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Child Adoption Regulatory Authority (CARA)

Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Child Adoption Regulatory Authority (CARA)

What to study?

For Prelims: Key facts on CARA.

For Mains: Child adoption- guidelines, issues and ways to address them.

Context: The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) has invited suggestions and feedback for simplification of the adoption process from all stakeholders, including prospective adoptive parents, specialized adoption agencies, child welfare committees, state adoption resource agencies and the general public.

Adoption in India:

In India, an Indian citizen or a non-resident Indian (NRI) can adopt a child under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956 and the Guardian and Wards Act of 1890.

Eligibility criteria for prospective adoptive parents:

  1. The prospective adoptive parents shall be physically, mentally and emotionally stable, financially capable and shall not have any life-threatening medical condition.
  2. Any prospective adoptive parents, irrespective of his marital status and whether or not he has biological son or daughter, can adopt a child subject to following, namely: –
  3. the consent of both the spouses for the adoption shall be required, in case of a married couple;
  4. a single female can adopt a child of any gender;
  5. a single male shall not be eligible to adopt a girl child;
  6. No child shall be given in adoption to a couple unless they have at least two years of stable marital relationship.
  7. The minimum age difference between the child and either of the prospective adoptive parents shall not be less than twenty-five years.
  8. The age criteria for prospective adoptive parents shall not be applicable in case of relative adoptions and adoption by step-parent.
  9. Couples with three or more children shall not be considered for adoption except in case of special need children.

About CARA:

  • Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body of Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.
  • It functions as the nodal body for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions.
  • CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptionsin accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003.
  • CARA primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognised adoption agencies.
  • CARA is also mandated to frame regulations on adoption-related matters from time to time as per Section 68 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

Insta Link:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Hague convention?
  2. Eligibility criteria for prospective adoptive parents in India.
  3. Overview of JJ Act.

Mains Link:

How is child adoption regulated in India? What are the reforms necessary to further simplify the process.

Sources: pib.