“Child is the father of man!” ~ The Rainbow (William Wordsworth)
Child adoption in India
Childhood is the most cherished stage of our lives. So when certain kids who are unfortunate to savour the true essence of childhood can be taken up by the family who could bring in lots of joy in their life, then why drift back?
So that’s where the term ‘adoption‘ comes into play. Now before talking about the topic and its legal proceedings, there are two major questions that strike everyone’s mind:
- Who is adopting?
- Who is the one being adopted?
Now there are various laws enacted in India regarding the term ‘adoption’ and three of them being;
- Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956
- Guardianship and Ward’s Act 1890
- Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act 2000
All these acts throw light on the nature and significance of adoption and the various provisions for it alongside the eligibility of the individuals for carrying out the adoption of a child. Now what is worth defining is the term ‘child’. Though we all use the word child casually, there is a crystal-clear definition put forward by the Judicial system in the context of ‘adoption’. In the eyes of the Law; a ‘child’ is an individual who has not attained puberty or is below the maturity age.
Who is allowed to adopt?
All three laws enacted state that any Indian, Non-Indian, or a foreigner can adopt a child. The minimum age of the adopter should be 21 years with an age difference of 16 years between the ‘adopter’ and ‘adoptee’. However, if the age of ‘adopter’ is more than 55 years old then such adoptions are not encouraged by the law.
Who is to be adopted?
As mentioned earlier, the encouraged age difference between the adopter and adoptee is 16 years, but under certain circumstances, the requirement for the age difference can be relaxed where adoption is carried forward with the prevailing customs or practices in certain communities. Though there isn’t any specified age for the child being adopted; in general, the upper age limit of the adoptive child is considered as 12 years.
Procedure for registration of the adoption deed
- Drafting of the Adoption deed by a legal expert or advocate in the specified format on stamp papers (available at Notaries)
- Requesting an appointment date with ‘Sub Registrar’ to carry out the registration process in the Registrar’s Office.
- Payment of Government registration fees.
- Registering the Adoption deed in Sub Registrar Office along with two witnesses on the appointment date.
- Registered Adoption deed available within a week or so after registration in Registrar’s office.
Key Points to look during the adoption of a child
- Only Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists are capable of adoption under the ‘Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act 1956‘. Whereas Muslims, Christians, Parsis, and Jews can undertake the adoption process under the ‘Guardian and Wards Act 1890‘ after prior permission from the court.
It’s necessary for the parents who’re thinking of adopting a child are to produce certain original documents along with two self-attested copies to undergo the legal adoption process.
Documents to be furnished with the adoption deed format are listed below
- Any of the following documents for identity proof- Passport/ Driving License/ Voter ID / Pan Card
- Address proof- Aadhaar Card/ Ration Card/ Electricity bill
- Marriage Certificate
- The Prospective Adoptive Parents are requested to submit a recent Health certificate stating and proving that the individuals don’t suffer from any contagious disease or mental or physical agony and are fit and competent to take care of the adopted child.
- A family photograph
- Three recently clicked photographs of the adoptive family (postcard size).
- The self-employed prospective adoptive parents are asked to furnish an IT statement of the preceding three years. If they are employed in any organization then they are asked to submit an income certificate from the organization.
- Two letters of recommendation are to be submitted by the Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAP). One of them is the letter by a close acquaintance and the other one from a far relative of the Prospective Adoptive Parents.
- In case of any previous adoption, the PAP are requested to submit the Adoption Decree.
- In case if the PAP already has a biological or adopted child aged more than 7 years, written consent from that child is necessary to proceed further with the adoption process.
- Single Prospective parent needs to furnish a letter from any of their close relative stating their approval to take care of the child due to any unforeseen circumstances.
In conclusion, Child Adoption would not take more than 2 weeks, if the required documents are available and a draft adoption deed is prepared in advance. We have shared a draft adoption deed in this article as a reference that can be used to create a legally vetted ‘Deed’ for submission to Registrar’s office.
Download Adoption Deed Format in PDF: Click Here
Download Adoption Deed Format in Word: Click Here