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India

Official Name: India Last Updated: April 28, 2016

Hague Adoption Convention Country? Yes

Are Intercountry Adoptions between India and the United States possible? Both adoptions to the United States from India and from the United States to India are possible.

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  • Hague Convention Information

    Adoptions to the United States from India and from the United States to India are possible.

    Please see our section on Adoptions from the United States for more information on the process for adopting a child from the United States.  We urge prospective adoptive parents to consult with India’s central authority, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), to determine for its determination as to whether it considers your adoption to be subject to the Convention.

    India is a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention).  Intercountry adoption processing in Convention countries must be done in accordance with the Hague Adoption Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations; as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of India.

    On August 1, 2015, India implemented Guidelines Governing the Adoption of Children, 2015 (Guidelines).  Please refer to CARA’s website for information about the new guidelines.

    Note:  If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2008, (the date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States), the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption:  1) you filed a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, identifying India as the country where you intended to adopt and the approval is still valid; 2) you filed a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, on behalf of a child from India or; 3) the adoption was completed.  Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s adoption could continue to be processed as a non-Convention intercountry adoption, provided the child’s country of origin agrees.  For more information, read about Transition Cases.  Please contact adoption@state.gov with the details of the case if this situation applies to you.

  • U.S. Immigration Requirements for Intercountry Adoptions

    To bring an adopted child to the United States from India, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements.  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), determines who can adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.

    Additionally, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law in order to immigrate to the United States with an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.

  • Who Can Adopt

    In addition to being found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS, prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt a child from India must meet the following requirements imposed by India:

    • Residency:  There are no residency requirements.  However, some Specialized Adoption Agencies (SAAs) may ask prospective adoptive parents to reside with the child for seven days before departing India in order to bond with your child.
    • Age of Adopting Parents:
      • Prospective adoptive parents should be at least 25 years of age and no more than 45 years of age if adopting a child age four or younger. Married couples may not have a combined age of more than 90 years. These provisions may be relaxed in exceptional cases, such as the adoption of older children, siblings, and children with special needs. See ‘Documents Required’ section for a list of required documents if a couple’s combined age is more than 90 years.
      • If adopting a child between four and eight years of age, the prospective adoptive parents should be at least 29 and no more than 50 years of age. Married couples may not have a combined age of more than 100 years.
      • If adopting a child eight years and older, the prospective adoptive parents should be at least 33 and no more than 55 years of age.  Married couples may not have a combined age of more than 110 years.
      • For more specific information about the age restrictions for prospective adoptive parents, please refer to CARA’s guidelines.
    • Marriage: A married couple must be in a stable relationship for at least two years. Same-sex couples are not eligible to adopt in India.
    • Income: Prospective adoptive parents should demonstrate that they are financially capable of adopting and raising a child. Please refer to CARA’s guidelines.
    • Other:  Only families with fewer than four children (whether biological or adopted) are permitted to adopt an Indian child.  A second adoption from India will be considered only after the legal adoption of the first child is completed, except in the case of siblings adopted at the same time.  Prospective adoptive parents must be free from any contagious or terminal disease or any mental or physical condition that may prevent them from taking care of the child.  A single male is not permitted to adopt a female child.
    • Overseas Citizen of India or Foreign National Living in India: Overseas Citizens of India (OCI card holders) and foreign nationals of countries that are party to the Convention who have been living in India for one year or more may register to adopt an Indian child on the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS) together with the required documents.  Upon receipt of the application and required documents, CARA will refer the case to a SAA to prepare the prospective adoptive parents home study report.  After the home study report is completed, it will be uploaded onto CARINGS by the SAA.  For more information, please refer to CARA’s Guidelines.

     

  • Who Can Be Adopted

    Because India is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from India must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for intercountry adoption.  For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of India have determined that placement of the child within India has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests.

