Here is everything you need to know about child adoption in Mumbai and the legal processes to adopt for yourself.
Child adoption in Mumbai is seemingly increasing. And, it is not just in the city but across the country!
Most adoption happens because parents are not able to have their kids. Or, they want to support and give a new life to those in need and left alone. It is a legal process of individuals establishing a parent-child relationship between those who don’t share their relationship biologically.
In India, precisely the responsibility lies in the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA). They act as a statutory body who are handling the adoption procedures. They are in charge of monitoring and regulating in-country and inter-country adoption procedures.
What laws govern adoption?
Child adoption in Mumbai considers the personal laws of states in different religions. The laws of Muslims, Parsi, Jews and Christian don’t recognise adoption. So, if an individual belonging to the religion wants to adopt a child, they can take guardianship of the kid. It is in respect to Section 8 of the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890.
In this case, the adoptive couples are not the parents but the child’s guardian. Under the personal law of religion, Christians can only take foster care and cannot adopt a child. While the law gives a foster child the power to break any relationship with the guardian when becoming a major!
In India, the adoption procedure is divided into two different forms of legislation, namely:
- The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 (hereafter called HAMA)
- The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (hereafter called JJ Act)
Indian citizens belonging to the religion of Hindus, Jains, Buddhists or Sikhs are allowed to adopt a child. It is done legally per the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956. While the adoption of abandoned, surrendered or abused children has a law too. It is governed by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. No laws in India speak about adoption by NRIs or foreign nationals. In this case, where no procedure is laid, the Guardians and Wards Act of 1890 is followed.
Who is eligible to adopt a child in India?
You may be wondering whether you come under the eligibility for Child adoption in Mumbai. The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) handles the adoption procedure in Mumbai. They act agency to adopt and take care of the child regularly. A few conditions make one eligible for the same:
- An Indian citizen, an NRI, or a foreign citizen may adopt a child in India. For each of the three, the adoption process is distinct.
- Any person, regardless of gender or marital status, is qualified to adopt.
- A couple should have been married for at least two years before considering adopting a child, and they should be on board with the decision.
- The adoptive parents’ age difference from the child should be at least 25 years.
- The adoptive parents must be of a sound mind, physically, mentally and emotionally fit. Not just that, they need to be financially strong and motivated to adopt. They need not have any life-threatening medical condition;
- Any adoptive parents, whether they have a biological child or not, can adopt
- A single female person is eligible to adopt any gender child
- A single male person, according to Indian law, is not eligible to adopt a girl child
- The age criteria of the parents will not be taken into consideration if its ‘relative adoption’ or ‘step-parent’
- Couples already having three children or more will not adopt. However, there are a few conditions, which include relation or step-parent adoption.
What documents are required for adopting a Child?
The Child Adoption in Mumbai procedure is legal; therefore, you can expect a formal process. It requires you to submit documentation before beginning with the same!
- Adoption application paper
- Ideal size photographs and several copies of both husband and wife
- Marriage certificate
- Age-proof details
- The real reason for adoption
- Any illness or, report of HIV and Hepatitis B
- Income certificate
- Residence proof
- Investment proof to check the financial stability
- Reference letter from people you know (any 3)
- Any other document that an agency in Mumbai may ask you to submit
What is the Child adoption process in Mumbai?
Firstly, the parents or anyone willing to adopt needs to get registered through an agency. The agency has to be authorised. Indian Placement Agencies (RIPA) and Special Adoption Agency (SPA) make sense. The prospective parents-to-be can visit the agency in Mumbai and explain their plan. These agencies will take you through all the formalities, paperwork, and documentation required for registration. Only after the successful registration can you proceed with the next step.
Laws have social workers assigned for every prospective parent to consider their eligibility. They will be from the registration agency to visit your home for home study. It is to figure out how the parents are as a person and to evaluate if their home is safe for the child.
In some cases, prospective parents need to attend counselling sessions by the agency. It motivates, strengthens and prepares them for the process. As per CARA regulation, the home study procedure should get completed within three months from the registration date. The agency informs the court if the home study evaluation report is positive.
The agency will update the prospective parent as soon as they are ready to adopt. The agency will share medical details, health and wellbeing reports, and other relevant data with the couple. This way, the couple will evaluate the child’s details and see who they are comfortable with.
Accepting a child
After selecting a child they are comfortable with, the documentation procedure initiates. They must fill in documents and sign the child’s acceptance letter.
Filing of Petition
Once the process of registration and child evaluation is completed. You move on with filing a petition to the lawyer. The law personnel will help and prepare a petition for the same. It will be presented to the court, which will then evaluate and ask parents to visit the court. They will also be required to sign the petition in a court of law.
Pre-care before adoption
The child will be taken to Child Adoption in Mumbai foster care. It will be soon after you’ve signed the petition in court. In the care, the parent understands the habit of the child. They also figure out how nursing is done before they take the kid to their home.
Once the foster program is over; parents must attend a court hearing with the child. The hearing only involves parents, children and the judge in a small room. Here, the judge will ask a few questions to the parent. Also, they will ask how much money they plan to invest in the child.
Once you show the investment amount to the court, submit the receipt. The court will pass the judgement and adoption orders too.
Earlier, child adoption in Mumbai was considered a taboo term and not freely spoken in Indian society. Later, as many countries around the world laid rules and regulations governing adoption, people started to show interest in it. Even now, no matter how common it has become, the adoption process is tedious and very legal to follow! By following the process properly, you will be in a safe position to proceed with the same!