Adopting a child is one of the greatest deeds since this is what completes two incomplete families. Relative adoption in India might not have been heard a lot because quite often it is done without any legal involvement and the adoption happens within the family, but one is required to follow the procedure for the adoption of the child within the family in India to make them a part of your family legally and officially.
In this article, you will get to know more about relative adoption including differentiating, legal framework, eligibility criteria, procedure, documents required, potential challenges, and lastly do’s and dont’s and more.
How Does Relative Adoption Differ From Non-Relative Adoption?
There are several different kinds of adoptions and relative adoption is one of those. It is when a member of the child's family offers to adopt in a relative adoption, also known as kinship adoption. If the parents have passed away or are unable to care for the children, grandparents frequently adopt the grandkids. These adoptions are simpler than nonrelative adoptions in the majority of states. Kinship adoption processes often allow for communication between the siblings following the adoption if the adopted kid has siblings who were not adopted at the same time. The reason relative adoption is sometimes preferred more than other adoptions is because the child is already familiar to other individuals and at the same time they get to still be in the familiar environment without having to deal with bigger changes than the ones already existing.
Different adoption laws govern the procedure of adoption in India, and they are as follows,
- The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956: The adoption of a child by a Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, or Sikh is governed by this Act.
- Guardian and Wards Act, 1890: Under the official rules of Islam, Parsi, Christianity, and Judaism, adoption is not permitted. As a result, they may apply to the courts by The Guardian and Wards Act,1890.
- Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) Guidelines and Adoption Regulations, 2017: India's Ministry of Women & Child Development formed CARA as a statutory organization. It controls and oversees child adoption in India. It establishes rules and principles. The organization also handles international adoptions. India adopted the 1998 Hague Convention on International Adoption in 2003; as a result, international adoptions are conducted in line with the convention's rules.
- The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act of 2015: The Hindu adoption and maintenance statute, known as the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Statute of 2015, made it easier for a Hindu to adopt a kid. A guardian and ward relationship is established under the Guardians and Wards Act. Orphans and children from other communities lacked access to appropriate services. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act was thus created to provide a feeling of consistency.
Read more about Adoption Laws in India
Eligibility Criteria For Prospective Adoptive Parents
The basic list for a prospective adoptive parent when it comes to adopting a child according to section 2 subsection 52 of the Juvenile Justice Act 2015, a relative for adoption shall mean paternal or maternal aunt or paternal or maternal uncle or paternal or maternal grandparent (s). The prospective parents are physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially capable, they should not have a chronic medical condition and should not be convicted of criminal acts of any nature.
For In Country Relative Adoption
Step 1: It is a requirement for prospective adopting parents to register with CARINGS, the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System. They must also deliver the proper paperwork to the District Child Protection Unit, which will post it to CARINGS.
Step 2: You need the biological parent(s)' consent or approval from the child protection commission. The approval of the child welfare committee to the guardian of the child's permission in situations when the kid's biological parents are deceased or incapable of giving their consent. The permission must be documented by Schedule XIX or Schedule XXII's instructions.
Step 3: The child's consent. In situations when the kid is 5 years old or older, Adoption Regulation 51 Subsection 3 demands the child's agreement.
Step 4: In accordance with section 56(2) of the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act 2015, adoptive parents must submit a petition to the appropriate court (Family Court, District Court, or City Civil Court). Schedule XIX or Schedule XXII, the consent form and the application must be filed together. A declaration from the potential adoptive parents attesting to their standing in society and the economy. The affidavit must be submitted in the format required by Schedule XXIV, along with the records included in Schedule VI.
Step 5: Before authorizing the adoption, the court must confirm that all requirements outlined in sections 61 and 51 to 56 of the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act 2015 have been met. The Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act of 2015 states in Section 61 that,
- The court must ensure that the adoption is for the well-being of the child
- The court must give due consideration to the consent of the child concerning their mental understanding and age.
- The court must also ensure that neither the prospective adoptive parent nor guardian of the child has agreed to make or has given any payment or compensation in consideration of the adoption. However, the permitted fees of child care corpus under the adoption regulations authorized by the authority are excluded.
- Further, the adoption proceedings are to be held on camera by the court and are to be disposed of within 2 months.
Step 6: Acquiring an official copy. A certified copy of the adoption order must be sent by the court to the potential adoptive parents. The District Child Protection Unit should receive this certified copy from the prospective adoptive parents, who will then upload it online to the authorities.
For Inter Country Relative Adoption From India
Step 1: The Central Authority in the country of residency or an Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency should be contacted by a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) or an Overseas Indian Citizen who wants to adopt a relative's kid. For the purpose of creating their Home Study Report and registering online for CARING, it must be in their country of residency. In the absence of a Central Authority or an Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency in the country of residency, the prospective adoptive parents must contact the relevant government agency, or in the case of citizens of India, the Indian diplomatic post there.
Step 2: The appropriate authorities (Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency, Central authorities, or Indian diplomatic post), upon completion of the Home Study Report, should subsequently register the application of the prospective adoptive parents in CARING along with the necessary documentation. (As stated in schedule VI).
