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Now we have a new legislation called "Juvenile & Justice Act, 2015" replacing the JJ Act of 2000. In this new act, adoption has assumed a significant importance with an exclusive chapter. Subscribe and follow this blog for more information in the days to come.

Monday, July 23, 2007

New CARA guidelines # 1

(These guidelines are reprinted from the guidelines that are on CARA web site for comments. Kindly join in the discussion to debate about the pros/ cons of these new guidelines. Feel free to leave your comments in the comments section below)

PROCEDURE FOR ADOPTION BY INDIAN PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENTS (IPAP) RESIDING IN INDIA

6.4.1 Stage I (Registration)

Prospective adoptive parent(s) may register themselves with SAA/DM/ACA/SARA. Provisional registration by PAPs through Internet shall be accepted. SAA/SARA are contact points for adoption information/application form/checklist of documents. In case CARA receives a particular request from a PAP to adopt, it shall forward the application to concerned SARA for appropriate response.

6.4.2 Stage II (Pre-adoption counseling & Preparation of the PAPs)

Most of the PAPs have got several queries to be addressed and it is important that the PAPs take informed decision after understanding how to go about it.

6.4.3 Stage III (Home Study and Other requirements)

A home study report (HSR) of the prospective adoptive parents will be prepared based on the prescribed Guidelines by the social worker of the SAA or SARA may authorize any other competent person to prepare HSR. To allay the fears and apprehensions of the prospective adoptive parent(s), pre-adoptive counseling sessions will be undertaken by the social worker during the preparation of the home study report. Assessing the ability of a couple to parent a child not born to them is of crucial importance in a successful adoption. Therefore, their suitability to care for an unrelated child is assessed through this home study and counselling. Documents relating to the financial and health status of the prospective parent(s) will be part of the Home Study Report.

In case of Inter-State adoption applications by parent(s), HSR may be completed where the PAP is residing and further forwarded to the SARA in other State. HSR completed by any authorized individual/professional social worker of SAA shall remain relevant for any other SAA in the country.

Criteria for eligibility of parent(s) will be adhered to as per prescribed norm. The Agency will make a suitable reference from amongst the admitted children legally free for adoption. PAP’s eligibility is to be determined on the basis of Home Study Report (HSR) and supporting documents.

6.4.4 Stage IV(Matching, Referral, Consent and confirmation of adoption proposal)

Matching of a proposed child with a PAP where HSR has already been completed can start only if the competent authority has established the fact that the child is free for adoption.

After a Home Study has been accepted and approved, a child will be shown to the parent(s). The SAA/RIPA will take care to match a child meeting the description, if any, desired by the parent(s). Referrals to a particular PAPs may be given up to 3 children matching the desire of the couple and best interest of the child.

In case of placement of older children (above the age of 6), both written and verbal consent of the child will be obtained.

Matching of a child with PAP is the most important task left to the SAA which has to be decided only keeping the priority of “the best interest of the child”. The need of the child is superior to the desire of the PAPs. Matching should be assigned to a team constituting members, i.e. Secretary of the SAA, Sr Professional Social Worker, Visiting Medical Officer, Lawyer and such other members who are key role players in the particular institution.

Referral of a Child means referring adoption proposal of a child for a considered opinion of the PAP. It should include a copy of the CSR and PER for perusal of the PAP.
Once the PAPs put their signature on CSR and PER, formal acceptance of the PAP is confirmed. Acceptance by the PAP leads to the conclusion that the couple has accepted the proposed child to adopt and offer him/her a loving and caring family. The PAPs are advised to see the child physically before they give their acceptance.

SAAs are required to help PAPs for availing birth certificates from competent authorities
SARA can intervene in any particular situation including in matters related to referral and placement decision and its decision shall be final in all cases of domestic adoption.

6.4.5 Stage V (Legal Procedure)

Once a successful matching has been done, the agency will file a petition in the appropriate Court for obtaining the necessary orders under the relevant Act. Pending court order, the PAPs may be allowed by the SAA to keep the child in pre-adoption foster care after signing a foster care affidavit. The adoption petition may contain all requisite documents as prescribed in Annexure-G.

The child can be legally placed with the parent(s) under JJ-Act or HAMA. The prospective parents should be informed about the two different Acts available and the ramifications of each one. It would be left to them to decide as to which Act they would like to file their petition. SAA shall forward a copy of the adoption order to CWC & SARA. In case of Inter-country adoption, a copy of the order must be sent to CARA.

6.4.6 Stage VI (Follow up visits and post-adoption services)

Once an order has been issued, it should be followed by regular follow-up visits and post adoption counseling by the social worker till the child is adjusted in the new environment. The follow up should preferably be for a period of one year at-least or as directed by the Court.

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