfare Committee within the said timeline and the Child Welfare Committee may visit the ailing child.

(4) The Child Welfare Committee, pending inquiry, shall issue an order in Form 18 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 for a short term placement or interim care of the child, as per the provisions of sub-section (c) of section 37 of the Act and the sub-rule 26 of rule 18 of the said rules.

(5) On admission of the child, his details and photograph shall be entered online in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System in the prescribed format by the Specialised Adoption Agency within three working days of receiving the child, and the photograph of the child shall be changed by the Specialised Adoption Agency every six months in Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System.

(6) For tracing out the biological parents or the legal guardian(s), the Child Welfare Committee, after taking into account the risk factors, and in the best interest of the child, may direct the District Child Protection Unit to advertise the particulars and photograph of an orphan or abandoned child in a national newspaper with wide circulation within three working days from the time of receiving the child and also ensure entry of data in the designated portal in its missing or found column by the concerned Child Care Institution or Specialised Adoption Agency.

(7) In case where the child is from another State, the publication shall be done in the known place of origin of the child in the local language and such publications shall be facilitated by State Adoption Resource Agency concerned.

(8) Wherever District Child Protection Unit is not functional, the District Magistrate concerned shall get such advertisement issued.

(9) In case the biological parents or legal guardian cannot be traced, despite the efforts specified in sub-regulations

(6) to (8), the District Child Protection Unit shall accordingly, submit a report to the Child Welfare Committee within thirty days from the date of production of the child before the Child Welfare Committee.

(10) The Child Care Institution or Specialised Adoption Agency shall submit a report to the Child Welfare Committee, immediately on completion of thirty days from the date of production of the child, before the Child Welfare Committee and the report shall include any information revealed by the child during his short term placement and details of person(s) whosoever approached for claiming the child, if any.

(11) In case the report from the local police regarding the non-traceability of the biological parents or legal guardian is not submitted within two or four months in the case of an abandoned child less than two or four years of age respectively, such report shall be deemed to have been given.

(12) The Child Welfare Committee shall use the designated portal to ascertain whether the abandoned child or orphan child is a missing child.

(13) The Child Welfare Committee, after taking actions as per the provisions of the Act, rules made thereunder and these regulations shall issue an order signed by any three members of the Child Welfare Committee declaring the abandoned or orphan child as legally free for adoption in the format at Schedule I within a period of two or four months, from the date of production of the child before the Child Welfare Committee, in case of a child upto two or above two years of age respectively.

(14) The inquiry under section 36 of the Act and the order declaring an abandoned or orphan child as legally free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee under section 38 of the Act shall be completed in the district where the child was initially found, or in the district to which the child is shifted under orders of the Child Welfare Committee.

(15) The Child Welfare Committee and Medical Examination Report of an orphan or abandoned child shall be prepared in the format at Schedule II and III respectively and posted in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System by the Specialised Adoption Agency maximum within ten days from the date the child is declared legally free for adoption and the details shall be updated on Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System every six months or whenever appreciable physical changes are observed in the child.

(16) The Child Welfare Committee and Medical Examination Report shall be made available in English, apart from the local language.

(17) The District Child Protection Unit shall facilitate the Specialised Adoption Agency in uploading the Child Study Report and Medical Examination Report in Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System, in case the Specialised Adoption Agency is facing any technical difficulty.

(18) The procedure for declaring a child of parents with mental disability as legally free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee shall be done on the basis of a certificate reflecting mental disability of the parents from the medical board constituted by the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, as per guidelines for mental illness issued by the Government of India in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment from time to time.

(19) In case of siblings or twins, the Child Welfare Committee shall specify the status of the children as siblings or twins and declare the children as legally free in a single order.

7. Procedure relating to a surrendered child

 (1) A parent or guardian wishing to surrender a child under sub-section (1) of section 35 of the Act, shall apply to the Child Welfare Committee in the Form 23 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016.

