Affiliate Programs

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION – INDIA



Starting with August 1st, 2015 the India program will implement the new long waited changes. It's the "Big News" you aren't hearing about.A quiet, but long anticipated change is now seeing orphans tangled in a web of bureaucracy united with loving families.

CARA (Central Adoption Resource Authority) in India has implemented new guidelines that have released thousands of children lingering endlessly in orphanage-care to the possibility of being adopted by loving families, both in India and within the international community of adoptive families.

These changes shorten the adoption timeline, embrace a wider adoptive-parent age-range, and allow more children with special needs to be have the opportunity to be matched with families.


The India program can be divided in three programs:

The first program is addressed to the Indian families living in the US who have received the designation from the Indian government as NRI (Non-Resident Indian – A citizen of India, holding an Indian passport, but residing abroad). Indian government allows these families to adopt children who are either non-special needs children and/or special needs children.

A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) is a citizen of India who holds an Indian passport and has temporarily immigrated to another country for six months or more for work, residence or any other purpose

The second program is addressed to the OCI (Overseas Citizen of India). To know if you qualify under one of these designations visit the Indian Embassy webpage at www.indianembassy.org. Indian government allows these families to adopt children who are either non-special needs children and/or special needs children.

Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is provided to a foreign national, who was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26.01.1950 or was a citizen of India on or at any time after 26.01.1950 or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947. His/her children and grandchildren are also eligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Minor children of such person are also eligible for OCI. However, if the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI.

The third program is addressed to the families who do not meet the above definitions (NRI or OCI). These families may adopt children who are considered Special Needs Children. Special Needs Children can include children with the following needs: minor, fixable and/or manageable, physical and/or medical special needs, older “healthy” children (typically 6 and older), “healthy” siblings, or children with more significant needs. Singles and couples who are not of Indian descent may also apply to the WIC (Waiting International Children) program, and adopt identified children.


The face of the Indian adoption process has changed significantly in the past couple of years. India’s Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) changed their guidelines recently, which allows placing agencies to view a larger number of waiting children. This has made matching families with a referral much easier. The positive impact on the implementation of new procedures is a much more streamlined process.


Although domestic adoption is on the rise in India there is an estimated 25 million children who are in need of families. The primary way children become available for adoption in India is because of extreme poverty.

The big majority of the available children are relinquished children.

Relinquishment reasons vary but mostly it's because the family is unable or unwilling to provide for the special needs child. In some cases the children are abandoned so we will never know the reason.”

Orphans have a broad range of special needs. These may include growth delay, development delay, mental delay, learning delay, premature, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, vision issues, congenital heart defects, hearing loss/deaf, HIV, Hepatitis B, autism, orthopedic conditions, conditions correctable with surgery.

Sibling groups and older children are considered special needs even if they are in generally good health because adopting more than one child or an older child presents challenges. There are also siblings with special needs and older children with special needs. Any child over 6 years old is considered an older child.

Boys and girls range in age from 8 months to 16 years are available to be adopted.

Families in the Indian adoption process are registered with CARA. They are not allowed to request a healthy child or request a state. Once the family's registration is approved, the placing agency will search the waiting child database for a referral whose age, gender and condition appear to be good fit for the family.

Children waiting for adoption are typically housed in orphanages. Some orphanages are specifically domestic orphanages while others are approved for international adoption. The majority of children are in orphanages. Some of the orphanages are like foster centers with a higher ratio of caregivers to children. We visited during our recent visit to India several orphanages and they were very clean, bright colors, and the caregivers were very attentive to the children.”

Qualifications to Adopt from India

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

Couples in live-in relationship are not eligible to adopt a child.

To adopt a child in the age group of 0-3 years, the maximum composite age of the PAPs should be 90 years wherein the individual age of the PAPs should not be less than 25 years and more than 50 years.

To adopt a child 4-8 years of age, the combined age of the adoptive parents should not be more than 100 years at the time of registration with CARA.

To adopt a child 8-18 years of age, the combined age of the adoptive parents should not be more than 110 years at the time of registration with CARA.

In case a single PAP desires to adopt, he or she should not be less than 30 years of age and shall not be above the age of 50 years. The maximum age shall be 45 years to adopt children in the age group of 0-3 years. Singles should not be older than 50 years at the time of registration with CARA to adopt a child 4-8 years old.

Singles should not be older than 55 years at the time of registration with CARA to adopt a child 8-18 years old.

Un-married or single men may not adopt a girl child.

Same-gender couples are not eligible to adopt.

The PAPs should have adequate financial resources to provide a good upbringing to the child.

The PAPs should have good health and should not be suffering from any contagious or terminal disease or any such mental or physical condition, which may prevent them from taking care of the child.

Adoption of a second child is permissible only when the legal adoption of the first child has been finalized but this is not applicable in case of siblings.

PAPs with NRI and OCI status are in the preferred category and wait times may be slightly shorter.


Criminal History

All criminal history will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Any felonies or crimes against children will disqualify families from eligibility.


Medical History

Applicants must show that they are physically and mentally fit to parent a child by adoption. Current, major, or chronic medical issues within the past 2 years, including mental health diagnosis, are considered on a case by case basis.

 India Adoption Process

An adoption from India must follow a specific process designed to meet the requirements by Hague and CARA. This process will follow 10 primary steps. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements. Currently, an adoption from India is estimated to complete in 14-16 months.

So here are the steps:

1. Apply with Adoption Avenues

2. Complete adoption home-study report

3. Adoption Avenues will register the PAP with CARA (see attached the list of documents required at the registration).

4. File I-800A with USCIS.

5. Be matched with a child and send adoption dossier to designated RIPA. (the first two categories of PAPs – see above- may indicate a State preference that will be considered during RIPA selection).

6. Adoption Avenues will send to India the second part of the Dossier forms.

7. File I-800 with USCIS for the child to be found eligible for adoption

8. CARA and India State Court reviews and approves the case. CARA will remain involved in a regulatory capacity during the entire process.

9. Travel to India to receive your child and gain legal custody

10. Bring your child home and re-adopt

11. Provide post-placement reports.


Post Adoption

Post Adoption report requirements vary depending on the requirements of the orphanage, province and court decree. The minimum report requirement is every 6 months for 2 years. The maximum is every 3 months for 2 years with additional self-reports every 6 months for 5 additional years.


Travel to India

It will be 1 trip of approximately 1 1/2 weeks.  The trip is after the court decree and adoption decree are issued.   The family will travel to the state where the orphanage is located to gain custody of their child.  Then they will travel to New Delhi for the child's medical and embassy appointment.


 Re-adoption is necessary after returning to the United States