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Adoption


Adoption
Adoption

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Definitions

Adoption - Section 2(2) “adoption” means the process through which the adopted child is permanently separated from his biological parents and becomes the lawful child of his adoptive parents with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities that are attached to a biological child.


Adoption Regulations - Section 2(3) “adoption regulations” means the regulations framed by the Authority and notified by the Central Government in respect of adoption.


Person of Indian Origin - Section 2(44) “person of Indian origin” means a person, any of whose lineal ancestors is or was an Indian national, and who is presently holding a Person of Indian Origin Card issued by the Central Government.


Orphan - Section 2(42) “orphan” means a child—

(i) who is without biological or adoptive parents or legal guardian; or

(ii) whose legal guardian is not willing to take, or capable of taking care of the child.


Overseas citizen of India - Section 2(43) “overseas citizen of India” means a person registered as such under the Citizenship Act, 1955.


Surrendered Child - Section 2(60) “surrendered child” means a child, who is relinquished by the parent or guardian to the Committee, on account of physical, emotional and social factors beyond their control, and declared as such by the Committee.


Abandoned Child - Section 2(1) “abandoned child” means a child deserted by his biological or adoptive parents or guardians, who has been declared as abandoned by the Committee after due inquiry.


Inter-Country Adoption - Section 2(34) “inter-country adoption” means adoption of a child from India by non-resident Indian or by a person of Indian origin or by a foreigner.



Section 56. Adoption

  • Adoption serves as a means to secure the right to family for orphaned, abandoned, and surrendered children, in accordance with the regulations outlined in this Act, its accompanying rules, and the adoption guidelines established by the Authority.


  • The Act allows for the adoption of a child by a relative from another relative, regardless of their religious affiliations, following the provisions outlined in this Act and the adoption regulations set forth by the Authority.


  • The Act does not govern adoptions conducted under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 (Act No. 78 of 1956), which has its own set of regulations for adoption proceedings within the Hindu community.


  • Inter-country adoptions must adhere strictly to the provisions outlined in this Act and the adoption regulations established by the Authority, ensuring that all international adoptions are conducted legally and ethically.


  • Any individual who transports or arranges for the transfer of a child to a foreign country without a valid order from the District Magistrate will face penalties as specified under section 80 of this Act.

 
 

Section 57. Eligibility of Prospective Adoptive Parents

  • Prospective adoptive parents must meet certain criteria to be eligible to adopt a child. They should be physically fit, financially stable, mentally sound, and possess a strong desire to provide a nurturing environment for the adopted child.


  • In the case of a married couple, both spouses must provide their consent for the adoption process to proceed.


  • Single individuals or those who are divorced are also eligible to adopt, provided they meet the necessary criteria outlined in the adoption regulations established by the Authority.


  • However, a single male is not eligible to adopt a girl child, as per the provisions specified in the adoption regulations.


  • Additional criteria may be outlined in the adoption regulations established by the Authority to ensure that prospective adoptive parents are suitable and capable of providing a loving and supportive environment for the adopted child.



Section 58. Procedure for Adoption by Indian Prospective Adoptive Parents Living in India

  • Indian prospective adoptive parents residing in India, regardless of their religion, who wish to adopt an orphan, abandoned, or surrendered child, can initiate the adoption process by submitting an application to a Specialised Adoption Agency. This application should comply with the guidelines outlined in the adoption regulations established by the Authority.


  • Upon receiving the application, the Specialised Adoption Agency will conduct a thorough home study of the prospective adoptive parents. If they are deemed eligible, the agency will then refer a child who has been declared legally free for adoption to them. Along with this referral, the agency will provide the prospective adoptive parents with a child study report and medical assessment of the child, as per the adoption regulations.


  • Upon receiving acceptance from the prospective adoptive parents, along with signed child study and medical reports, the Specialised Adoption Agency will place the child in pre-adoption foster care. Subsequently, the agency will file an application with the District Magistrate to obtain the adoption order, following the procedures outlined in the adoption regulations.


  • Once the District Magistrate issues the adoption order, the Specialised Adoption Agency will promptly provide a certified copy of the order to the prospective adoptive parents.


  • The Specialised Adoption Agency will continue to monitor and assess the progress and well-being of the child within the adoptive family, in accordance with the monitoring protocols established in the adoption regulations set forth by the Authority.



Section 59. Procedure for Inter-Country Adoption of an Orphan, Abandoned, or Surrendered Child

  • If, within sixty days from being declared legally free for adoption, an orphan, abandoned, or surrendered child cannot be placed with an Indian or non-resident Indian prospective adoptive parent despite the efforts of the Specialised Adoption Agency and State Agency, the child becomes eligible for inter-country adoption. Priority may be given to children with physical or mental disabilities, siblings, and those above five years of age, as per the adoption regulations set forth by the Authority.


