Adoption

Indian citizens who are Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, or Buddhists are allowed to formally adopt a child. The adoption is under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956. Under this act, a single parent or married couple are not permitted to adopt more than one child of the same sex. Foreign citizens, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), and those Indian nationals who are Muslims, Parsis, Christians or Jews are subject to the Guardian and Wards Act of 1890. Under this act, the adoptive parent is only the guardian of the child until she reaches 18 years of age.

Foreign citizens and NRIs are supposed to formally adopt their child according to the adoption laws and procedures in the country of their residence. This must be carried out within two years of the individual becoming a child's guardian. Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, also deals with adoption of children by non-Hindu parents. However, this act is applicable only to children who have been abandoned or abused and not to those children who have been voluntarily put up for adoption.

In India, Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India, functions as the nodal body for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions. CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003.

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