    In addition to qualifying as a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law, a child must meet the following requirements of India:

    • Relinquishment or Abandonment:  Regional Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) determine whether any orphan, abandoned or surrendered child is legally free for adoption.
    • Age of Adoptive Child:  Children up to 18 years of age, that have been cleared by the Regional CWC, are eligible for intercountry adoption. Please note that in order for a child to meet the definition of Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law, a Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, must be filed on the child’s behalf while the child is under the age of 16 (or under the age of 18 if the child is the birth sibling of another adopted child who has immigrated or will immigrate based on adoption by the same adoptive parent(s)). Please see the USCIS website for special rules on filing dates for children aged 15-16 or siblings aged 17-18. 
    • Sibling Adoptions:  Sibling adoptions are encouraged. Twins or siblings, as well as children over five years of age, shall be available for adoption by resident and non-resident Indians from the date the children are declared legally free for adoption by the Regional CWC, and by overseas citizens of India and foreign prospective adoptive parents living in India thirty days from the date the children are declared legally free for adoption.
    • Special Needs or Medical Conditions:  Intercountry adoptions of children with special needs or medical conditions follow the same procedures as other Convention adoptions. 
    • Waiting Period or Foster Care:  Prospective adoptive parents can foster a child, with permission from the SAA, after presenting a “No Objection Certificate” (NOC) from CARA and submitting a Pre-Adoption Foster Care Undertaking to the SAA (please refer to Schedule 7 of CARA’s guidelines).  (Note: CARA will not issue the NOC until they have received an Article 5/17 letter from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.) 
    • Intra-Family (relative) Adoption:  While CARA permits intra-family adoptions, they are only approved in exceptional situations, such as the parents’ death or in other limited circumstances that serve the best interests of the child. Please refer to CARA’s website for more information concerning intra-family adoptions. Intra-family adoptions follow the same procedures as other Convention adoptions.
    • Adoption of Tibetan Children: CARA does not process cases involving the adoption of Tibetan children. If prospective adoptive parents wish to adopt or gain guardianship of a Tibetan child, they should consult with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

    Caution:  Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are eligible for adoption. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to the adoption of their child(ren).

  • How to Adopt

    Warning:  Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in India before:  1) USCIS has approved your Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, 2) the Central Authority of India has determined the child is available for intercountry adoption, 3) USCIS has provisionally approved your Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, and 4) a U.S. consular officer has issued an “Article 5/17 Letter” in the case.  Read on for more information.

    India’s Central Adoption Authority

    Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), Ministry of Women and Child Development

    Note:  Special transition provisions may apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008.  Read about Transition Cases.

    The Process

    Because India is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adoptions from India must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements.  A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is provided below.  You must complete these steps in the following order to meet all necessary legal requirements.  Adoptions completed out of order may result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.

    1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider That Has Been Authorized by CARA to Operate in India to Act as Your Primary Provider
    2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt (Form I-800A)
    3. Apply to India’s Authorities to Adopt and Be Matched with a Child
    4. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United States as a Convention Adoptee (Form I-800) and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption (Art. 5/17 letter)
    5. Adopt the Child in India or Obtain Legal Custody of the Child for Purposes of Emigration and Adoption
    6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

    1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider That Has Been Authorized by CARA to Operate in India to Act as Your Primary Provider

    The first step in adopting a child from India is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide intercountry adoption services to U.S. citizens and that has been authorized by the Government of India.  A primary provider must be identified in each Convention case and only accredited or approved adoption service providers may act as the primary provider in your case.  Your primary provider is responsible for:

    • Ensuring that all six adoption services defined at 22 CFR 96.2 are provided consistent with applicable laws and regulations;
    • Supervising and being responsible for supervised providers where used (see 22 CFR 96.14); and
    • Developing and implementing a service plan in accordance with 22 CFR 96.44.

    Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

    Under Indian law, foreign prospective adoptive parents considering adoption of a child from India are required to use an adoption service provider that is “enlisted” (registered) with CARA.  Further details on enlisted agencies may be found on the CARA website.

    2.  Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt

    After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must be found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS by submitting Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country.  You will need to submit a home study, fingerprints, and a background check as part of this application.  Read more about Suitability and Eligibility Requirements.

    3.  Apply to CARA to Adopt and be Matched with a Child

    Submit Your Dossier to the Central Authority 
    After USCIS determines that you are suitable and eligible to adopt and approves the Form I-800A application, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to CARA as part of your adoption application.  CARA will review your application to determine whether you are also suitable and eligible to adopt under Indian law.

