If you wish to adopt, you can register with the Adoption Coordinating Agency (ACA), which is the nodal coordination agency for Karnataka, recognised by the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) that facilitates adoptions across the country. CARA falls under the ministry of Women and Child Development.
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One can also approach recognised Indian Placement Agencies (RIPA) or the government funded Shishu Griha. The agency you adopt through should be well known and licensed.
IYC Community Centre, 1st Cross, 2nd Block, RT Nagar, Bangalore 560032
Ph: 65346724, 23435548
Once the parents have registered with an agency with required documentation, a home study is conducted by a social worker associated with the agency. They look into the parents’ social, economic and family background and also ascertain whether the parent is psychologically and emotionally ready to adopt. After the initial survey, prospective adoptive parents should submit documents related to their financial and health status to the agency.
Once the Home Study is complete a child is identified for the couple. This is where the waiting period comes in, depending on the availability of a boy or girl as indicated by the parents. Agencies usually try to match the child with the parents.
Once a child is identified and the parents are informed and if they decide to go ahead, they are given non-identifying information and other details about the child. They are then asked to take the child for a non invasive medical examination to a doctor of their choice.
After this the agency appoints a date for the parents to take the child home in Foster Care. This is the temporary agreement of a child entrusted to the parents until the adoption is legally approved. During this period the social workers visits to check on the child as well as assist the parents with problems, if they crop up.
The parents can start the legal paperwork in the court after this. Usually the agency recommends a lawyer well versed with the legal formalities of adoption.
Hindus, Buddists, Sikhs and Jains can adopt under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act (HAMA) 1956. Christians, Muslins, Parsis and Jews can adopt under the Guardians and Wards Act 1890. The recently enacted Juvenile Justice Act 2000 gives options to both Hindus and non-Hindus. The parents need to discuss with their social worker and lawyer which Act they would like to file their petition under and whether they are eligible to do so.
How a support network Helps
Dr Saraswati Srinath started Sudatta with a group of adoptive parents who would meet regularly to discuss issues related to adoption. Started in 1997, Sudatta today has 150 members. "Adoption is a lifelong journey," says Dr Saraswathi, "Different challenges can come up in different stages and parents should be ready for it." According to her, being part of a support group helps in sharing experiences and with issues like telling your child, handling questions in the teenage years and many more.
Click here for Sudatta’s website.
Prospective parents can become members right from the time they start the adoption process. "I always advise couples to treat the long waiting period as preparation time. When you are a biological parent, you wait nine months for a child, don’t you?" she asks.