(2) For parents or guardians who are unable to give an application, due to illiteracy or any other reason, the Child Welfare Committee shall facilitate the same through the legal aid counsel provided by the Legal Services Authority.

(3) The Deed of Surrender shall be executed as per Schedule V.

(4) If the surrendering parent is an unmarried mother, the Deed of Surrender may be executed in the presence of preferably any single female member of the Child Welfare Committee.

(5) If a child born to a married couple is to be surrendered, both parents shall sign the Deed of Surrender and in case one of them is dead, death certificate is required to be furnished in respect of the deceased parent.

(6) If a child born to a married couple is to be surrendered by one biological parent and the whereabouts of the other parent are not known, the child shall be treated as abandoned child and further procedures in accordance with regulation 6 of these regulations shall be followed.

(7) In case of a child born out of wedlock, only the mother can surrender the child and if the mother is a minor, the Deed of Surrender shall be signed by an accompanying adult as the witness.

(8) If the surrender is by a person other than the biological parents who is not appointed as a guardian by a court of law, the child shall be treated as abandoned child and further procedures in accordance with regulation 6 shall be followed.

(9) The Specialised Adoption Agency and the Child Welfare Committee shall ensure that a copy of the Deed of Surrender is given to the surrendering parents or person.

(10) The details of the child along with his photograph shall be entered online in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System by the Specialised Adoption Agency within three working days from the time of receiving the child.

(11) To discourage surrender by biological parents, efforts shall be made by the Specialised Adoption Agency or the Child Welfare Committee for exploring the possibility of parents retaining the child, which shall include counselling or linking them to the counselling center set up at the Authority or State Adoption Resource Agency, encouraging them to retain the child and explaining that the process of surrender is irrevocable.

(12) The Specialised Adoption Agency and the Child Welfare Committee shall ensure that the surrendering parents or the legal guardian is made aware that they can reclaim the surrendered child only within a period of sixty days from the date of surrender.

(13) Due regard shall be given to the privacy of the surrendering parents and the surrendered child by the authorities and agencies involved in the process.

(14) No public notice or advertisement shall be issued in the case of a surrendered child.

(15) In case the surrendering biological parent has not claimed back the child during the reconsideration period, the same shall be intimated by the Specialised Adoption Agency to the Child Welfare Committee on completion of sixty days from the date of surrender.

(16) The reconsideration period for the biological parents is specified in sub-section (3) of section 35 of the Act and no further notice shall be issued to the surrendering parents.

(17) The Child Welfare Committee shall issue an order signed by at least three members declaring the surrendered child as legally free for adoption after the expiry of sixty days from the date of surrender, in the format at Schedule I.

(18) The Child Study Report and Medical Examination Report of the surrendered child shall be prepared and posted in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System by the Specialised Adoption Agency, within ten days from the date the child is declared legally free for adoption, in the format at Schedule II and Schedule III of these Regulations respectively.

(19) The Child Study Report and Medical Examination Report shall be made available in English (apart from the local language) and the District Child Protection Unit shall facilitate the Specialised Adoption Agency in uploading the Child Study Report and Medical Examination Report in Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System, in case the Specialised Adoption Agency is facing any technical difficulty.

(20) Strict confidentiality shall be maintained in cases of all documents pertaining to biological parents in all circumstances unless the surrendering parents have expressed their willingness for divulging the same.

(21) The surrender of a child by an unwed mother before a single woman member of the Child Welfare Committee shall be considered as surrender of the child before the Committee as envisaged under section 35 of the Act, and her right to privacy has to be protected.

(22) The surrender of a child before Child Welfare Committee shall be in camera.

(23) The surrender of child or children by the biological parents for adoption by the step-parent shall be before the Child Welfare Committee, for adoption, on the ground of emotional and social factors as envisaged under sub-section (1) of section 35 of the Act, in the format given at Schedule XXI.

