Adoption is a very noble gesture of a human being since ages but in recent years adopting a child legally is gaining popularity. Often people opt for adopting a child because of difficulty in having a biological child or simply the desire to bring home a child who doesn’t otherwise have a family.Personal laws of Muslim, Christian, Parsis and Jews do not recognize complete adoption so if a person belonging to such religion has a desire to adopt a child can take the guardianship of a child underSection 8 of the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890.
What is Adoption?
A process in which a child becomes the lawful child of his adoptive parents and where the adopted child has all the rights and privileges as that of a biological child of those adoptive parents.It should be noted that adoption is irrevocable i.e. once you adopt a child you cannot disown that child.
Who can adopt?
1) Any Indian citizen, NRI(non-resident Indian) or a foreign citizen can adopt a child, though through different procedures.
2) Any male or female irrespective of their marital status can also adopt, i.e. a single parent can adopt a child.3) However, a single female can adopt a child of any gender but a single male can adopt only a boy child.
4) The age difference between the adoptive parents and the adoptive child should not be less than 25 years.
Who can be adopted?
As per the laws, any orphan abandoned or surrendered child, who is declared legally free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee and who is below the age of 18 years can be adopted.
Laws regarding Adoption:
Adoption in India is governed by specific laws and the extensive guidelines provided thereunder. The person who wants to adopt is called the ‘adopter’ a child who is adopted is known as the ‘adoptee’. Following statutes concern child adoption and its regulation:
• The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956
• Guardian and Wards Act, 1890
• Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015
The Juvenile Justice Act after the 2006 amendment has inserted Sec 2(aa) which defines adoption and it also makes adoption irrevocable. The necessary requirement for an Adoption are:
1) Adopter should not have more than 4 children.
2) Adopter should not be suffering any life-threatening disease.
3) Adopter should be financially capable of raising a child.
4) Adopter shall be emotionally, mentally and physically capable.
5) Adoptive couple shall have at least 2 years of stable married life.
Procedure for Adoption:
The first step is a formal application for adoption by the interested person/ couple at a certified adoption agency. (Not all children’s home is authorized to offer children for adoption, nor are hospitals, nursing home or religious institutions without such certification).
The second step after the completion of application form submission to a certified agency, a no objection certificate (NOC) has to be issued to such certified agency by Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA). Central adoption resource authority (CARA) is the nodal agency to regulate adoption for in-country and intra-country. It is a statutory body of the Government of India working under the Ministry of Women & Child Development. It deals with the adoption of children through special recognized agencies.
As such there is no separate law to govern the adoption by NRI or a Foreign Citizen, however, the procedure is bit different and is dealt under Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children, 2015. Intra-country adoption is dealt under these rules so as to prevent the illegal adoption or misuse of adoption. Moreover, the provisions of Guardians & Wards Act 1980, governs the intra-country adoption. For intra-country adoption, a foreign parent can adopt an Indian child before he/she completes the age of 3 years as per the Supreme Court Guidelines.