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You are here : home > Adoption > Adoption Laws for Foreign Nationals > Adoption Laws of India for Foreign Nationals

Adoption Laws of India for Foreign Nationals


The adoption of Indian children by foreign nationals or international adoption is a controversial issue. To some people it is incomprehensible why Indian children should be sent abroad at all. This situation arises because adoption is still a bit of a stigma in India. Indians are not very open to the idea of adoption. In foreign countries, there is the opposite problem where children are in short supply for adoption. While there are innumerable cases of Indian orphans being given a secure and loving home in another country, newspapers have reported a number of cases where the child has gone to an alien land only to be mistreated. Such children have been used as domestic servants, beggars and even for prostitution. In other cases, so-called adoption agencies have demanded exorbitant amounts from foreign nationals in consideration of giving a child in adoption and often this is under the label of maintenance charges and medical expenses supposed to have been incurred for the child. It is these cases that leave a bad taste in the mouth and make people wary of adoption by foreign nationals. In the matter of L.K. Pandey vs. Union of India, the Supreme Court of India has laid down certain guidelines that have to be followed in the case of foreign adoption in an attempt to safeguard the interests of the children.

A foreign national adopts an Indian child under the provisions of the Guardian and Wards Act, 1890.  The Indian court will appoint the foreigner as the child's guardian. The foreign national will take the child to his own country and adopt him or her as per the laws of his country. 

Assessing the fitness of the applicant 

A Social or Child Welfare Agency licensed or recognised by the government of the country in which the foreigner resides must sponsor every application of a foreigner for adoption of an Indian child. This agency will appoint a professional social worker to prepare a Home Study Report that will indicate the basis for the sponsorship of the foreigner's application. The Home Study Report will include the following details: the applicant's family background, marital status, his education and employment history, his financial status and dwelling conditions, his health profile, information about other offspring, if any, and references. The agency must assess whether the applicant is fit and suitable and has the capacity to parent a child coming from a different racial and cultural milieu and whether the child will be able to fit into the environment of the adoptive family and the community in which it lives. 

Requisite documentation

The foreign national is required to submit supporting documents along with his application. These include: a recent family photograph, his marriage certificate, a declaration of theapplicants' physical fitness duly certified by a medical doctor, a declaration of the applicants' financial status with corroborating documents such as an employment certificate, income-tax returns, bank references, and particulars of property owned by them. 

Another important annexure to the application is a declaration of willingness. This document will state that the foreigner is willing to be appointed as the child's guardian.  He will also have to furnish an undertaking that he will adopt the child in accordance with the law of the country in which he resides at the earliest, but not later than two years from the date of the child's arrival in his country.  The applicant must also declare that he will maintain the child and provide it with necessary education and upbringing according to their status. The foreign national is also required to sign an undertaking that states that he will send the Indian agency and the court a progress report and a photograph of the child monthly in the first year, quarterly in the second year, and half yearly up to five years. In addition, the foreigner is expected to sign a power of attorney in favour of an officer of the Social or Child Welfare Agency in India so that the officer can process the case. 

All the certificates, declarations and documents that are attached to the foreigner's application are required to be duly notarized by a Notary Public. The notary's signature, in turn, will have to be duly attested either by an officer of the Ministry of External Affairs or Justice or Social Welfare of the country of which the foreigner is a resident. An officer of the Indian Embassy or High Commission or Consulate in that country can also attest the notary's signature. 

Role of the foreign welfare agency

The Social and Child Welfare Agency sponsoring the application of the foreigner must certify that the foreigner seeking to adopt a child is permitted to as per the laws of his country. The agency must undertake to ensure the adoption of the child by the foreigner according to the law of his country within a period of two years. Once the adoption procedure is complete, it is the duty of the agency to send two certified copies of the adoption order to the Social and Child Welfare Agency in India through which the application for guardianship was processed. One copy of the adoption order will have to be filed in court and the other will remain with the Indian agency for their records. The agency sponsoring the guardianship application must also agree to send progress reports of the child to the Indian agency. These reports will be quarterly in the first year and half yearly in the following years till the adoption has been effected. The foreign agency will also have to undertake that in the event of the disruption of the adopting family before the completion of the adoption procedure, it will take care of the child and find a suitable alternative placement for it with the approval of the Indian agency. In the case of an alternative placement becoming necessary, this development will be reported to the court handling the guardianship proceedings and this information will be passed on by the court and the Indian agency to the Secretary, Ministry of Social Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi. 