  • Non-resident Indians, overseas citizens of India, or persons of Indian origin are prioritized for inter-country adoption of Indian children.


  • Prospective adoptive parents living abroad, irrespective of their religion, who wish to adopt an orphan, abandoned, or surrendered child from India, may apply through an authorized foreign adoption agency, Central Authority, or the relevant government department in their country of residence, following the adoption regulations established by the Authority.


  • The authorized foreign adoption agency, Central Authority, or government department will conduct a home study of the prospective adoptive parents and, if found eligible, sponsor their application to the Authority for adoption of a child from India, adhering to the adoption regulations.


  • Upon receiving the application, the Authority will assess the suitability of the applicants and refer their application to one of the Specialised Adoption Agencies where legally free children are available.


  • The Specialised Adoption Agency will match a child with the prospective adoptive parents and provide them with the child's study and medical reports. The prospective adoptive parents will then accept the child and return the signed reports to the agency.


  • Upon receiving acceptance from the prospective adoptive parents, the Specialised Adoption Agency will file an application with the District Magistrate to obtain the adoption order, following the adoption regulations.


  • Once the District Magistrate issues the adoption order, the Specialised Adoption Agency will immediately provide a certified copy of the order to the Authority, State Agency, and the prospective adoptive parents. Additionally, the agency will assist in obtaining a passport for the child.


  • The Authority will notify the immigration authorities of India and the receiving country about the adoption.


  • The prospective adoptive parents will personally receive the child from the Specialised Adoption Agency as soon as the passport and visa for the child are issued.


  • The authorized foreign adoption agency, Central Authority, or government department will provide progress reports about the child to the adoptive family and will arrange for alternative arrangements in case of any disruptions, in consultation with the Authority and the relevant Indian diplomatic mission, as outlined in the adoption regulations.


  • If a foreigner, person of Indian origin, or overseas citizen of India residing in India wishes to adopt a child from India, they may apply to the Authority along with a no-objection certificate from their country's diplomatic mission in India, following the procedures outlined in the adoption regulations.



Section 60. Procedure for Inter-Country Relative Adoption

  • A relative residing abroad who wishes to adopt a child from their relative in India must first obtain an order from the District Magistrate and apply for a no objection certificate from the Authority, following the adoption regulations established by the Authority.


  • Upon receiving the order and application, either from the biological parents or the adoptive parents, the Authority will issue a no objection certificate, notifying the immigration authorities of India and the receiving country of the child.


  • After receiving the no objection certificate, the adoptive parents will collect the child from the biological parents. They are also responsible for facilitating the adopted child's contact with their siblings and biological parents as needed, in accordance with the adoption regulations.

 
 

Section 61. Procedure for Disposal of Adoption Proceedings

Before issuing an adoption order, the District Magistrate must ensure:


  1. The adoption is in the best interest of the child.

  2. The wishes of the child, considering their age and understanding, are taken into account.

  3. Neither the prospective adoptive parents nor the specialized adoption agency, or the parent or guardian in the case of relative adoption, has given or received any payment or reward for the adoption, except as permitted under the adoption regulations established by the Authority for adoption fees, service charges, or child care corpus.


The adoption proceedings will be conducted in camera, and the District Magistrate must resolve the case within two months from the date of filing.



Section 62. Additional Procedural Requirements and Documentation

Documentation and procedural requirements not explicitly outlined in this Act for the adoption of orphaned, abandoned, or surrendered children by Indian prospective adoptive parents living in India or by non-resident Indian or overseas citizen of India, person of Indian origin, or foreign prospective adoptive parents shall adhere to the adoption regulations set by the Authority.


Specialized adoption agencies are responsible for ensuring that adoption cases of prospective adoptive parents are concluded within four months from the date of application receipt. The authorized foreign adoption agency, Authority, and State Agency will monitor the progress of adoption cases and intervene as necessary to ensure adherence to the timeline.



Section 63. Effect of Adoption

When an adoption order is issued by the District Magistrate:

  • The child becomes the legal child of the adoptive parents.


  • The adoptive parents become the legal parents of the child, as if the child were born to them.


  • This legal relationship is effective from the date the adoption order takes effect.


  • All familial ties in the child's birth family are severed and replaced by those established by the adoption order in the adoptive family.


  • Any property owned by the adopted child before the adoption order remains vested in the child, subject to any obligations attached to its ownership, including obligations to maintain relatives in the biological family.



Section 64. Reporting of Adoption

Regardless of any other prevailing laws:

  • Information about all adoption orders issued by the District Magistrate is to be sent to the Authority on a monthly basis.


  • This reporting is conducted in accordance with the adoption regulations set by the Authority to ensure the maintenance of adoption data.


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