    Receive a Referral for a Child from the Central Authority 
    If both the United States and India determine that you are suitable and eligible to adopt, and India’s central authority for Convention adoptions has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, CARA will provide your ASP with basic information on one or more children that meet the criteria outlined in your approved home study.  The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of the child. You must let your ASP know within 96 hours if you are interested in learning more about a child so your ASP can indicate your interest in that child and begin the process of making a match. Once that is done, the SAA where the prospective adoptive child resides will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not. We encourage families to consult with a medical professional and their adoption service provider to understand the needs of the specific child, but each family must decide whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of, and provide a permanent home for, a specific child. The placement must conform to the recommendations in the home study submitted to USCIS for the number of children and capacity to deal with any special needs of an adoptive child.  Learn more about Health Considerations. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the central authority in India.  Learn more about this critical decision

    Note that India first tries to place abandoned or relinquished children with an Indian family residing in India or a non-resident Indian (NRI) family.  Once the CARA issues the NOC, the prospective adoptive parents may apply to the SAA where the child resides to foster the child while waiting for the court to finalize the guardianship or adoption order. (Note: CARA will not issue the NOC until they have received an Article 5/17 letter from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.)

    4.  Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United States as a Convention Adoptee and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption

    Submit a Petition for a Determination on the Child’s Immigration Eligibility 
    After you accept being matched with a particular child, you will apply to USCIS for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States through the Form I-800 Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative.  USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child appears to meet the definition of a Convention adoptee and will likely be eligible to enter and remain in the United States.

    Submit an Immigrant Visa Application 
    After provisional approval of Form I-800 petition, you or your adoption service provider will submit a visa application to the consular section of the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from India.

    You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assigning a case number and an invoice ID number.  Use this information to log into the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) to file the Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) for your child.  An adoptive parent should fill out these forms in your child's name.  Answer every item on the form.  If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block.  Please review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact the NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form. A consular officer will review the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and the visa application and, if applicable, advise you of options for the waiver of any ineligibilities related to the visa application.

    The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5/17 Letter”) to India’s central authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from India if all Convention requirements are met and the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States.  This letter will inform the India’s central authority that the parents are suitable and eligible to adopt, that the child appears eligible to enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. central authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

    Warning:  Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in India before you receive provisional approval of your Form I-800 petition AND a U.S. consular officer issues the “Article 5/17 Letter” for your adoption case.

    Remember:  The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

    5.  Adopt the Child in India or Obtain Legal Custody of Child for Purposes of Emigration and Adoption of the Child

    Remember:  Before you adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in India, you must have completed the above four steps.  Only after completing these steps can you proceed to finalize the adoption or a grant of legal custody by India for the purposes of emigration and adoption.

    The process for finalizing the adoption or obtaining legal custody in India generally includes the following:

    Role of Adoption Authority:

    • Regulates and monitors intercountry adoptions, and performs Central Authority functions consistent with the Hague Adoption Convention;
    • Provides information regarding abandoned/relinquished/orphaned children available for intercountry adoption;
    • Coordinates matching with appropriate SAA;
    • Issues the ‘No Objection Certificates” (NOCs);
    • Oversees recognition of SAAs and adoption service providers; and
    • Issues confirmatory certificates (Article 23) for cases for adoptions completed in India.

    Role of the Court:  The competent Indian court issues an adoption or guardianship order for the placement of the child with the prospective adoptive parents.  Prospective adoptive parents have reported that it usually takes about two months to issue an appropriate order. 

    Role of Specialized Adoption Agencies:  The SAA where the prospective adoptive child resides provides a background study and other information, if available, about a child to help prospective adoptive parents decide whether to accept the referral or not The SAA submits all required documents to an Indian court with jurisdiction within seven working days of receiving the NOC from CARA.  SAAs are not permitted to file a petition in the competent court for a grant of custody or a full and final adoption without an NOC from CARA.

    • Role of Adoption Agencies:  The U.S. accredited adoption service provider facilitates adoptions by U.S. prospective adoptive parents in India.  The U.S. adoption service provider either conducts or oversees the prospective adoptive parents’ home study to ensure it complies with U.S. and state law where the prospective adoptive parents reside.  After the provisional approval of Form I-800 petition, the adoption service provider coordinates with the U.S Embassy in New Delhi for issuance of an Article 5/17 letter and the NOC from CARA.  The adoption service provider also coordinates with the respective SAA for the issuance of adoption or guardianship order by the Indian court and the child’s passport.
    • Time Frame:  Intercountry adoptions in India take approximately six months or longer to complete the adoption and secure the necessary documentation once the prospective adoptive parents have a provisionally approved Form I-800.  Please note that obtaining an Indian passport for an adopted child often takes an additional four weeks, and some prospective adoptive parents have reported waiting as long as two months.
    • Adoption Application:  Prospective adoptive parents, in coordination with their adoption service provider, must submit an online application on CARINGS.
    • Adoption Fees:  CARA’s Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children 2011 limits the fee that may be paid by an authorized ASP to a SAA to 5,000 USD for each outgoing adoption.  This fee covers all of the fees associated with the documentation completed by the SAA, and may include, among other things, obtaining copies of civil documents, filing court documents, applying for your child’s Indian passport, etc.    

