The rates of adoption are steadily declining with the advent of procedures like in vitro fertilization (IVF) etc. From 5693 recorded adoptions in India in 2010 -11, there have been only 3210 adoptions in 2016-17. Inter-country adoptions have remained mostly stable over the years. To ensure that homeless children get a loving family, the Central Government launched CARA.
Central Adoption Resource Authority, commonly known as CARA, is a boon for couples who cannot conceive. A welcome initiative by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, CARA is a way to fulfil dreams of every couple wanting to become parents. CARA regulates adoptions within the country as well as inter-country adoptions as per the Hague Convention of 1993 that came into force in India starting 2003.
CARA operates by the help of Specialized Adoption Agency, State Adoption Regulatory Authority and Authorized Foreign Adoption Agency to achieve grass root penetration. These agencies are responsible for helping parents find the right child for adoption, ensuring the child is happy with the new parents, compliance of all official guidelines and legal paperwork etc.
Being the central authority for adoption of children, especially surrendered, orphaned and abandoned children, it is run by district and state authorities that facilitate the adoption process.
The CARA adoption process and online application are very simple and require only basic knowledge of computers. CARA registration is done online. The eligibility criteria to apply for the CARA waiting list for adoption is as follows:
- The parents wishing to adopt should be mentally, physically, financially and emotionally stable without any life threatening condition.
- Irrespective of the marital status and whether they already have a son or daughter, the prospective parent should have consent of both spouses. A single woman can adopt a boy or a girl but a single male can only adopt a boy child.
- Minimum 2 years of stable marital relationship is a must for a couple to adopt a child.
- The total age of prospective parents differs for children of various age groups available for adoption.
- There should be at least 25 years difference between age of child and either of the prospective parent.
- Couples having 3 or more children will not be considered for adoption except in certain special scenarios as mentioned in the guidelines.
Counselling services provided by expert professionals are available for prospective parents at CARA.
Adoption by relatives
Relatives too can adopt a child but only after receiving consent of biological parents. The child’s consent is also needed if the child over 5 years of age. An affidavit supporting the social and financial status of the prospective parents needs to be submitted in the court.
Adoption by Step parents
Step parents can adopt a child legally after valid written consent taken from both biological parents as well as the step parent’s consent.
Post - adoption Process
The Home Study Report is prepared by the Specialized Adoption Agency basis a six monthly follow up of the child for up to 2 years after adoption. If the child or parents are having adjustment problems, then counselling is arranged for both by the Specialized Adoption Agency.
A new set of Adoption Regulation was released in January 2017 by the Ministry of Women and Child Development revisiting the adoption guidelines in context of our evolving society.
Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.