In mid-May, the Department of State and India’s Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) convened a conference call to discuss the obligations of U.S. accredited adoption service providers (referred to as ASPs in the United States and AFAAs in India) under applicable U.S. and Indian regulations. Topics included the registration of ASP representative(s) or agent(s) with CARA, ASP contact with orphanages, ASP agreements with orphanages, and fees paid by adoptive families in India.
CARA’s guidelines require an ASP to obtain CARA’s approval if the ASP intends to use a representative/agent to work on its behalf in India. Failure to obtain CARA’s approval before using a representative/agent may lead CARA to terminate the ASP’s authorization to work in India. CARA is reviewing the applications that were recently submitted.
CARA informed the Department that ASPs should not have contact with orphanages in India before a referral is accepted and registered in CARINGS (CARA’s database for adoptions in India). However, once a referral is accepted and registered, the ASP may be in contact with the orphanage.
After a referral is accepted and registered in CARINGs, to comply with 22 CFR 96.46(b), the ASP should enter into a cooperative agreement (also referred to as a foreign supervised provider agreement) with the orphanage to document adoption fees and service delivery plans. Department guidance on these types of agreements can be found at: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/Intercountry-Adoption-News/adoption-notice-faq-foreign-supervised-providers-5oct2017.html.
CARA expects ASPs to follow their recent circular on fees in addition to all applicable laws and to stay current on India’s adoption regulations (see http://cara.nic.in/upper%20tab%20menu/circular.html). U.S. regulations for ASPs also provide that ASPs are to comply with the laws of the countries in which they operate, such that failure to adhere to India’s laws could affect an ASP’s accreditation or approval.
CARA would like to remind ASPs that review and approve home studies performed by exempted providers in the United States that it will hold the primary provider responsible for any failure on the part of the exempted provider to adequately assess the prospective adoptive parent(s) (PAP) or provide all available information about the eligibility or suitability of the PAPs. If CARA determines that the primary provider failed to adequately review and approve home studies or post adoption reporting, it may withdraw the provider’s authorization to work in India.
Please continue to monitor adoption.state.gov for updated information. For questions about this notice or adoption-related visa processing, please email the Office of Children’s Issues at email@example.com.