      Prospective adoptive parents are advised to obtain detailed receipts for all fees and donations paid, either directly or through your U.S. adoption service provider, and to raise any concerns regarding any payment that you believe may be contrary to the Convention, U.S. law, or the law of India with your adoption service provider, or, when appropriate, the Complaint Registry.  For more information in this regard, please also refer to information concerning the Complaint Registry.  Improper payments may have the appearance of buying a child, violate applicable law, and could put all future adoptions in India at risk.  The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, for instance, makes it unlawful to bribe foreign government officials to obtain or retain business. Further, the IAA makes certain actions relating to intercountry adoptions unlawful, and subject to civil and criminal penalties. These include to offering, giving, soliciting, or accepting inducement intended to influence or affect the relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, or a decision by an entity performing a central authority function or to engage another person as an agent to take any such action.

      In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.

    Documents Required:  You are required to submit the following documents to CARA through your adoption service provider:

    • Home study report (see information below for home study reports for U.S. citizens residing in India);
    • Recent photographs of the prospective adoptive family;
    • Marriage certificate (if married);
    • Certificate of medical fitness of the prospective adoptive parents, duly certified by a medical doctor;
    • Declaration regarding the prospective adoptive parents’ financial status, along with supporting documents;
    • Three reference letters from relatives/friends regarding the suitability of the prospective adoptive parents to adopt;
    • Adoption decrees of previously adopted child/children, if any;
    • Police clearance report(s);
    • Birth certificate/passport of prospective adoptive parents, as proof of age;
    • Approval of the U.S. central authority (the Article 5/17 letter, discussed under “Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption” above);

    o   Documentary proof of citizenship/nationality of prospective adoptive parents, such as a copy of U.S. passport;

    o   In cases where the prospective adoptive parents are granted guardianship of a child (rather than a full and final adoption), a statement from the adoption service provider that the child will be legally adopted by the prospective adoptive parents pursuant to the laws of the receiving country within two years of the child’s arrival in the receiving country.  The adoption service provider will send certified copies of the adoption order to all concerned agencies/entities;

    o   Statement from the adoption service provider that follow-up reports on the welfare of the child will be sent semi-annually for a period of two years or until such time as the legal adoption is completed and citizenship is acquired in the receiving country;

    o   Power of Attorney from the prospective adoptive parents in favor of the SAA to process the case if the prospective adoptive parents are not in India;

    o   Statement from the adoption service provider committing to care for the child and, with CARA’s approval, to find a suitable alternative placement if the adoption is disrupted before a full and final adoption is completed.  The adoption service provider will report the alternative placement to the appropriate parties, including the Indian court handling guardianship/adoption proceedings; and

    o   Statement from the adoption service provider that it will pay any required adoption fees to the concerned Indian placement agency.

    Additional documents if applicable:

    o   Statement from the prospective adoptive parents’ biological and/or adopted children, and the prospective adoptive child (if old enough) giving their views concerning the adoption plan;

    o   Divorce decree; and

    o   In cases where a couples’ combined age is over 90 years, a document from a younger family member expressing their willingness to look after the child in the event the adoptive parents become incapacitated.

    Home Study Reports for U.S. Citizens Residing Abroad:

    ·         CARA has advised the U.S. central authority that prospective adoptive parents residing in India for a year or more may ask a SAA to prepare their home study report, under the supervision of their U.S. adoption service provider.  The SAA must have a written agreement with the adoption service provider to provide home study services.  In addition, the home study must be reviewed and approved by the U.S. adoption service provider before it is submitted to USCIS with the prospective adoptive parent’s Form I-800A application.

    Note:  Additional documents may be requested.

    ·         Authentication of Documents:  You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic.  If so, the Department of State, Authentications Office has information on the subject.