8. Availability of child for adoption

As soon as a child is declared legally free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee, such child shall be allowed to be given in adoption to a resident Indian or non-resident Indian parents:

Provided that such child shall be allowed to be given in inter-country adoption.-

(a) after sixty days, if the child is below five years of age;

(b) after thirty days, if the child is above five years of age or is a sibling;

(c) after fifteen days, if the child has any mental illness or physical disability as listed in Schedule XVIII.

Explanation.- For the purposes of this regulation, it is clarified that the time limits specified in the proviso shall be calculated from the date, the certificate issued by the Child Welfare Committee declaring the child as legally free for adoption, is uploaded in Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System.

CHAPTER III

ADOPTION PROCEDURE FOR RESIDENT INDIANS

9. Registration and home study of the prospective adoptive parents.- (1) The Indian prospective adoptive parents irrespective of their religion, if interested to adopt an orphan or abandoned or surrendered child, shall apply for the same to Specialised Adoption Agencies through Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System by filling up the online application form, as provided in Schedule VI, and uploading the relevant documents thereby registering themselves as prospective adoptive parents.

(2) The prospective adoptive parents shall opt for desired State or States by giving option for those particular States at the time of registration.

(3) Registration on Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System would be a deemed registration in all Specialised Adoption Agencies of the State or States they have opted for.

(4) The registration number of prospective adoptive parents shall be available with all the Specialised Adoption Agencies in those State or States, as the case may be.

(5) The registration shall be complete and confirmed to the prospective adoptive parents immediately on receipt of the completed application form and requisite documents on Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System:

Provided that the documents shall be uploaded within a period of thirty days from the date of registration failing which the prospective adoptive parents have to register afresh.

(6) The prospective adoptive parents shall get their registration number from the acknowledgement slip and use it for viewing the progress of their application.

(7) The prospective adoptive parents shall select a Specialised Adoption Agency nearest to their residence for Home Study Report in their State of habitual residence.

(8) The Home Study Report of the prospective adoptive parents shall be prepared through the social worker of selected Specialised Adoption Agency and in case they are unable to conduct Home Study Report within stipulated time, they shall take the assistance of a social worker from a panel maintained by the State Adoption Resource Agency or District Child Protection Unit, as the case may be.

(9) The Specialised Adoption Agency or the empanelled social worker of the State Adoption Resource Agency or District Child Protection Unit shall counsel the prospective adoptive parents during the home study.

(10) The Home Study Report shall be completed in the format given in Schedule VII, within thirty days from the date of submission of requisite documents and shall be shared with the prospective adoptive parents immediately, thereafter.

(11) The Home Study Report shall be posted in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System by the Specialised Adoption Agency as soon as it is complete.

(12) The Home Study Report shall remain valid for three years and shall be the basis for adoption of a child by the prospective adoptive parents from anywhere in the country.

(13) The prospective adoptive parents shall be declared eligible and suitable by the Specialised Adoption Agency based upon the Home Study Report and supporting documents and in case any prospective adoptive parent is not declared eligible or suitable, the reasons for the same shall be recorded in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System.

(14) The prospective adoptive parents may appeal against the decision of rejection to the Authority as provided regulation 59.

(15) The appeal referred to in sub-regulation (14) shall be disposed of within a period of fifteen days and the decision of the Authority in this regard shall be binding.

(16) The District Child Protection Unit shall facilitate online registration of application of prospective adoptive parents, uploading of their documents and also for addressing technical difficulties faced by the Specialised Adoption Agencies.

(17) The adoption of a child by the prospective adoptive parents, after completion of their registration and Home Study Report, shall depend upon the availability of a suitable child.

10. Referral of a child from a Specialised Adoption Agency through Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System to prospective adoptive parents.- (1) The seniority of the prospective adoptive parents for child referral shall be from the date of uploading of documents and completion of registration process in Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System.

