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SC to Look Into Easing Adoption Methodology

Context:

The Supreme Court decided to examine a plea to simplify the legal process for adoption of children in the country.

  • The petition filed said that there were only 4,000 child adoptions annually though there were 3 crore orphan children in the country.
  •  Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System ought to appoint trained “adoption preparers” who could help the prospective parents to complete the cumbersome paperwork required for adoption.

Relevance:

GS II- Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Central Adoption Resource Authority
  2. Eligibility criteria for prospective adoptive parents:
  3. Adoption Process

About Central Adoption Resource Authority

  • Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body of Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.
  • It functions as the nodal body for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions.
  • CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003.
  • CARA primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognised adoption agencies.

Apart from CARA, there are other mandated organisations also which handle adoptions in India. They are as follows:

  • State Adoption Resource Agency (SARA): Nodal body within the state to monitor & promote adoption and non-institutional care in coordination with CARA.
  • Specialised Adoption Agency (SAA): Agencies recognised by the State Government for the placement of children in adoption.
  • Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency (AFAA): A foreign social or child welfare agency that is authorised by CARA on the basis of recommendations of a foreign country’s adoption authority or govt department for all matters relating to the adoption of an Indian child by a citizen of that country.
  • District Child Protection Unit (DCPU): A unit established by the state government at the district level for identifying orphaned, surrendered and abandoned children in the district. It also gets them declared legally free for adoption by the child welfare committees.

Eligibility criteria for prospective adoptive parents:

  • The prospective adoptive parents shall be physically, mentally and emotionally stable, financially capable and shall not have any life-threatening medical condition.
  • 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: –
  • the consent of both the spouses for the adoption shall be required, in case of a married couple;
  • a single female can adopt a child of any gender;
  • a single male shall not be eligible to adopt a girl child;
  • No child shall be given in adoption to a couple unless they have at least two years of stable marital relationship.
  • The minimum age difference between the child and either of the prospective adoptive parents shall not be less than twenty-five years.
  • The age criteria for prospective adoptive parents shall not be applicable in case of relative adoptions and adoption by step-parent.
  • Couples with three or more children shall not be considered for adoption except in case of special need children.
  • In 2018, CARA has allowed individuals in a live-in relationship to adopt children from and within India.

Adoption Process

  • Procedure for adoption adjudged by specialised adoption agencies preparing home study reports on the eligibility of prospective adoptive parents living in India who have been duly registered on the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS), regardless of marital status or religion.
  • After that, the specialised adoption agency obtains court orders authorising the adoption.
  • All non-residents must register with an authorised adoption agency in their foreign country of residency under CARINGS.
  • Authorized international adoption agencies determine their eligibility through home study reports, and CARA grants a pre-adoption ‘no objection’ certificate for foster care, followed by a court adoption order.
  • For a passport and visa to leave India, a final “no objection” certificate from CARA or a compliance certificate under the adoption convention is required.

-Source: The Hindu

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October 2022
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