    6.  Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

    Now that your adoption is complete or you have obtained legal custody of the child for the purposes of emigration and adoption of the child in the United States, there are a few more steps to take before your child can head home.  Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

    Birth Certificate

    If you have finalized the adoption in India, you will first need to apply for a birth certificate for your child so that you can later apply for a passport.  Generally, the SAA will facilitate the issuance of the birth certificate.

    If you have been granted custody for the purposes of emigration and adoption of the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

    Once prospective adoptive parents receive a court order, they may apply for a birth certificate in the municipal office of the region where the child was born, in coordination with the RIPA and their adoption service provider.  They will need the court order, the NOC from CARA, and any document related to the birth of child as supporting documentation.  If the adoption is completed in India, the birth certificate will indicate the name of the prospective adoptive parents.  The municipal office will issue the birth certificate with the child’s name as it appears on the court order even if it has been changed after adoption.  This process takes at least two weeks.

    Indian Passport

    Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from India.  Generally, the SAA will facilitate the issuance of an Indian passport.

    The prospective adoptive parents or SAA may apply at the nearest Regional Passport Office for an Indian passport after they receive a court order for the child.  The application should include the court order, the NOC from CARA, and the child’s birth record.  It generally takes approximately four weeks to obtain an Indian passport.  Some parents have reported, however, that the issuance of an Indian passport may take more than two months.  Please see the information below pertaining to the Government of India’s requirement to surrender one’s Indian passport when one acquires foreign citizenship.

    U.S. Immigrant Visa

    After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to finalize your application for a U.S. visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India.  After the adoption or custody for purposes of emigration and adoption is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for a final review of the case, and if applicable, the issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Hague Custody Certificate, the final approval of the Form I-800 petition, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa.  This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you and be admitted to the United States as your child.  Please contact the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi by email at NDAdopt@state.gov to schedule your child’s immigrant visa appointment.  As part of this process, you must provide the consular officer with the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child if you did not provide it during the provisional approval stage.  Read more about the Medical Examination.

    Before coming for your child’s immigrant visa interview, please be sure to complete an Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) online at the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC).  You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assigning a case number and an invoice ID number.  You will need this information to log into CEAC to file the DS-260 for your child.  An adoptive parent should fill out these forms in your child's name.  Answer every item on the form.  If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block. The DS-260 must be updated before the visa interniew to include the child's passport details and other changes, if any.  Print and bring the DS-260 form confirmation page to the visa interview.  Please review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact the NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form.

    Note:  After the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi issues the Article 5 letter in your case, you will be able to access and make changes to your online form.  Once you obtain your child’s Indian passport, you should log back into CEAC and resubmit your DS-260 with your child’s passport details.  This must be done at least 48 hours before you appear at the Embassy for your child’s immigrant visa interview in order for the DS-260 to be accessible to the consular section.

    The following is the list of the documents required by the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi in order to process immigrant visas for Indian children who have been adopted by U.S. citizens:

    ·         Updated fingerprint notice of the prospective adoptive parents;

    ·         Child's Indian passport;

    ·         Two (2) Color frontal portrait photographs of the child with a white background; the total frame should be 5 cm x 5 cm and the child's head size 3 cm x 3 cm;

    ·         The original court order and a copy of the court order;

    ·         The NOC from CARA;

    ·         Visa Fee of 325 USD which can be paid in cash (Indian Rupees or U.S. Dollars) or money order.  Payments cannot be made using a credit card.  Please see visa processing fees page;

    ·         Medical examination report of the child.  The medical examination needs to be done by an approved panel physician.  A list of approved panel physicians can be found on New Delhi U.S. Embassy website.  Read more about the Medical Examination.

    ·         Article 23 issued by CARA

    Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes at least one business day provided all the required documents are submitted at the time of the interview.  It is usually not possible to provide a visa on the same day as the immigrant visa interview.  Adoptive parents will be notified at the time of the visa interview about the pick-up time of their child’s visa. Adoptive parents should verify current processing times with the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and also refer to the Embassy’s holiday list before making final travel arrangements.

    Child Citizenship Act

    For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States:  An adopted child residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence generally will acquire U.S. citizenship automatically upon entry into the United States if the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, including the child is under the age of eighteen.  (Note: U.S. citizens are permitted (and encouraged) to complete a full and final adoption of an Indian child under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act of 2000 (JJA).) 

