They pose as single parents to circumvent domestic law

To adopt kids, foreigners shed live-in tag
Sandeep Moudgal and Chethan Kumar, Bangalore, December 13, DHNS:

As India gets stringent with its adoption laws, more so in the case of couples in live-in relationships, foreigners, especially the Westerners do not even mind shedding their ‘live-in’ tag to adopt and take home their bundle of joy.

According to sources in the Women and Child Development Department (WCD)?a lot of these people, pose as single parents as it helps them circumvent the Indian laws on adoption, which bar couples in a live-in relationship, even if they are foreigners, from adopting a child. Ramesh Zalki, Secretary, WCD, confirmed that the laws do not permit any live-in couple, regardless of their nationality to adopt children in India.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Nina Nayak, Chairperson, Karnataka State Child Rights Commission (KSCRS) said:?“It is hard to keep a tab on illegal adoption as most couples do not declare their marital status when they seek adoption. And given that most of them meet the requirements meant for single parents, the adoption process is completed.”

Steady marital status

As per the adoption guidelines, any couple, regardless of nationality, has to produce evidence of a steady marital status of three to five years. Sources claim that foreigners pose as single parents precisely for the same reason.

Indian laws require foreign couples or persons to come through Authorised Foreign Adoption Agencies (AFAA) or Foreign Social and Child Welfare Agency recognised by the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) here.

Before the adoption process, such persons need to obtain a no objection certificate from CARA before which they should have registered with an AFFA.

Home study

The rules also prescribe that a professional social worker of the AFAA or Central Authority or Government Department dealing with adoption matters in the country of the habitual residence (365 days or more) of the prospective adoption parents (PAPs), shall conduct their home study.

Besides, the PAPs, with the assistance of AFAA should obtain the permission of the competent authority of their country for adopting a child from India.

The Hague Convention

In case of foreign nationals who are citizens of a country that has ratified the Hague Convention and living in India for one year or more, the PAPs shall approach CARA along with a no objection certificate to the proposed adoption from the embassy or mission of the country of their nationality.