Court procedure

The application for guardianship must be made before the court of the District Judge within whose jurisdiction the Social and Welfare Child Agency in India that is processing the application of the foreigner is located. The application will be filed by the Indian welfare agency or a person duly authorized by them in this regard. Next the court issues notices to the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) and the Indian Council for Social Welfare (ICSW) in order that they scrutinize the guardianship application. These organizations are expected to give their considered opinion whether they believe that adoption by the foreign national is in the child's best interests. The ICCW or ICSW make their representation to the court after carefully studying the application with all the annexures, the Home Study Report, and the Child Study Report and making all necessary inquiries. 

The court will first hear all the concerned parties and examine all the documents. The court must be satisfied that the foreigner will be a suitable adoptive parent for the child and will provide the child a secure and loving home. The court must also be convinced that the child will be able to assimilate itself into the family and community of the foreigner. If the court is satisfied on all these counts, it will pass an order appointing the foreigner as the child's guardian and the foreigner will be allowed to take the child back to his country with a view to eventual adoption. In some cases, the court may even put a condition that the foreign national make provision by way of deposit or bond for the repatriation of the child to India should such a situation arise. The photograph of the child is attached to the order and counter-signed by the judge. 

It is a well-documented fact that court procedures are excruciatingly slow in India. Keeping this in mind, the Supreme Court of India, in the matter of L.K. Pandey vs. Union of India, has fixed a maximum period of two months for the disposal by the courts of applications made under the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890. The same judgement has categorically dispensed with the personal presence of the foreign national for the purpose of completing legal formalities.

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Name: Parent
Country: U.S.A.

I have 5 year old boy.Now i am planning to second baby but i am interesting to adopt one baby girl.
Country: Nigeria

It will be wonderful to have a child to hold and to love. A child is a child, and when you are able to achieve this objective, the joy will came from the heart, and thank God....Princess.
Name: zainab
Country: Oman

Salam Walikum..we are Muslim from gulf..omani..we whnt to adopt 2 new born baby or twins ..
Name: Natasha
Country: Sri Lanka

We are an international couple (Russian & Sri Lankan citizenships) residing in Sri Lanka, working as doctors with no kids. WANT TO ADOPT 2 BABY GIRLS 3-5 YEARS OLD FROM INDIA WHO HAVE NO LIVE PARENTS OR THEIR PARENTS ABANDONED THEM. My email is SENHORA_DO_DESTINO@MAIL.RU I WILL BE GLAD FOR YOUR HELP.
Name: florence.williams
Country: U.S.A.

My name is Florence William from USA, i am on these thread today to quickly give a testimony on the agency i contacted today from a thread lay_out posted in this forum today called, who help me all through in other to ensure i adopt a child from them.... at first i was displeased by a comment i saw today, that the agency scam, i said this is lie, is just to blindfold their image, so i just on half trust contacted the email address, and they wrote back to me that i am to get their online form ready, so that the baby transactions's will be complete, so i quickly obtain the form and fill and sent it back immediately, now the last step is just for my lawyer to copied all the full copies about the baby's certificate and the child agency certificate, in other to make all work out successfully without delay. Now according to the agency, they are delivery the children through their Air Delivery Service by Monday Noon, i spent nothing on this, and i am getting the baby free with care and full support. So i will advice those who wishes to adopt babies like me to contact them now at: [ st.maryadoptionc] for support. Thanks. cheers Florence Williams USA
Name: Brigitte Kohrs
Country: Germany