Step 3: A potential adoptive parent who wants to adopt their relative's kid must submit an adoption application to CARING, who then must transmit the application to the District KidProtection Unit. According to Schedule XXI, the application is sent to collect the child's family history report. A social worker conducts the family background investigation, and they may also tack on an authorized cost.
Step 4: According to Articles 15 and 16 of the Hague Adoption Convention, the Authority must provide the family background report and an adoption permission letter to the recipient nation.
Step 5: After obtaining the necessary paperwork A certificate under Article 5 or Article 17 of the Hague Adoption Convention is sent to the Authority by the Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency or Central Authority. The family history report of the kid who is being adopted by a relative and the letter of authority's consent are sent to the Indian diplomatic mission in the event of nations that have not ratified the Hague Adoption Convention. The Indian diplomatic mission then provides a letter of recommendation.
Step 6: Under section 60 (1) of the juvenile justice care and protection act of 2015, prospective adoptive parents apply to the appropriate court. The consent form, also known as Schedule XIX or Schedule XXII, must be included with the application. A declaration from the potential adoptive parents attesting to their standing in society and the economy. The affidavit must be submitted in the format required by Schedule XXIV. Along with the records included in Schedule VI. In addition, as stated in Schedule XXXI, the adoption application must be submitted to the district court where the child resides.
Step 7: Before authorizing the adoption, the court must confirm that the requirements outlined in sections 61 and 51 to 56 of the 2015 Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act have been met.
Step 8: Acquiring an official copy. A certified copy of the adoption order must be sent by the court to the potential adoptive parents. The District Child Protection Unit should receive this certified copy from the prospective adoptive parents, who will then upload it online to the authorities.
Step 9: Within ten days of obtaining the adoption order, the authority must provide a no-objection certificate approving the adoption of the child. The District Child Protection Unit sends the no-objection certificate and a copy to the relevant Authority.
Step 10: The authorities must provide a Conformity Certificate in accordance with Schedule X within three working days as required by Article 23 of the Hague Adoption Convention.
Documents Required For Relative Adoption
The list of necessary documents is provided below for both in-country and intercountry relative adoptions.
For in-country relative adoptions, here are the required documents,
- Prospective adoptive parent’s Proof of residence
- Consent for the adoption of the older child of the prospective adoptive parents.
- Consent of the biological parents (as per schedule Schedule XIX of the Adoption Regulations 2017)
- Only if applicable, Permission from the Child Welfare Committee to the legal guardian to surrender the child in adoption with the relative as provided in Schedule XXII.
- Affidavit by prospective adoptive parents in support of their relationship, financial and social status as provided in Schedule XXIV of the Adoption Regulations.
- Adoption order from the court.
For intercountry relative adoptions, the necessary documents must be uploaded to the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System at the time of registration.
- Consent of the older child in the biological family (above the age of 5 years).
- Consent of the older child to be adopted.
- In the case of Hague ratified country permission of the receiving country in accordance with Article 5 or 17 of the Hague Adoption Convention is necessary
- Relationship of the prospective adoptive parents to the relative child (family tree).
- Recent family photographs of the child, adoptive parents, and biological parents.
- Consent of the biological family as provided in Schedule XIX.
- If applicable Permission from the Child Welfare Committee to the legal guardian to surrender the child in adoption with the relative as provided in Schedule XXII.
- A family background report by District Child Protection Unit as provided in Schedule XXI.
Potential Challenges That May Arise In Relative Adoption
Talking about the potential challenges that may arise they would definitely be lesser than normal adoptions, but again does come with its challenges, which would be required to take care of. Here are a few challenges mentioned below,
- Adopting a relative entails navigating complicated and time-consuming legal and paper systems.
- Emotional issues may arise throughout the adjustment phase for both the adopted kid and the adoptive family.
- Adopting a relative's child might occasionally make things more difficult in the family, regarding the dynamics between the birth parents and adopted parents.
- Having a kid requires financial commitments and relative adoption is no different.
- Adopting a kid can be particularly difficult if the youngster has gone through trauma or difficulty, requiring some special emotions or behavior.
- Extended family members may become more involved in a relative adoption leading to disagreements about the child's upbringing.
Do’s And Don'ts
Here are the basic do’s and don'ts that apply to relative adoption in India:
- Consult an adoption agency.
- Know the rules governing adoption.
- Fill out the required paperwork.
- Be open and truthful at all times.
- Avoid cutting corners or avoiding the legal process altogether.
- Involve middlemen or unlicensed agencies.
- Ignore the child's well-being.
- Avoid concealing or suppressing any important facts during the adoption procedure.
- Discriminate against a youngster because of their gender or caste.
The adoption process regardless if it is relative or not has its own heartwarming feeling and in terms of legal proceedings, one needs to make sure that they do not do anything that might cause any further trouble. The biggest issue in relative adoption is to directly just adopt the child without any legal process or formalities completed, which is not the right way to adopt a child. To avoid any issues in the future, the legal process is required to be followed and build a family filled with harmony and away from legal gaps. Hope the article was able to solve most of your relative adoption-related queries.