Govt. To Ease Rules For NRIs, OCIs Adopting In India To Take Child Back To Country Of Residence

The government of India is ready to notify new regulations that NRI and OCI cardholders who adopt a child under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act 1956 (HAMA) will get a no-objection certificate to take the child with them to their country of residence.   

Aiming to provide the NOC to allow the child to leave the country with the adoptive parents, the government is likely to bring the regulations into force, enabling the Central Adoption Resources Authority (CARA) that executes inter-country adoptions under the Juvenile Justice Act, to do the same. As per the government statement, NRI and OCI cardholders will be treated at par in line with the home ministry guidelines.    

According to the women and child development ministry, the new regulations will address the security concerns and fear of trafficking in the garb of adoption by conducting a detailed verification process of the family. A report on the same would be presented to CARA within one month by the district authorities to approve an adoption case under the JJ Act. Senior officials from the same ministry said if the new regulations come into effect, these will bridge the gap between JJ Act and HAMA in inter-country adoptions.   

Though the government is set to introduce a new set of regulations, the move has been much debated. However, after several debates and consultations over bridging the gaps between JJ Act and HAMA and address this critical concern, it will soon be passed.   

As adoptions under HAMA are not merged with JJ Act, CARA, the only authority for inter-country adoptions, is not allowed to give a NOC yet, which is a mandatory requirement under the Hague Convention. Under HAMA, only a Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh can adopt a child.   

NRI parents who have adopted a child under HAMA were unable to get a NOC because of this legal constraint and had to go to court to seek orders to take their child back to their country of residence. The situation is going to change if the new regulations are brought into force. 

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