A Program Open to Families of Indian and Non-Indian Heritage
India is a Hague country. Families adopting from India must minimally be open to children with minor/correctable needs. At least one parent must be a U.S. citizen in order to complete the process.
Free Introductory Webinar – Adopt from India
In this free webinar, we will cover everything you need to know about adopting from India, including: adoption eligibility requirements, information about waiting children, details about the adoption process, and information about fees/expenses.View “Adopt From India” Webinar Now
Children in India
All children matched through the India Program are legally free for adoption per India’s Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) Adoption Regulations, 2017. Children found eligible for adoption tend to enter CARA’s system through relinquishment by birth parents or abandonment. Children are generally between the ages of 10 months and 14 years at the time of match. Applicants must be open to children with identified needs ranging from minor/correctable to lifelong.
The Care in India
Children in India are cared for by licensed entities called SAAs (Specialized Adoption Agencies), and, in some cases by Child Care Institutions throughout the country. SAAs are licensed by the state to facilitate domestic and intercountry adoptions. These entities are required to maintain government-mandated standards of care. Children receive medical care, nutrition, and educational opportunities. As numerous studies have demonstrated, institutional care is not conducive to optimal development, therefore children may experience institutional-related delays.
Like all international adoption programs, India has its own unique eligibility requirements for adoptive parents. At least one parent must be a U.S. Citizen in order to complete the USCIS process. Applicants must be available to travel to India for one or two trips, depending on the court process. This program is open to heterosexual couples married a minimum of two years, single women and single men. Single men may only adopt boys. Applicants must be between the ages of 25-55; financially capable; physically, mentally, and emotionally stable, and without any life-threatening conditions. Families cannot have more than four children already in the home to adopt a child with special needs. Our India program is not currently open to applicants who are only interested in adopting siblings.
CARA requires at least 25 years between the age of adoptive parent and child, and determines the minimum age range of children to whom parents need to be open. This is based on the combined age(s) of the adoptive parent(s) at the time of registration with CARA; please be sure to review Age Guidelines below.
Children’s Home Guidelines
These age guidelines vary from the guidelines set by India and allow you enough time to complete phases of the adoption process prior to our registration of your family with India’s Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), assuming you move steadily forward through application, home study, and India’s paperwork requirements.
Due to how India calculates age(s) of applicant(s), the combined age for a married couple is easy to underestimate. CARA factors in both months and days in addition to years. For example, two spouses who are both 44 years old appear to have a combined age of 88; however, once months and days are factored in, they may actually be close to a combined age of 90, which requires being open to an older child. See below for details.
This is reflective of your combined age at the time of Children’s Home application submission (parts 1 and 2)
- 84 years or less may be eligible to adopt children from infancy through 23 months of age
- 85-89 years may be eligible to adopt children 24-47 months of age
- 90-99 years may be eligible to adopt children 48-95 months of age (4-8 years)
- 100-109 years may be eligible to adopt children 96-168 months of age (8-14 years)
This is reflective of your age at the time of Children’s Home application submission (parts 1 and 2)
- 39 years or less may be eligible to adopt children from infancy through 23 months of age
- 40-44 years may be eligible to adopt children from 24-47 months of age
- 45-49 years may be eligible to adopt children from 48-95 months of age (4-8 years)
- 50-54 years may be eligible to adopt children 96-168 months of age (8-14 years)
There must be at least 25 years between the age of the child and any applicant.
Please contact us to discuss your individual eligibility concerns.
The first step is to apply and begin the home study. If you live in MD, MN, VA, or WI, we can complete your home study. If you live elsewhere, you need to find an agency licensed in your state to complete your home study and we will serve as the primary provider/placing agency. We will then guide you to apply for approval from USCIS and compile a dossier that is sent to India, requesting approval from CARA.
After your case is approved by CARA, our program staff works with you to identify a child for whom you would be an appropriate match. Children are identified via an online portal operated by CARA. Depending on openness to gender and identified needs, we anticipate the wait for a referral to be 3-18 months from the time of approval by CARA; although this timing fluctuates.
At least one trip to India is required, though some cases require two trips or one extended trip. Trips may be 2-3 weeks, but a minimum of ten days is anticipated per trip. The variance in travel (one or two trips and length of trip(s)) depends on the court process as well as the child’s health and age (due to U.S. immigration policy for certain health conditions). Travel typically occurs 7-11 months after CARA’s No Objection Certificate (NOC) and the dossier is filed in court by the Indian agency (SAA).India Adoption Cost Estimate