The chief causes of child abandonment and relinquishment in India are poverty and teenage unwed mother pregnancies.


India follows the best practices and standards according to the Hague adoption guidelines to try to re-unite the child with their biological family if at all possible, and when not possible to seek a domestic and then international adoptive family.

Process Overview

Our India Program Director, Sharmeela Shah assists clients who live in Northern California with India adoptions. . Families living outside of Northern California and in other States may complete their homestudy through any of our partner Hague accredited agencies and then transfer to Adopt to work with us for India specific adoption services. Adopt also assists with relative adoptions on a case by case basis.

India's Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) places all registered Prospective Adoptive Parents. The first list consists of Indian citizens (Non-Resident Indian couples with one spouse having retained Indian citizenship fall under this category). The second list consists of all other families (Overseas Citizenship of India card holders, as well as non-Indian Prospective Adoptive Parents fall into this category). Indian passport holders receive priority status, on par with domestic families.

When Prospective Adoptive Parents reach the top of CARA’s waiting list, CARA proposes the profiles of 1 to 2 children (based on availability) and Prospective Adoptive Parents have 96 hours to decide if they wish to consider the referral. If they wish to consider, then they will have 30 days to make their final decision on the proposed match.


During these 30 days, Prospective Adoptive Parents may travel to India to see the child if they wish, prior to making their decision. If the referral is rejected then the Prospective Adoptive Parents will fall to the end of the waiting list and must wait their turn again until eligible for another referral.


This process continues for a period of 2 years after which the Prospective Adoptive Parents must be re-registered with CARA. It takes about 6 months after referral acceptance to complete the adoption and bring your child home. All families will make one trip to bring their child home. Some families may need to make 2 trips if the Judge requires the Prospective Adoptive Parents to be present at the court hearing. The in-country stay for each trip will be around 7 to 10 days.

Criteria for Prospective Adoptive Parents

  • At least one spouse must be a US citizen.

  • Couples must be married for a minimum of 2 years.

  • Combined maximum age of the prospective adoptive parents (in case of couples) and maximum age of prospective adoptive parent (in case of singles) determines eligibility with regard to the age of the child desired.

    • Prospective Adoptive Parents with combined age of 90, or age 45 for singles, can request a child ages 0 to 4 years.

    • Prospective Adoptive Parents with combined age of 100 or age 50 for singles, can request a child ages 4 to 8 years.

    • Prospective Adoptive Parents with combined age of 110 or age 55 for singles, can request a child ages 8 to 18 years.

  • Same sex couples will not be eligible.

  • Prospective Adoptive Parents must be financially stable with the ability to comfortably support a child.

  • Prospective Adoptive Parents with a history of substance abuse, criminal background, unstable relationships, serious medical illnesses and unstable mental health, will not be eligible

Children Available for Placements

All waiting children must be recognized by CARA, India’s central authority, as ready for permanent placement and each adoption follows the strict guidelines as set by the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption.

  • Prospective Adoptive Parents from both lists can select the health status of the child desired from 1 of 3 categories: Normal Health, Physically Challenged, and Mentally Challenged.

  • Families with a stated preference for a child in “normal health” could receive referrals for children with minor correctable medical needs as well as already resolved medical needs. Therefore all Prospective Adoptive Parents must be open to considering a child with minor and/or resolved needs.

  • Male and female children are available and families may indicate a gender preference.

  • Children between the ages of 0 to 18 years are available for adoption.

  • Prospective Adoptive Parents may also indicate a preference for their child's state of origin. 

Costs/Fees Explained


Please inquire for most up to date costs/fees associated with our India Country Program.