Update for Accredited Adoption Service Providers on Intercountry Adoption in India

This notice is an update to the Notice posted on August 13, 2018.

In mid-May, the Department of State and India’s Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) discussed the obligations of U.S. accredited adoption service providers (referred to as ASPs in the United States and as 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 foreign supervised provider agreements, 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 notified all ASPs that they must submit information about foreign representatives/agents by September 30, 2018. CARA will review all agreements by December 31, 2018. ASPs who do not have an approved agreement in place by December 31, 2018 will not be able to utilize a representative/agent. CARA has informed the Department that if an ASP failed to report its use of a representative/agent by September 30, 2018 and is later found to be using such a representative/agent, CARA will revoke the ASP’s authorization.

To comply with 22 CFR 96.46(b), the ASP must have a foreign supervised provider agreement with its representative/agent, and the agreement must be on file with IAAME.

CARA informed the Department that ASPs should not have contact with orphanages in India before a referral of the child to the Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) is reserved for acceptance by the ASP through CARINGS (CARA’s database for adoptions in India). However, once a referral is reserved, the ASP may have contact with the orphanage.

The Department and CARA are continuing discussions on supervised provider agreements between ASPs and orphanages in India. Additional information will be posted on this topic at a later date.

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, and failure to adhere to India’s laws could affect an ASP’s accreditation or approval under U.S. law.

CARA would like to remind ASPs that review and approval of home studies as well as post-adoption reports performed by exempted providers in the United States will be the responsibility of the ASP and that it will hold the ASP 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 ASP 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 adoption@state.gov.

Last Updated: October 5, 2018