We had the opportunity to visit four states within India: Delhi, Maharashtra, Telangana and Kerala. We visited over ten orphanages where we were warmly welcomed to visit classrooms, sleeping and eating quarters, interact with children and staff and to learn more about the services and processes at the facilities. This openness and level of transparency was greater than we have experienced in previous visits to India, and it elicited an increased sense of confidence and collaboration.
This openness and level of transparency was greater than we have experienced in previous visits to India, and it elicited an increased sense of confidence and collaboration.
During our visits, we met children already matched with families from our agency. We also met many more
children who continue to wait for adoptive families. As we met with social workers, caregivers and orphanage directors, we learned about the minor parts of the adoption process that differ from state to state. We were able to see firsthand the type of care that children were receiving. Whether in private or government-run care facilities, the emotional, physical and developmental care being provided to the children was, overall, impressive.
Both caregivers and administrative staff truly knew the children in their homes; they were able to share stories about the children, their personalities, challenges and medical needs. And, in turn, the children appeared to be comfortable and bonded to their caregivers and surroundings. Orphanages appeared to be invested in the adoption process and in identifying families who would welcome “their children” into permanent, loving families. We were pleased to find that the children’s needs seemed to have been appropriately reported in their medical information and their medical needs were being addressed by the orphanages. Many of the facilities had access to outside therapists and doctors who provided regular services to the children both offsite and at the orphanage. School-age children were attending either nearby pubic schools or multi-grade schools within the campus of the orphanage. We were impressed time and again at the many orphanages we had the privilege of visiting.
In addition to visiting children and care facilities, we also were able to meet with staff and leadership at India’s Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA). We shared meaningful conversations and gained a greater understanding of the new guidelines and the work of CARA on a day-to-day basis—all this thanks to their motivation and hard work to help waiting children move into permanent families. In 2015, CARA implemented new adoption guidelines. In addition to a number of other positive changes, the guidelines now allow more Indian orphanages to participate in the adoption process.
As a result, more children are now eligible and waiting for adoptive families.
Since the implementation of these new guidelines, our agency is able to review the information of even more children of all ages who are waiting for adoptive families. There is a real need for adoptive families who are open to children of all ages with identified needs from minor/correctable to more significant.
While our meetings and interactions with the children and caregivers were the highlight of our trip, as we do each time we visit India, we also very much enjoyed the food, the art, the history, the landscapes and the people we were able to experience throughout the country. Adoptive parents who travel to India will find that there is minimal challenge in language, as English is commonly used, especially in bigger cities. Families will also find a range of cost-friendly, convenient, comfortable hotels and a range of food choices. With the help of a car and driver to guide and support adoptive families, we believe they will feel safe and cared for during their time in India.
We hope that you will learn more about the opportunities to adopt from India and the children who are currently waiting for adoptive families.Visit our Adopt from India page Watch a Recording of Our Feb. 4 Webinar, “India Program: New Opportunities in 2016”