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India adoption


Adopt International is privileged to be licensed by India’s Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) for international adoptions from India. India follows the best practices and standards according to the Hague adoption guidelines. Efforts are made to reunite the child with their biological family if possible, and when not possible to seek a domestic family first and then an international adoptive family.


Children between the ages of 0-18 years are available for adoption. Non Resident Indian (NRI) and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) may request to be matched with a child in "normal health". The wait time for a referral is lengthy and unpredictable and can take up to 4 years. Non-Indian foreign PAPs must be open to a child with known special needs or a child over the age of 8 years in good health, or sibling sets of 3 or more in good health.


Process Overview

Our India Program Director, Sharmeela Shah, guides clients through the India adoption process. Families living outside of California and Hawaii will complete their home study through any of our partner Hague-accredited agencies and then work with Adopt for India specific adoption services. Adopt also assists with relative adoptions on a case-by-case basis.

Who are the children that need families?

Children available for adoption may be orphaned or abandoned due to poverty or teenage pregnancies, and other family situations. Thorough investigations take place to locate the parents of an abandoned child and counseling is offered to birth parents relinquishing a child. Only those children declared to be legally free for adoption are referred to PAPs. For each adoption CARA follows strict Hague-compliant guidelines.


  • NRI And OCI PAPs waiting to be matched with children in “normal health” could receive referrals for children that have minor correctable medical needs or developmental delays believed to be caused by institutionalization, or already resolved medical needs. Therefore, all PAPs 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.

  • PAPS may indicate 3 preferred States of Choice, though this may extend the wait time for a referral.


Eligibility Requirements for Prospective Adoptive Parents

  • At least one spouse must be a US citizen.

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

  • Same sex couples will not be eligible.

  • PAPs must be financially stable with the ability to comfortably support a child.

  • PAPs with a history of substance abuse, unstable relationships, serious medical illness or unstable mental health will not be eligible. PAPs with a legal history will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • The combined age of the PAPs determines eligibility with regard to the age of the child desired. CARA counts age in years, months and days

    • PAPs with combined age of less than 85 years, or under age 40 for singles, can request a child ages 0 to 2 years.

    • PAPs with combined age of less than 90 years, or under age 45 for singles, can request a child ages 2 to 4 years.

    • PAPs with combined age of less than 100 years, or under age 50 for singles, can request a child ages 4 to 8 years.

    • PAPs with combined age of less than 110 years, or under age 55 for singles, can request a child ages 8 to 18 years. 

    • There must be a minimum age gap of 25 years between the PAPs and the child.


On receiving a match, PAPs have 96 hours to decide if they wish to consider the referral and 30 days to make their decision. PAPs may choose to travel to India (optional) and meet the child during this 30-day window, prior to accepting the match. If PAPs decide not to consider the first referral received from CARA, they will retain seniority but must wait a minimum of 60 days to be matched again. If a second referral received from CARA is not considered then the PAPs will drop down to the end of the waiting list and must wait their turn again.  If PAPs decide to consider the first referral received from CARA but decide within 30 days not to accept the referral, they will lose their seniority and drop down on the list.  It takes approximately 6 months after referral acceptance to complete the adoption and bring your child home. Both PAPs are required to travel to India to receive their child. An additional trip may be needed if the District Magistrate requires the PAPs to be present at the adoption hearing or if the passport office requires the parents to be present. The in-country stay for each trip will be around 7 to 10 days. 

Costs/Fees Explained


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

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