A Program Open to Families of Indian and Non-Indian Heritage
India is a Hague country. Families adopting from India must minimally be open to children with minor/correctable needs. At least one parent must be a U.S. citizen in order to complete the process.
Children in India
All children matched through the India Program are legally free for adoption as determined by the central authority in India, Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA). The children enter orphanages throughout the country either through relinquishment by birth parents or abandonment. Children are generally between the ages of 6 months and 14 years at the time of match. Applicants must be open to children with identified needs ranging from minor/correctable to lifelong.
The Care in India
Children in India are cared for in orphanages throughout the country, which are licensed by CARA to facilitate domestic and/or international adoption. These licensed Indian adoption agencies (SAA: State Authorized Agency) are required to maintain a government-mandated standard of care. Children receive medical care, nutrition, and educational opportunities. As numerous studies have demonstrated, institutional care is not conducive to optimal development, therefore children may experience orphanage-related delays.
Like all international adoption programs, India has its own unique eligibility requirements for adoptive parents. At least one parent must be a U.S. Citizen in order to complete the USCIS process. Applicants must be available to travel to India for one or two trips, depending on which state within India the child resides. This program is open to heterosexual couples married a minimum of two years, single women and single men. Single men may only adopt boys. Applicants must be between the ages of 25-55; financially capable; physically, mentally, and emotionally stable, and without any life-threatening conditions. Families cannot have more than three children already in the home. Our India program is not currently open to applicants who are only interested in adopting siblings.
CARA determines the minimum age range of children to whom parents need to be open. This is based on the combined age(s) of the adoptive parent(s) at the time of registration with CARA; please be sure to review Age Guidelines below.
Children’s Home Guidelines
These age guidelines vary from the guidelines set by India and allow you enough time to complete phases of the adoption process prior to our registration of your family with India’s Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), assuming you move steadily forward through application, home study and India’s paperwork requirements.
Due to how India calculates age(s) of applicant(s), the combined age for a married couple is easy to underestimate. CARA factors in both months and days in addition to years. For example, two spouses who are both 44 years old appear to have a combined age of 88; however, once months and days are factored in, they may actually be close to a combined age of 90, which requires being open to an older child. See below for details.
- Married applicants with combined ages under 89 years at time of Children’s Home application submission (parts 1 and 2) can adopt children from infancy to 47 months of age. Once combined ages reach 90 years, applicants must be open to adopting an older child, 48 to 95 months (4 to 8 years) of age.
- Married applicants with combined ages under 99 years at time of Children’s Home application submission (parts 1 and 2) can adopt children 48 to 95 months (4 to 8 years) of age. Once combined ages reach 100 years, applicants must be open to adopting a child 8 to 14 years of age.
- Married applicants with combined ages under 109 years at time of Children’s Home application submission (parts 1 and 2) can adopt children 8 to 14 years of age.
- Single applicants under 44 years of age at time of Children’s Home application submission (part 1 and 2) can adopt children 0-47 months of age.
- Single applicants under 49 years of age at time of Children’s Home application submission (part 1 and 2) can adopt children 48-95 months of age.
- Single applicants under 54 years of age at time of Children’s Home application submission (part 1 and 2) can adopt children 96 months and up.
There has to be at least 25 years between the age of the child and any applicant.
Please contact us to discuss your individual eligibility concerns.
The first step is to apply and begin the home study. If you live in MD, MN, VA or WI, we can complete your home study. If you live elsewhere, you need to find an agency licensed in your state to complete your home study and we will serve as the primary provider/placing agency. We will then guide you to apply for approval from USCIS and compile a dossier that is sent to India, requesting approval from CARA.
After your case is approved by CARA, our program staff works with you to identify a child for whom you would be an appropriate match. Children are identified via an online portal operated by CARA. Depending on openness to gender and identified needs, we anticipate the wait for a referral to be 3-12 months from the time of approval by CARA.
At least one trip to India is required, some states require two trips. Trips can be 2-3 weeks; a minimum of ten days is anticipated per trip. The variance in travel (one or two trips and length of trip(s)) is dependent on the state within India where the child resides as well as the child’s health and age. Travel typically occurs 7-11 months after dossier to India and no-objection certificate (NOC) filing by the Indian adoption agency (SAA).
Written post placement reports, completed by a social worker, are required to be submitted to Children’s Home at 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 months after placement.View India Country FlyerCompare International Programs Side-by-SideGlobal Family Support Cost Estimate (MN & WI)Cost Estimate (MD & VA)Cost Estimate (Outside of MD, MN, VA & WI)