(2) On the basis of seniority, the prospective adoptive parents shall be referred online profile of three children which will include the photographs, Child Study Report and Medical Examination Report, in their preference category, if any, from one or more Specialised Adoption Agencies through the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System in one or more referrals.

(3) After viewing the profile of the child or children, the prospective adoptive parents may reserve one child within a period of forty-eight hours for possible adoption and the rest of the children would be released by Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System for other prospective adoptive parents in the waiting list.

(4) The Specialised Adoption Agency shall get the details of the prospective adoptive parents through the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System for fixing an appointment with the prospective adoptive parents for matching, to assess the suitability of the prospective adoptive parents by an Adoption Committee as defined in sub-regulation (2) of regulation 2 and the Adoption Committee shall prepare the minutes of the meeting as per format provided in Schedule XXVII.

(5) The quorum of the Adoption Committee shall be two members and the quorum of the Adoption Committee in case of adoption from a Child Care Institution shall be three members, while the presence of one official from the District Child Protection Unit would be mandatory.

(6) The Specialised Adoption Agency shall also organise a meeting of the prospective adoptive parents with the child.

(7) The entire process of matching shall be completed within a maximum period of twenty days from the date of reserving the child.

(8) The Specialised Adoption Agency shall counsel the prospective adoptive parents when they visit the agency for matching.

(9) While accepting the child, the prospective adoptive parents shall sign the Child Study Report and Medical Examination Report which may be downloaded from the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System, in the presence of the social worker or chief functionary of the Specialised Adoption Agency and the Specialised Adoption Agency shall record the acceptance by the prospective adoptive parents in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System.

(10) In case the prospective adoptive parents are not selected for the child by the Adoption Committee, the reason for non-selection of the prospective adoptive parents shall be recorded in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System.

(11) If grounds of rejection are found to be due to systemic error or on non-justifiable reasons, seniority of the prospective adoptive parents shall be retained.

(12) In case the prospective adoptive parents do not accept the reserved child or the Adoption Committee does not find the prospective adoptive parents suitable, then the prospective adoptive parents shall be relegated to the bottom of the seniority list, as on that date, who may avail a fresh chance when the seniority becomes due and the same procedure shall be followed in the subsequent chances.

(13) In all cases referred to in sub-regulations (12), the reasons for not considering the child have to be clearly stated in Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System.

(14) The registration of prospective adoptive parents shall continue till child adoption, with revalidation of the Home Study Report in every three years.

(15) The prospective adoptive parents may also get the Medical Examination Report of the child reviewed by a medical practitioner of their choice before giving their acceptance for adoption of the child.

11. Pre-adoption foster care.- (1) The child shall be taken in pre-adoption foster care by the prospective adoptive parents within ten days from the date of matching, after signing the pre-adoption foster care undertaking in the format provided in Schedule VIII.

(2) The prospective adoptive parents shall provide original documents or notarized copy of the documents to the Specialised Adoption Agency as specified in Schedule IX.

12. Legal procedure.- (1) The Specialised Adoption Agency shall file an application in the court concerned, having jurisdiction over the place where the Specialised Adoption Agency is located, with relevant documents in original as specified in Schedule IX within ten working days from the date of matching of the child with the prospective adoptive parents and in case of inter-country adoption, from the date of receiving No Objection Certificate from the Authority, for obtaining the adoption order from court.

(2) The Specialised Adoption Agency shall file an application in the given format as per Schedule XXVIII or XXIX, as applicable.

(3) In case the child is from a Child Care Institution, which is not a Specialised Adoption Agency and is located in another district, the Specialised Adoption Agency shall file the application in the court concerned, in the district where the child or the Specialised Adoption Agency is located and in such a case, the Child Care Institution will be a co-petitioner along with the Specialised Adoption Agency and the Child Care Institution shall render necessary assistance to the Specialised Adoption Agency concerned.

(4) In case of siblings or twins, the Specialised Adoption Agency shall file single application in the court.

