Adopting a child to create a family has been an age-old Indian practice; it was common to take on and bring up as one’s own, the child of a relative/friend or an orphan. Primarily, adoption aimed at carrying on the ‘family-line’. Property matters and inheritance rights necessitated the legalization of Adoptions; Adoptions are formalized under the following Acts:
HAMA – Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956: Hindus, including Sikhs, Jains & Buddhists can adopt under this Act.
GAWA – Guardians And Wards Act, 1890: Foreigners and non-Hindus can obtain guardianship under this Act.
JJA– Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act 2000 (amended in 2006): A child of either sex can be given in adoption by the court to a person irrespective of his/her marital status and number of biological or adopted children.
Children who are legally-free may be placed in adoption both, within and outside the country. All adoptions are regulated by the Central Adoption Resource Authority an autonomous body under the Ministry of Women and Child Development. CARA frames guidelines that must be followed by all listed Adoption agencies.