Dear Sir, Gentlemen, We live in Germany and would like to adopt a girl from their country. We live for 12 years in a stable estate, reliable partnership and have been married for 3 years. How would a private international adoption organized by them? We we are a nonprofit organization since 2006 and would very much like an orphanage in India to support the project! Good news for you! To our organization contact repeatedly adoption willing couples who also would like to adopt a child from India. Since I am a professional family therapist, I would also offer to check and adoptive couples. Meet the qualifications, forward it to them We look forward to hearing from you! Sincerely: Brigitte Kohrs Board of Directors Club hand in hand from Germany
Name: Nadim
Country: India

Hi, i am nadim, a journalist from kolkata currently residing in muscat, oman with my wife. we want to adopt a girl child from india or abroad. after reading the discussions here, i am confused. what's a latest law in india? as a muslim can i still not adopt a child in india? can anyone shed more light on the amendment someone mentioned? thanks a lot
Name: Ratna
Country: India

I am a journalist from kolkata currently residing in muscat, oman with my husband. we are in our 30s, and want to adopt a 2-3yr old girl child from india or abroad. need help/info,, thanks
Name: shweta
Country: India

i was trying to find an information related to adoption. this article helped me. thank you.
Name: Ashish
Country: India

i would like to mention that india does not has different laws, but it's the religion who have the different rules and regulation and thanks to indian govt who allow all of them to follow their own procedures..
Name: nuzhat
Country: India

i m a muslim n wanted to adopt a child.....but to my amaze....i came to knw tht inspite of being a democratic country, india still has diffrent laws for hindus, sikhs & jains n different for muslims, jews n christians.....isn't that something that shoud'nt be there at all??????
Name: pheakdey
Country: India

please give the law on expropriation in india country
Name: Debarati
Country: India

@nuzhat, even though there are different laws for different communities, the new jjact amended has given equal rights to all communities to become parents.. and not guardians only for their adoptive children. this article was tremendously help ful for my presentation
Name: vinod rana
Country: India

what the laws says about adoption if an unmarried hindu lady(34) adopt a male child whith word of mouth from a relative and makes an affiadevit attested from notary.whether the child will be eligible for all inherrited property of her ? can it be persumed that his rights are safe? would the property not be snatched by other people having blood relative of the lady? why different laws for different community in democracy ?
Name: Jyoti
Country: India

i am a hindu lady, i have no baby. i want to adopt a hindu male baby. plz give me some information.
Name: gani
Country: India

i am a railway employee,and childless since 16 years of marriage, due to some medical problem with my i wish to adopt son and daughter of my younger brother. is it possible , if so ,please suggest the legal procedure to be followed in central govt employee(railways).
Name: Ms Jain
Country: India

why is this website dedicated only to adoption of indian children by people living outside india. surely adoption happens within india also, but there seems tobe no guidance onthat here
Name: tashi
Country: United Kingdom

hi my name is tashii am single but wish to adopt a child as i am unable to have one of my own which steps i need to take
Name: Harris Mohun
Country: Mauritius

i wish to adopt a child from birth itsef, during the last quarter of this year 2008. he should be of indian origin, being myself such.
Name: Desparate
Country: South Africa

my situation only 6 months after marrying resulted in me having a hysterectomy. being indian & having all the stigma's attached to you, we decided not to tell anyone but desparately want to have a family. how can we adopt the hundreds of babies in my country which i am willing to do when my in-laws told me that they will not accept any baby unless it's of indian origion
Name: relangi
Country: Germany

hi , we r indians but staying in germany.we have one child and he is male and we want to adopt a male child now and give new life for him .can any one tell the rules to adopt a child in india and get him here .waiting for the replies tx in advance
Name: layla
Country: Zimbabwe

wishing to adopt a baby girl in dubai
Name: Archana Soni Mignet
Country: India

i think it is a very informative article for parents who want to adopt a child but tey should also highlight the matters wherein if any couple who is in india want to adopt a child what can be done and what is the procedure for that as well.
Name: Lohit
Country: India

i am engineer in profession and being well paid, my age is 27 and single. i would like to adopt a girl child from kashmir or kolkata, and this desire of becoming single parent ever since i am 14 years. plz tel me all necessary details of how can i adopt a girl child.
Name: Sweta
Country: Russian

i have got a son and i wishing to adopt an indian baby girl.


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