SEEKING FAMILIES OF INDIAN AND NON-INDIAN HERITAGE
THE INDIA PROGRAM
India is a Hague country. The Children’s Home India program offers two tracks: Traditional and Waiting Child. The Traditional Track serves families with or without Indian heritage who are open to children with minor/correctable to moderate needs. The Waiting Child Track serves families interested in adopting a specific waiting child(ren) for whom we are currently advocating.Watch an On-Demand Webinar About This Program Now
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 referral. Families in our Traditional Track must be open to children with identified needs. The needs of children range from minor, mild or correctable, to moderate, more significant or lifelong needs. Through the Traditional Track we may see children with: cleft lip and palate, heart conditions, Hepatitis B, limb differences, low birth weight, and developmental delays. There are also children waiting with more significant or lifelong needs such as: vision and hearing impairments, HIV, complex heart conditions, cerebral palsy, various syndromes, ambiguous genitalia, impaired mobility and older children, among other conditions. We generally see a comparable number of boys and girls.Meet Children Waiting in India Now
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 most international adoption programs, India has its own unique eligibility requirements for adoptive parents. Eligibility varies depending on program track. Applicants must be available to travel to India to complete the in-country process. The required number (1-2) and duration of trip(s) varies depending on which state within India the child resides. Heterosexual couples married a minimum of two years may adopt from India. Single women and men are allowed to adopt; 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. The India program is not currently open to families 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.
The first step in the Traditional Track is to apply and begin the home study. If you live in MN, Western WI, MD or VA, Children’s Home and LSS can complete your home study. 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. We anticipate the wait for referral to be up to six months from the time of approval by CARA.
For both Traditional and Waiting Child Tracks, at least one trip to India is required. 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.
Families following the Waiting Child Track will bypass the wait for referral, but are required to complete all other steps in the process. CARA approval is required prior to completing any referral acceptance paperwork.View India Fees and ExpensesCompare International Programs Side-by-SideGlobal Family Support