Inter-country adoption in India


International adoption, also known as transnational adoption, refers to an adoption in which a couple or single parent adopts a child. In broad terms, the parents who wish to adopt must meet the legal needs of adoption in the country where they live and where the child resides.

The law of adoption varies from country to country, and one has to fulfill the laws to adopt a child. Some countries have well-established laws and policies for international adoptions, while others usually ban them.

Some countries have grown the need for adoptive parents that rule out most international adoptions. As per the documents, the author tries to explain the diverse pressing matters relating to inter-country adoptions. Also, they suggest clear changes needed in the framework on this point for the Indian legal system.”

Over the last ten years, the number of children adopted by families living outside of the child's birth country has more than tripled. Our worldwide is increasingly clouding the borders of the ethnical, racial, or federal core. Nowhere is this spectacle more actualized than the act of creating a family by the adoption globally.

In this article, we will examine the meaning of adoption and the course of inter-country adoption. We will also discuss the issues of inter-country adoption, including avoiding child adoption going on inter-border and scanning the laws'

An Introduction to Inter-Country Adoption in India

Inter-country adoption in India refers to the legal process through which a child from one country is adopted by individuals or couples residing in India. To adopt a child from another country, prospective parents should meet the eligibility criteria set by the authorities of that country and comply with the guidelines established by the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) in India.

Considering the issue matter in the context of the part of Law by which the adoption cycle of a child can take between nationals of other states and thus the association of adoption has become global, crossing the borders of national legislation.

ICA is "adopting a child from another country to give a better life to them." It may be more likely than domestic adoption for many families, mainly those who want to adopt a fit child. 

ICAs from creating countries happen primarily with the demand for children rising in countries that are developed and the supply rising commensurately in developing countries. 

On attaching, the feathers, it can be said that ICA is the way by which a person:

  • Adopts a child from a distant country legally.
  • Bring the child to the home country to live forever with them.

The legal shift of parental rights begins from biological parents to adoptive parents.

Beginning of Inter-Country Adoptions

Every child has the right to grow up in a lovely atmosphere where they can get lots of love and security, but this is only possible if a family's financial condition is good. Whether a family is rich or poor, they try their best to give their children the best life possible.

The most friendly atmosphere a child can get is with her biological parents. But if due, for any reason, the Biological parents are not able to take care of their child, or the child is left and unable to find their parents, or the parents themself don't wish to take care of the child. The next best solution to this would be to find adopted parents, either couple or single, so the child can get a healthy and lovable environment to grow up in.

Inter-country adoption began mainly as a human response to give a quality and precious life to a child who didn't have a family who could care for them.

The top places that do adoption include Canada, the United States, and the developed country of Western Europe.

Prerequisites for the Adoption Process:

The following prerequisite needs for the adoptive parents:

  • Both single adopters and married couples can adopt a child if they give them a happy environment.
  • For adopting a child below the age of 4 years, the combined age of a married couple can go up to 90 years, and for a single parent, it can go up to 45 years.
  • For the child of aged 4-8, the combined age of a married couple can be up to 100 years, and for a single adopter can go up to 50 years of age.
  • For the child of age 8 to 18, the combined age of a married couple can be up to 110 years, and for the single parent, it can be up to 55 years.

Other essential things that one must know before adoption:

  • The adoptive parents must qualify for the eligibility criteria per the foreign country's laws.
  • Adoption services in India are provided by accredited agencies authorized by the following:
  1. State Department
  2. Permanent Bureau
  3. CARA

However, other requirements are included.

  • Generally, the process of intra-country adoption goes smoothly as compared to inter-country adoption. One may even be exempted from some eligibility needs. 
  • Governments of all the country put an effort to place all left-out children can have a happy and healthy life.

Laws Related to the Intercountry Adoption Process in India:

Adoption of a child, no matter whether abandoned or indulged child, is done by the guidelines:

  1. Adoption Regulation Act, 2017 (prepared by CARA). 
  2. Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 

These conditions result in the Hague standard on adoption, to which India is an undertaking party & thus, India is bound to stick to its needs. Learn More about Types of Adoption in India.

Legal Framework:

Inter-country adoption is just held by the ‘1993 Hague CPC and for the smooth working of Inter-country Adoption', which is now approved by about 90 other states. The inter-country adoption system was revised at the end of the 20th century due to deep crises on adoption-related problems that were seen at that time and were keep on increasing.

