India is a country with a magnificent cultural heritage and wide diversity of traditions and landscapes. The chief causes of child abandonment and relinquishment are poverty and teenage unwed mother pregnancies. India follows the best practices and standards according to the Hague adoption guidelines to try to re-unite the child with their biological family if at all possible, and when not possible to seek a domestic and then international adoptive family.
Our India Program Director, Sharmeela Shah assists clients who live in Northern California. Families living outside of Northern California and in other States may complete their homestudy through our partner Hague accredited agencies and then transfer to BAAS to work with Ms. Shah for India specific adoption services. BAAS also assists with select relative adoptions on a case by case basis.
CARA places all registered PAPS (prospective adoptive parents) on a waiting list. The first list consists of Indian citizens (NRI couples with one spouse having retained Indian citizenship fall under this category). The second list consists of all other families (OCI card holders as well as non-Indian PAPS fall into this category). Indian passport holders receive priority status, on par with domestic families.
WHO ARE THE CHILDREN IN NEED OF FAMILIES?
Children who have been orphaned or abandoned need loving homes. All waiting children must be recognized by CARA, India’s central authority, as ready for permanent placement and each adoption follows the strict guidelines as set by the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption.
- PAPS from both lists can select the health status of the child desired from 1 of 3 categories: Normal Health, Physically Challenged and Mentally Challenged.
- Families with a stated preference for a child in “normal health” could receive referrals for children with minor correctable medical needs as well as already resolved medical needs. Therefore all PAPS must be open to considering a child with minor and/or resolved needs.
- Male and female children are available and families may indicate a gender preference.
- Children between the ages of 0 to 18 years are available for adoption.
- PAPS may also indicate a State preference.
REQUIREMENTS FOR PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENTS (PAPS)
- At least one spouse must be a US citizen.
- Couples must be married for a minimum of 2 years.
- Combined maximum age of the PAPS (in case of couples) and maximum age of PAP (in case of singles) determines eligibility with regard to the age of the child desired.
- PAPS with combined age of 90, or age 45 for singles, can request a child ages 0 to 4 years.
- PAPS with combined age of 100 or age 50 for singles, can request a child ages 4 to 8 years.
- PAPS with combined age of 110 or age 55 for singles, can request a child ages 8 to 18 years.
- Same sex couples will not be eligible.
- PAPS must be financially stable with the ability to comfortably support a child.
- PAPS with a history of substance abuse, criminal background, unstable relationships, serious medical illnesses and unstable mental health, will not be eligible
When PAPS reach the top of CARA’s waiting list, CARA proposes the profiles of 1 to 2 children (based on availability) and PAPS have 96 hours to decide if they wish to consider the referral. If they wish to consider, then they will have 30 days to make their final decision on the proposed match. During these 30 days, they may travel to India to see the child if they wish, prior to making their decision. If the referral is rejected then the PAPS will fall to the end of the waiting list and must wait their turn again till eligible for another referral. This process continues for a period of 2 years after which the PAPS must be re-registered with CARA. It takes about 6 months after referral acceptance to complete the adoption and bring your child home. All families will make one trip to bring their child home. Some families may need to make 2 trips if the Judge requires the PAPs to be present at the court hearing. The in-country stay for each trip will be around 7 to 10 days.