ADOPTION
Last Updated : 3/15/2010
Dr. Ira Shah
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Adoption

Definition :

Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting for another who is not kin and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the original parent or parents. Unlike guardianship or other systems designed for the care of the young, adoption is intended to effect a permanent change in status and as such requires societal recognition, either through legal or religious sanction.

Pre Adoption Preparation and Post Adoption Care are Important Factors for Child to be Adopted.

Adoption Laws :



In India, The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 - governs all Hindus adopting children and "The Guardians and Wards Act of 1890" governs adoption by parents who are not Hindus by religion and is also for foster care for inter-country adoption till the children are finally adopted according to the law of the country of the parents adopting.

Medical examination of a prospective child to be adopted :


Doctor will examine the child for medical fitness and look for any gross defects and whether it is treatable. The doctors may advise standard blood tests, urine test, Stool examination, x-ray chest as a routine procedure. Other special tests may be advised as and when required. Parents should also be advised regarding standard immunization schedule.

Domestic Adoption :


- Contact a Recognized Placement Agency or Voluntary Coordinating Agency (VCA) or Shishu Greh (SG) or Child Welfare Agency in your Area
- Get Registered with any of the Agencies. Your registration cannot be refused if you are eligible for adoption.
- The Child Welfare Agency will depute their social worker for a home visit to conduct a study (known as the home study) about the various aspects of your family to decide the suitability for placement of a child with you.
- Your Home Study Report (HSR) must be initiated within the shortest possible reasonable time after registration (maximum time 3 months).
- The agency will then identify a suitable and compatible child for you.
- The social worker will arrange for you to see the child that has been identified for you.
- The agency, thereafter, will make available particulars of the child (known as child study report) to you for your approval and acceptance.
- Before acceptance of your child, you are entitled to have a complete medical check-up done of the child. This is your right even though all agencies do medical check-ups for the children.
- The agency will assist you with all the legal formalities and put you in touch with a lawyer who will file the relevant papers in court. After consideration of the application, supporting documents and the report submitted by the scrutinizing agency, order would be issued by the court granting you permission to adopt the child.

Do's and Don'ts for Prospective Indian Parents (PAPS):


Do's:


- Adopt only from a recognized / licensed adoption agency or Recognized Adoption Placement Agency
- Obtain a copy of the receipt of your Registration with the Adoption Agency.
- Get back if you do not hear them within 10 days after Registration regarding your Home Study.

Don'ts:


- Do not adopt from Nursing Homes or Hospitals directly, as it is illegal and render you liable to legal action.
- Don't succumb to the demand for unreasonable adoption fees or "donation". Payment of donation is not compulsory and MUST BE VOLUNTARY.
- Do not neglect or abandon the child in future

Who can Adopt?


- A single parent has equal legal status to adopt a child.
- For married couples, the minimum age is 22, but their combined ages can be no more than 90 years older than the age of the child they are adopting.
- Parents under age 32 may adopt children under 18 months
- Parents over age 32 may adopt children over 18 months
- Neither parent can exceed 55 years of age.

Adoption For NRIs :


Adoption procedures are different for NRIs. You may have to contact an ADOPTION AGENCY to help you with the formalities. Except for adoption by Hindus, Indian law has no provision for adoption. Children are placed under guardianship of adopting parents to exit the country, and adoption must take place in the parents' home country.

Easy Steps for Domestic Adoption (Known as In-Country Adoption) in India:
- Contact a Recognized Placement Agency or Voluntary Coordinating Agency (VCA) or Shishu Greh (SG) in your Area.
- Get Registered with any of the Agencies.
- The agency will do a Home Study Report (HSR) after registration (maximum time 3 months) and if ok then you will be listed in the potential lists of adoptee.
- The agency will then match a child and parent. Be patient during this time.
- All agencies will do medical check-ups for the children before adoption.

Do's for Child Adoption in India :


- Adopt only from a recognized / licensed adoption agency or Recognized Adoption Placement Agency.
- Obtain a copy of the receipt of your Registration with the Adoption Agency.
- Get back if you do not hear them within 10 days after Registration regarding your Home Study.

Don'ts for Child Adoption in India :


- Do not adopt from Nursing Homes or Hospitals directly, as it is illegal and render you liable to legal action.
- Don't succumb to the demand for unreasonable adoption fees or "donation".
- Do not neglect or abandon the child in future.

Myths :


- A Single parent, especially a single woman cannot adopt.
- There should be a minimum difference of 30 to 40 years between parent and child.
- Reality Measures in Adoption in Children

Reality :


- A single parent has equal legal status to adopt a child.

Pre Adoption Preparation :
The ideal age difference between at least one parent and the child to be adopted should not be more that forty years. Before Adoption, pre-adoption counseling should be done by the social worker of the adoption agency. The social worker will look into social and family background of parents, family relationships, genetic background, parents' financial and emotional capability and attitude towards Adoption.

Parents desiring to adopt a child should approach a legally recognized adoption Agency recognized by the Central Government. Parents should be ready with the following certificates:


- Marriage certificate
- Proof of Age
- Income certificate
- Bank statements and property certificates (if any)
- Doctors certificate regarding their health
- References and photographs



Contributor Information and Disclosures

Dr. Ira Shah
Consultant Pediatrician, B.J.Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai, India


First Created : 12/3/2001

References

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