Rules of Adoption in India

Updated at: Jan 31, 2013
Rules of Adoption in India
Editorial Team
Tips for ParentWritten by: Editorial TeamPublished at: Oct 24, 2011

Rules of Adoption in India

Do you want to adopt a child?

Some essentials of adoption that you need to know are given here.

Who is allowed to adopt a child?

In India, an Indian, Non Resident Indian (NRI), or a foreign citizen are allowed to adopt a child. There are specific laws governing adoption for each group of prospective adoptive parents. A single female or married couple is eligible to adopt a child but a single male is usually not eligible to adopt in India. Single male wishing to adopt a child have to apply through a registered agency and they can adopt only a male child.

What are the conditions that have to be fulfilled by an adoptive parent?

There are certain requirements that you have to fulfill before you are considered eligible for adoption

  • You should be medically fit to care for a child
  • You should be financially secure to pay for the expenses of a child
  • You must be at least 21 years old.
  • Although there is no legal upper age limit for parents but most adoptive agencies have their upper age limit. If you want to adopt a child who is less than a year old, the maximum combined age of you and your spouse should be not more that 90 and none of you must be older than 45 years. The age of adoption is relaxed depending on the age of the child. Children as old as 12 years are given for adoption, the upper age limit of adoptive parent is usually 55 years.

What are the laws governing adoption?

  • In India, Indian citizens who are Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, or Buddhists can formally adopt a child under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956. According to this act a single parent or married couple are not allowed to adopt above one child of the same sex.
  • Foreign citizens, NRIs, and those Indian nationals who are Muslims, Parsis, Christians or Jews can adopt under the Guardian and Wards Act of 1890. According to this act the adoptive parent is considered as the guardian of the child until he or she reaches 18 years of age.
  • In addition foreign citizens and NRIs have to adopt the child consistent with the adoption laws and procedures in the country of their residence as well within two years of becoming the child's guardian in India.

All the laws governing adoption will be clarified by the adopting agency tht you have registered with.

Can a parent ask for a specific child?

Yes this is allowed. You may ask for a child, as per your preferences such as a child of a certain age, gender, skin color, religion, health condition. But greater the specifications the longer it may take to find such as child. After a child with your specification is found he or she is shown to you. If you are not contended with the selection, about two more children with the same specifications will be show to you.

Completion of adoption process can take some months after you have decided to adopt a certain child.




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