    For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States:  You will need to complete an adoption following your child’s entry into the United States and before the child turns eighteen for the child (if he or she otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000) to automatically acquire U.S. citizenship.

    Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

    Indian Law Regarding Possession of an Indian Passport upon Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship:  Acquisition of U.S. citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act might affect the child’s Indian citizenship.  Under Indian law, the child might be required to surrender his or her Indian passport upon acquisition of U.S. citizenship and could be subject to penalties for failure to do so.  Under Indian law, prior to obtaining any Indian consular services, such as an Indian visa, the child might also be required to renounce his or her Indian citizenship.  Please contact the nearest Indian Embassy or consulate for details (see Contact Information below).

    Overseas Citizen of India Status

    CARA’s Guidelines Governing the Adoption of Children, 2015 state that an adopted Indian child shall be entitled to receive an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card, if found eligible.  For more information about the procedure for applying for OCI status for your child, please contact the nearest Indian Embassy or consulate.  

  • Traveling Abroad

    Applying for Your U.S. Passport

    U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport.  Once your child has acquired U.S. citizenship, s/he will need a U.S. passport for any international travel.  Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

    Getting or renewing a passport is easy.  The Department of State’s Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

    Obtaining a Visa to Travel to India

    In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa to travel abroad.  Where required, visas are affixed to a traveler’s passport and allow him or her to enter a foreign nation.  To find information about obtaining a visa for India, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

    Staying Safe on Your Trip

    Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country.  The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country in the world about various issues, including health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

    Staying in Touch on Your Trip

    When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State.  Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary.  Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in India, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

    Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

  • After Adoption

    Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements

    CARA requires adoptive parents to submit online post-placement reports on the child through their adoption service provider to CARA and the SAA. The post-placement reports should be uploaded into CARINGS quarterly by the prospective adoptive parents’ ASP during the first year, and twice a year during the second year after the child’s arrival in the United States. The reporting continues for two years after the child acquires U.S. citizenship.

    In addition to the above reports, some Indian courts require regular follow-up visits and post-adoption counseling by a licensed social worker until the child has adjusted to his/her new environment. The follow-up visits are generally for a period of one year or as directed by the court. Copies of the court ordered follow-up reports should be sent to the court where the adoption or guardianship order was obtained, as well as to other government offices as required.

    We urge you to comply with India’s post-adoption/post-placement requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption service provider may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to India’s history of positive experiences with U.S. citizen adoptive parents.

    Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Resources

    Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption.  There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. You may wish to take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.  Your primary provider can provide or point you to post- placement/post-adoption services to help your adopted child and your family transition smoothly and deal effectively with the many adjustments required in an intercountry adoption. 

    Here are some places to start your support group search:

    Note:  Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of content.

  • Contact Information

    U.S. Embassy in India

    Shantipath, Chanakyapuri
    New Delhi – 110021
    Tel:  091-011-24198000
    Fax:  091-011-24198407
    Email:  NDAdopt@State.gov
    Internet:  newdelhi.usembassy.gov/

    India Adoption Authority
    Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)
    Ministry of Women and Child Development
    West Block-8, Wing-2
    2nd Floor, R.K. Puram
    New Delhi - 110 066
    Tel:  91-011 2610-5346, 2610-3378, 2610-6783
    Fax:  91-011 2618-0198
    Email:  carahdesk.wcd@nic.in (for CARINGS inquiries only) or CARA@bol.net.in
    Internet:  www.cara.nic.in/

    Embassy of India
    2107 Massachusetts Ave, N.W.
    Washington, D.C.  20008
    Tel:  (202) 939-7000
    Fax:  (202) 939-7027
    Internet: indianembassy.org/

    India also has consulates in New York, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, and San Francisco.  Please see list of Indian consulates in United States.

     

    Office of Children’s Issues
    U.S. Department of State
    CA/OCS/CI
    SA-17, 9th Floor
    Washington, D.C.  20522-1709
    Email:  Adoption@state.gov
    Internet:  adoption.state.gov

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

    For questions about immigration procedures:
    USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
    Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
    Internet:  uscis.gov

    For questions about filing a Form I-800A application or a Form I-800 petition:
    USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC)
    Tel:  1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
    Email:  NBC.Hague@uscis.dhs.gov