Adoption is a compassionate act that grants children a loving and secure family environment when they are unable to live with their biological parents. In India, adoption holds immense significance as it ensures the well-being and development of these children. This essay explores the laws governing adoption, adoption scenarios, the adoption procedure, and provides an overview of the current data and situation on adoption in India.
India has a robust legal framework to regulate adoption, safeguarding the interests and rights of children. The primary legislation governing adoption is the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. This act establishes the guidelines and procedures for adoption, prioritizing the best interests of the child. Additionally, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) serves as the central authority responsible for regulating and monitoring adoptions in the country.
Adoption scenarios in India encompass various situations and cater to different needs:
1. Domestic Adoption: This scenario involves the adoption of an Indian child by Indian parents. It constitutes the majority of adoptions in the country and is regulated by CARA and authorized adoption agencies.
2. Inter-country Adoption: Inter-country adoption occurs when Indian children are adopted by foreign nationals. It requires compliance with the laws of both the sending and receiving countries. CARA ensures that inter-country adoptions adhere to all necessary regulations and safeguards.
3. Relative Adoption: Relative adoption refers to the adoption of a child by a close relative, such as grandparents, uncles, or aunts. While the legal procedures may differ slightly, the primary focus remains the child’s welfare and best interests.
The adoption process in India typically involves the following stages:
1. Registration: Prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) must register with an authorized adoption agency or CARA. They are required to complete the necessary paperwork and submit relevant documents.
2. Home Study: A social worker conducts a comprehensive home study to assess the suitability of the prospective parents. The study ensures that the adoptive family can provide a safe and nurturing environment for the child.
3. Matching and Referral: Based on the preferences of the prospective parents and the availability of children, the adoption agency or CARA matches a child with the family. The referral includes crucial information about the child’s background, health, and legal status.
4. Pre-Adoption Foster Care: Before the legal adoption is finalized, the child may be placed in pre-adoption foster care with the prospective parents. This period allows for bonding and adjustment.
5. Legal Formalities: Once a suitable bonding period has passed, the adoption agency submits the necessary legal documents to the court. The court then issues an adoption order, granting the adoptive parents the legal rights and responsibilities of parenthood.
6. Post-Adoption Follow-up: Adoption agencies conduct post-adoption follow-ups to ensure the child’s well-being and provide support to the adoptive family during the transition period.
The adoption landscape in India has witnessed positive developments in recent years. According to the latest available data, as of September 2021, over 4,000 children were adopted domestically, and around 600 children were adopted through inter-country adoption annually. These figures demonstrate an increasing trend in adoption, reflecting a growing awareness and acceptance of adoption as a means of providing children with permanent families.
However, it is important to note that despite progress, challenges remain. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the adoption process, causing delays and hindrances. Adoption agencies and CARA have implemented measures to ensure the safety of children and prospective parents during these challenging times.
Adoption in India is governed by a comprehensive legal framework aimed at protecting the rights and welfare of children. The adoption scenarios, procedures, and regulations ensure that children are placed in loving and nurturing families. While there has been a positive trend in adoption, efforts must continue to address challenges and promote a smooth and efficient adoption process. By encouraging adoption, India strives to provide every child with the opportunity to grow and thrive in a secure and caring environment.