(5) Since an adoption case is non-adversarial in nature, the Specialised Adoption Agency shall not make any opposite party or respondent in the adoption application.

(6) The court shall hold the adoption proceeding in-camera and dispose of the case within a period of two months from the date of filing of the adoption application by the Specialised Adoption Agency, as provided under sub-section (2) of section 61 of the Act.

(7) The adoptive parents shall not be asked in the adoption order to execute any bond or make investment in the name of the child, considering the fact that their psycho-social profile and financial status have already been ascertained from the Home Study Report and other supporting documents.

(8) The Specialised Adoption Agency shall obtain a certified copy of the adoption order from the court and shall forward it to the prospective adoptive parents within ten days and it shall also post a copy of the order and update the relevant entries in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System.

(9) Registration of an adoption deed shall not be mandatory as per the Act.

(10) The Specialised Adoption Agency shall apply to the birth certificate issuing authority for obtaining the birth certificate of the child within three working days from the date of issuance of adoption order, with the name of adoptive parents as parents, and date of birth as recorded in the adoption order and the same shall be issued by the issuing authority within five working days from the date of receipt of the application.

(11) The Specialised Adoption Agency shall submit an affidavit to the court while filing a petition as provided in Schedule XXIII.

13. Follow-up of progress of adopted child

– (1) The Specialised Adoption Agency which has prepared the Home Study Report, shall prepare the post-adoption follow-up report on six monthly basis for two years from the date of pre-adoption foster placement with the prospective adoptive parents, in the format as provided in Schedule XII and upload the same in Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System along with photographs of the child.

(2) In case the adoptive parents relocate, they shall inform the agency which has conducted their home study and the District Child Protection Unit of the district where they relocate.

(3) The District Child Protection Unit of the district of the current residence shall prepare the post-adoption follow-up report and upload the same in Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System.

(4) The Specialised Adoption Agency or the District Child Protection Unit as the case may be, shall arrange for counselling the adoptive parents and adoptee by social worker or link them to the counseling center set up at the Authority or State Agency, whenever required.

(5) In case the child is having adjustment problem with the adoptive parents, the Specialised Adoption Agency shall arrange the required counseling for such adoptive parents and adoptees or link them to the counseling center set up at the Authority or State Agency, wherever required.

(6) In case of disruption in in-country adoption.-

(a) at the stage of pre-adoption foster care before filing a petition, the child shall be taken back by the Specialised Adoption Agency concerned with information to District Child Protection Unit;

(b) at the stage of pre-adoption foster-care after the petition has been filed in the court, the child shall be taken back by the Specialised Adoption Agency and adoption application shall be withdrawn from the court concerned with intimation to District Child Protection Unit;

(c) where the child has been taken to another State during the adoption process, the repatriation of the child shall be coordinated by State Adoption Resource Agency in the State where the child is residing and the State of origin.

(7) In case of dissolution, the application for annulment of adoption order shall be filed in the court which issued the adoption order.

(8) After disruption or dissolution of adoption, as the case may be, the status of the child shall be updated as legally free for adoption in Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System by the Specialised Adoption Agency.

CHAPTER IV

ADOPTION PROCEDURE FOR NON-RESIDENT INDIAN, OVERSEAS CITIZEN OF INDIA AND FOREIGN PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENTS

14. Non-Resident Indian to be treated at par with resident Indian.- Non-resident Indian prospective adoptive parents shall be treated at par with Indians living in India in terms of priority for adoption of Indian orphan, abandoned or surrendered children.

15. Registration and Home Study Report for prospective adoptive parents for inter-country adoption.- (1)

Any Non-Resident Indian, Overseas Citizen of India or foreign prospective adoptive parents, living in a country which is a signatory to the Hague Adoption Convention and wishing to adopt an Indian child, can approach the Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency or the Central Authority concerned, as the case may be, for preparation of their Home Study Report and for their registration in Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System.