According to Article 21 of CRC, the duty is to "guarantee that the child enjoys and feels safe in inter-country, and he is living best possible life in a friendly environment."
It plays an important part that focuses on the role of family and parents, as they are their guardians and fulfill their needs.

States to aid them when they have difficulty in doing their duties properly. It is applicable only when, after applying the efforts, the child "doesn't want to stay with their family atmosphere" or can't be let to remain there for their betterment, does the duty of the State to "check if the child is taken care of in the best possible well" it becomes valid when the State is is not able to confirm if the child is well-cared with the family that inter-country adoption "may be felt."

On the child's right, the committee expresses the matters related to breaches of the standards of inter-country adoption.

Many countries and states are strongly recommended to be involved in the adoption process, and they confirm it as one means of handling the difficulties.

Two main things were decided, and both indisputably led to saving the child from illegal courses related to the adoption process. Other than promoting these practices, the two things include:

a) “To set protection to confirm that the adoption takes place in the best draws of the child and with care for his or her basic rights as identified in global law”; 
b)  “To set a system of association between the States to secure that that protection is admired and thereby stop the absconding of the children.

In numerous ways, it is thus an applied accord for the CRC as it obeys the adoption. Thus, as a private law tool, it puts in place assurances, methods, and means that enable the State’ to keep up with it. 

In specific, their duties are under the suitable CRC provisions.

CARA and its guidelines:

Central Adoption Resource Authority is an independent body formed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and darts adoptions within and outside the country adoption process. The advice of CARA says that a child welfare agent must endow any pair/single who wants to adopt a child from India under the nation's rule.

CARA Guidelines also say that intra-country adoption is chosen first. According to CARA Guidelines, only three kinds of children are identified for the adoption process:

  • Children who are orphans are in the care of special adoption agencies.
  • Children who have been abandoned.
  • Children who are left or surrendered

Legal Procedure of Inter-country Adoption in India:

  • The couple or single parents who want to adopt a child or plan to adopt the child as stated in Section 2 and sub-section 52 should give an application in the required court as per section 56, sub-section two, or section 60 sub-section (1) of the Act in case of inter-country adoption, respectively, along with a support letter of the birth parents as fed in Schedule XIX and all other records as supplied in Schedule VI of the Act.
  • The birth parent and the adoptive parents, who want to adopt the child, should give the application for schedule as given in Schedule XXXII, in the court concerned of the ward where they live, with a support letter of the birth parents and the adoptive parents adopting the child or children, as given in the Schedule XX of the Act and all other papers as stated in Schedule VI of this Act.
  • In case of inter-country relative adoption, the parents who want to adopt must give the application for adoption in the court focusing on the area where the child lives with their parents (birth) or caregivers as on Schedule XXXI of the act.
  • The parents who want to adopt must involve the following courts, depending on their case:
    • Family Court
    • District Court
    • City Civil Court
  • Prito or giving an order of adoption, the court shall meet the diverse needs defined as per section 61 of the Act and rules 51 to 56, depending on the case.
  • The parents who want to adopt must also get a licensed copy of the order's from the court and give one copy to the District Child Protection Unit for the online concession to the Authority.

 You might be Intrested in : Child adoption in India - Laws & Rules | Eligibility | Procedure.

Challenges Existing in Inter-Country Adoptions: 

Adoption is a lawful way of creating a family. Adopting a child is among the most incredible feelings, but it still involves many challenges. Yet, one can overcome these challenges easily if one understands the adoption process as per the laws of their country.

Child slavery in the image of global adoption:

It is one of the biggest fear, that exists in inter-country child adoption. Once the policy is done for adoption by foreign adopting parents is over, it grows the question. It starts with looking after the well-being of the child. Moreover, the need for alertness to the legal ways for inter-country adoption has given rise to many fake adoption tools. Kids are also sold outside the country by creating fake documents so that the respective parents can purchase them and they can get money out of them.

Post-adoption neglect:

Post-adoption follow-ups evolve pretty trickily when the child is given for inter-country adoption. Even the policies of CARA make the role of the Indian attentive tasks, inter-country tools, and skilled social workers in saving a child from fewer nutrients. It has only allowed some.

After adoption household sequence:

Once the devisor dies after creating the will in the adoptive child's name, the procedure evolves even tougher in cases where other stayers contest the row. The country of a home will take the case according to the country's laws. If the law passes as null, then the adoptive child will have no power in the property. Sadly, India has not entered any deal or pacts to solve such matters. Every adopted child grows a solid tip to know their roots at some point. Such legal rage over the birth family may even frustrate the adoptee.

