Rules of Adoption in India

For those couples or single parents who are considering adoption, understanding the various rules of the land regarding adoption is a must. Listed below are some of the basic rules which should be taken care of in case of adoption in India.

Who can adopt a child?

An Indian resident, a Non Resident Indian (NRI), or a foreign citizen can adopt a child in India. However, there are certain guidelines and specific a set of documentation necessary for each of these groups to adopt a child in the country.

What are the conditions which an adoptive parent needs to fulfil?

When it comes to adopting a child in India, an adoptive parent needs to be medically fit and financially stable to take the best possible care of a child. A person who wants to adopt a child must have an age of 21 years or more. There is no fixed upper age limit for the adoptive parents. But, different agencies have set their own specific upper age limit for those who are willing to adopt a child in India.

For adopting a child who is not more than 1 year old, the adoptive parents can have a maximum combined age of 90 years. Moreover, none of the parents should be more than 45 years old.

In such a case where the adopted child is of higher age, the age of the prospective parents may be relaxed accordingly. Whereas, in the adoption of a child with special needs, the age limit may be relaxed marginally by the State Government, depending on the particular case. Still, in all types of cases, the age of either of the parent cannot go beyond 55 years.

What are the laws governing adoption?

Indian citizens who are Hindus, Sikhs, Jains or Buddhists can legally adopt a child in the country, and the law that governs such an adoption is the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956.

Non Resident Indians, foreign citizens, and those Indian citizens who are Muslims, Parsis, Christians or Jews are bound by the Guardian and Wards Act of 1890. According to this act, the adoptive parent will only be the guardian of the child, until they reach an age of 18 years.

Non Resident Indians and foreign citizens are required to legally adopt the child as per the adoption laws and procedures in the country of their residence. This procedure needs to be complied with, within two years of the PAP becoming the child’s guardian.

For those children who have been abandoned or abused, a part of the Juvenile Justice Act of 2000, needs to be adhered to by non-Hindu parents.

Can an adoptive parent request for a specific child?

Yes, an adoptive parent can request for a specific child. The parent can ask for a child having a specific age, gender (only if the child will be the first child in the family), skin tone, religion, particular facial features, health condition, and the like. Though, the more specifications a person has, the more it becomes difficult to find a child that goes along with them.

Based on the adoptive parent’s detailed specifications, the agency may then examine children so as to find the most suitable match. Once such a child is found, they are then shown to the prospective parent(s). If the parent(s) feel that the child is not as per their specifications, then two more children with the same characteristics may be presented to them.

Adoption in India may take several months before it is legally completed.

So, follow the set procedure and bring the new member to your family with utmost peace of mind and absolute content.

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