(2) In case, there is no Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency or Central Authority in their country of habitual residence, then the prospective adoptive parents shall approach the Government department or Indian diplomatic mission concerned in that country for the purpose.

(3) The Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency or Central Authority or the Government department or the Indian diplomatic mission concerned, as the case may be, on ascertaining the eligibility of the prospective adoptive parents for adopting a child, shall get their Home Study Report completed and register their application in Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System in the format along with the required documents as specified in Schedule VI.

(4) The seniority of the prospective adoptive parents shall be counted from the date of their registration and uploading of requisite documents in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System.

(5) The Home Study Report and other documents of the prospective adoptive parents, referred to in this Chapter, shall be scrutinised at the Authority in order to determine their eligibility and suitability and be forwarded to the Specialised Adoption Agency where children legally free for adoption are available.

(6) The profiles of two children, in one or two referral(s), shall be forwarded by Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System to the Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency or Central Authority or Government department or Indian diplomatic mission, as the case may be, which may further forward such profiles to the prospective adoptive parents concerned as per local rules and in case of a foreigner or Overseas Citizen of India, the profiles of children shall be referred to the prospective adoptive parents.

(7) The prospective adoptive parents may reserve one of the referred children within ninety-six hours and the profile of the other child shall stand automatically withdrawn.

(8) In case the prospective adoptive parents fail to reserve any of the children within ninety-six hours, then the profiles of both the children shall stand automatically withdrawn.

(9) Preference of the prospective adoptive parents shall be taken into consideration when sending referrals to them.

(10) If the prospective adoptive parents reserve one of the children shown, they shall accept the child by signing the Child Study Report and Medical Examination Report of the child within thirty days from the date of reservation.

(11) The Child Study Report, Medical Examination Report and photograph of the child, in original, shall be sent by the Specialised Adoption Agency to the Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency or Central Authority or the Indian diplomatic mission concerned.

(12) In case the prospective adoptive parents fail to accept the reserved child within thirty days, then the profile of the child shall stand withdrawn by the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System and the seniority of the prospective adoptive parents shall be relegated to the bottom of the list; and shall be given another opportunity to reserve and accept a child when their turn becomes due, provided that their Home Study Report remains valid.

(13) If the prospective adoptive parents desire to visit the Specialised Adoption Agency to see the child in person, before accepting him for adoption, such visit may be made after their adoption application is approved by the Authority and the prospective adoptive parents may also get the Medical Examination Report of the child reviewed by a medical practitioner of their choice.

(14) The Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency shall forward the original documents of the prospective adoptive parents, as specified in Schedule IX, to the Specialised Adoption Agency concerned for their scrutiny.

(15) All documents forming part of the Home Study Report shall be notarised and the signature of the notary is to be apostilled by competent authority of the receiving country in cases of Hague Adoption Convention ratified countries, however the documents originating from India shall be self-attested.

(16) If the documents are in any language other than English, then the originals must be accompanied by translations in English, duly attested by the agency or authority in the country of residence of the prospective adoptive parents designated for the purpose of attestation or apostille.

16. No Objection Certificate of Authority and pre-adoption foster care.-(1) The Authority shall issue No

Objection Certificate in favour of the proposed adoption in the format at Schedule X, within ten days from the date of receipt of the acceptance of the child by the prospective adoptive parents and letter of approval or permission of the receiving country as per Article 5 and Article 17 of the Hague Adoption Convention, wherever applicable; and a copy of the No Objection Certificate shall also be endorsed to all concerned and posted in Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System forthwith.

(2) The prospective adoptive parents may take the child in pre-adoption foster care for a temporary period within India after issuance of No Objection Certificate by the Authority while the court order is pending, by furnishing an undertaking to the Specialised Adoption Agency in the format at Schedule VIII.

(3) The prospective adoptive parents shall receive final custody of the child from the Specialised Adoption Agency as soon as the passport and visa are issued to the child after issue of adoption order from the competent court.