After inter-country adoption identity problem:

According to the Amendment of the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act passed in 2006- Any person can adopt a child, not depending on their relationship status (Married/Single). Who wants to adopt a child of the same sex doesn't depend on how many children the family has.

As per inter-country adoptions, adoptive parents have to play the role of custodians and take the child to the country where they will live. It has to be ended there as neither the new law nor any existing law precisely states a procedure in inter-country adoption cases. 

Once the child is ready for adoption, global law must specify the adoption way, and the child is adopted per the laws of the country of the adoptive parents' home. The child is only a sufferer until they settle in their hometown with their parents in a happy environment.

Rest the Case suggestions on The Inter-Country Adoption process:

The adoption process must go with lots of care and responsibility to control the case of child trafficking or exploitation. We suggest:

  • The guidelines of CARA must have two branches working separately for inter-country and in-country adoptions process.
  • The penal crime must be included in case of any loss by the agents to relent with the laws and rules.
  • Adoption procedure agents must be made more rigid.

Cognition plans should be made for needy people if they want to give their child up for adoption to understand the right way.


A Single parent or a couple can adopt a child if they fulfill all the legal requirements and can give quality of life to that child. Adopting and giving the child a better life includes lots of responsibility. Prospective adoptive parents need to understand the child adoption process and, responsibility involved in adopting and giving the child a better life, including fulfilling all their needs, loving them, and providing security.

We hope this article gave you much more clarity regarding inter-country adoption. If you have any kind of doubt, feel free to reach us. You can drop an email at or call us at +919284293610. Our Child adoption lawyers will give you all the necessary information.


What refers to CARA? When was CARA established?

CARA refers to The Central Adoption Resource Authority, which was established in June 1990. CARA is a regulatory body of the Government of India. It acts as a central body for the adoption of children in India and is needed to check and adoption process within the country and inter-country.

What are the rules that regulate intercountry adoption?

The law says that all inter-country adoption will happen only according to the Juvenile Act's rules stated by CARA. The basic principle of CARA points out that the child must be raised by their birth family.

Why is inter-country adoption falling globally?

The lack of adoptable children is due to a drop in the number of children and an increase in household adoptions in nations of birth, but also to a scope of political steps to stop child trafficking through stricter rules on the intercountry adoption process.

Which nation has the most effortless adoption procedure?

South Korea's efficient adoption process puts children as young or with special needs. Parents, single or couple, should be fit, wedded for three years, and of age between 29 to 49.

Which nation doesn't permit inter-country adoption?

The U.S. administration has banned adoption from countries such as:

  • Guatemala. 
  • Nepal
  • Vietnam

There are yet some countries that adoption agents in the U.S. can work with to help couples with adoption.

Why do most inter-country adoptions fall?

An adoption may fall due to:

  • False paperwork
  • Papers not being worked
  • Change in the mind of biological/adoptive parents.

There are lots of other reasons. Certain nations now let children say if or not they want adoption.

Why is inter-country adoption so hard?

The issues that cover inter-country adoption are complex and incredibly intertwined with numerous aspects. 

  • Race
  • Gender (Male/Female)
  • Faith (Religion)
  • Culture
  • Sexuality
  • Global imbalance 

What are age children easiest for the adoption process?

The adoption process becomes complex as per age. The average age of a child adopted is 7.7 years. Whereas babies are usually adopted quickly, the adoption rates of children over eight reduced significantly. When a child reaches the age of adolescence, the rate falls even more.

What is the role of finance in Inter-Country Adoption?

Adopting an inter-country healthy child can be relatively costly compared to the more modest costs of birth parenting. By distinction, adopting a child with special needs may apply no or only minor costs. To some extent, the costs linked with adoption can be ordered, helped found, and financial help and other help may be open.

Who is allowed for inter-country adoption?

According to the policies of CARA and the Revisions of Juvenile Justice Act 2006, only three types of children are adoptable. These have children such as:

Orphans are already under the care of certain adoption agents, left and those who are indulged. The abandoned child below the age of two must be ordered by sixty days from the day child is found. Such an order must be made by four months for the child above two. For the surrendered child, two months of re-evaluation must be given to the birth parent or parents after submitting before stating the child is free for adoption laws.

What made inter-country adoption an alternative to childless couples in the receiving countries?

Factors include:

  1. The decrease in fertility due to delaying marriage
  2. The high cost of infertility treatment with fewer success rates.
  3. People do not wish to marry and want to have a child as a single parent.
  4. Less adoption possibility in the domestic country.