17. Legal Procedure.- (1) The legal procedure as provided in regulation12 shall, mutatis mutandis be followed in cases of inter-country adoption under this Chapter.

(2) In cases of the prospective adoptive parents habitually residing abroad and wanting the Specialised Adoption Agency to represent on their behalf as well, the application shall also be accompanied by a Power of Attorney in favour of the social worker or adoption in-charge of the Specialised Adoption Agency which is processing the case and such Power of Attorney shall authorise a social worker to handle the case on behalf of the prospective adoptive parents.

18. Passport and visa, intimation to immigration authorities, Conformity Certificate, Birth Certificate, etc.-
(1) The Authority shall issue a Conformity Certificate under Article 23 of the Hague Adoption Convention in the format provided in Schedule XI within three working days from the date of availability of the adoption order in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System, in case the receiving country of the adopted child is a signatory to the Hague Adoption Convention.

(2) The Authority shall inform the immigration authorities and the foreign regional registration office or the foreign registration office concerned, as the case may be, about confirmation of the adoption.

(3) To obtain Indian passport for the adopted child, the Specialised Adoption Agency shall submit the application to the regional passport officer within three working days from the date of receipt of the adoption order.

(4) The regional passport office shall issue passport for the adopted child within ten days from the date of receipt of application, in accordance with the circulars regarding issuance of passport to inter-country adopted children, issued by the Ministry of External Affairs of the Central Government from time to time.

(5) The Specialised Adoption Agency shall approach the birth certificate issuing authority for obtaining birth certificate of the adopted child, with the name of adoptive parents, as parents, and date of birth as recorded in the adoption order within a period of three days of obtaining of the certified copy of the adoption order.

(6) The adopted child shall be entitled to receive Overseas Citizen of India card, if found eligible.

(7) The adoptive parent(s) shall come to India for taking the adopted child to their country within a period of two months from the date of adoption order.

19. Follow-up of progress of adopted child by Non-Resident Indian, Overseas Citizens of India and foreign prospective adoptive parents.- (1) The Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency or the Central Authority or Indian diplomatic mission or Government department concerned, as the case may be, shall report the progress of the adopted child for two years from the date of arrival of the adopted child in the receiving country, on a quarterly basis during the first year and on six monthly basis in the second year, by uploading online in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System in the format provided in Schedule XII along with photographs of the child.

(2) On the basis of the progress report or in course of post-adoption home visits, if an adjustment problem of an adoptee with the adoptive parents comes to the notice of the Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency or Central Authority or the Government department concerned in the receiving country, necessary counseling shall be arranged for the adoptive parents and for the adoptee, wherever applicable.

(3) If it is found that the adoptee is unable to adjust in the adoptive family or that the continuance of the child in the adoptive family is not in the interest of the child, the Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency or Central Authority or the Government department in the receiving country or Indian diplomatic mission concerned, as the case may be, shall withdraw the child and provide necessary counseling and shall arrange for suitable alternate adoption or foster placement of the child in that country, in consultation with the Indian diplomatic mission and the Authority.

(4) In case of disruption or dissolution of adoption, the child shall be entitled to receive care, protection and rehabilitation through the child protection services of that country and as per Hague Adoption Convention for the Hague Adoption Convention ratified countries.

(5) The Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency or Central Authority or Government department concerned shall contact Indian diplomatic mission to render necessary help and facilitate the repatriation of the child, if required.

(6) The Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency or Central Authority or Government department concerned, may organise annual get-together of Indian adoptees and their adoptive parents and forward a report of the event to the Authority and the Indian diplomatic missions shall facilitate such get-togethers.

(7) The prospective adoptive parents shall furnish an undertaking to the effect that they would allow personal visits of the representative of Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency, the foreign Central Authority or Government department concerned, as the case may be, to ascertain the progress of the child with the adoptive parents or family at least for a period of two years from the date of arrival of the child in the receiving country.

20. Adoption by Overseas Citizen of India or foreign national of Hague Adoption Convention ratified countries living in India.- (1) An Overseas Citizen of India or foreign national, who is a citizen of a country that has ratified the Hague Convention and is a habitual resident, shall apply for adoption online in prescribed format as specified in Schedule VI along with the required documents specified therein by uploading in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System.

(2) On receipt of the application, along with the required documents duly notarised, except those documents originating from India which may be self-attested, the Authority shall refer the case to a Specialised Adoption Agency for preparing the Home Study Report in the format given at Schedule VII and the Specialised Adoption Agency shall upload the Home Study Report in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System.

(3) The prospective adoptive parents may reserve one of the referred children within forty-eight hours and the procedures shall be followed as per the provisions of sub-regulations (9), (10), (12) and (13) of regulation 15 and regulations 16 to 19.

(4) The role of preparing Home Study Report and uploading progress report as required under these Regulations shall be done by the Specialised Adoption Agency concerned.

(5) The Specialised Adoption Agency shall report the progress of the child on six monthly basis for a period of two years from the date of pre-adoption foster care by uploading the details in the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System as per the format provided at Schedule XII along with photographs of the child.

(6) If any adjustment problem of the adoptee with the adoptive parents comes to the notice of the Specialised Adoption Agency through the progress report or in the course of post-adoption home visits, counselling shall be arranged for the adoptive parents and the adoptee, wherever applicable.

(7) During the follow-up, if the Specialised Adoption Agency finds that the adoptee is unable to adjust in the adoptive family or the continuance of the adoptee in the adoptive family is not in the best interests of the child, the procedure as provided in sub-regulations (5), (6) and (7) of regulation 13 shall be followed.

(8) The diplomatic mission concerned shall also ensure that the adopted child acquires citizenship of the country of his parents immediately after adoption decree and a copy of the passport of the child from the country of the nationality of the prospective adoptive parents shall be forwarded to the Authority and the Specialised Adoption Agency concerned.

(9) An Overseas Citizen of India or foreign prospective adoptive parents living in India, are required to give an affidavit to the effect that they would allow personal visits of the representative by the Specialised Adoption Agency or District Child Protection Unit or State Adoption Resource Agency, as the case may be, for a period of at least two years from the date of adoption.

(10) An Overseas Citizen of India or foreign prospective adoptive parents living in India, as the case may be, shall give an undertaking to the effect that if they move out of India before completion of two years after adoption, they shall inform to the Authority about their movement, furnish their new address, and continue to send their post-adoption progress report to the Authority for the remaining period.

21. Adoption procedure in case of Overseas Citizen of India or foreign national of Hague Adoption Convention ratified countries living in India.- (1) If one of the prospective adoptive parents is foreigner and other is an Indian, such case shall be treated at par with Indians living in India.

(2) If both the prospective adoptive parents are foreigner, such case shall be treated in accordance with the provisions of regulation 20.

22. Procedure for adoption of a child from a foreign country by Indian citizens.- (1) Necessary formalities for adoption of a child from a foreign country by Indian citizens shall initially be completed in that country as per their law and procedure.

(2) On receiving Home Study Report of the prospective adoptive parents (including supporting documents), Child Study Report and Medical Examination Report of the child, the Authority shall issue the approval, as required in the cases of adoption of children coming to India as a receiving country under Articles 5 and 17 of the Hague Adoption Convention.

(3) A child adopted abroad by the Indian citizens, having a foreign passport, and requiring the Indian visa to come to India, shall apply for visa to the Indian mission in the country concerned, who may issue entry visa to the child after checking all the relevant documents so as to ensure that the adoption has been done following the due procedure.

(4) The immigration clearance for the child adopted abroad shall be obtained from the Central Government in the Foreigners’ Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, thr ough the Indian diplomatic mission to that country.

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