Adopting Previous Child of Spouse

CARA is a central government body that monitors and regulates all adoptions in the country. According to the earlier adoption process and rules, only orphan, abandoned or surrendered children were allowed for adoption. But the Government has made changes and according to the latest regulations “the child of a relative and the child or children of a spouse from an earlier marriage, surrendered by the biological parents are eligible for adoption.”

In case of stepparent adoption, the couple (stepparent and one of the biological parents) will have to register with the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System. To file an application in a court to obtain an adoption order approval of the other biological parent is necessary.

Adoption Procedure in India:

  • The couple including one of the biological parents will have to register with CARA first. Follow the guidelines and steps. CARA representatives also provide help to complete the process.
  • The biological father is the natural guardian of the child. So to file an application in the court to get an adoption order, consent of the other biological parent is required.
  • The Applicant or spouse of that applicant who intends to adopt the child or children of the biological parent, need to file an application in the District Court where they reside. Consent of Biological parents and step-parents, other documents are required.
  • The Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) should produce original documents along with two copies on which self-attestation is done for undergoing a legal adoption procedure.
  • The concerned court shall satisfy itself of the various conditions stipulated before Before issuing an adoption order. If the custody of the child is under litigation, the adoption process shall be initiated only after the finalization of the case by the concerned court.
  • The couple shall obtain a certified copy of the adoption order from the concerned court and furnish a copy of the same online to the Authority through Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System.
  • Biological father NOC is also needed to change the name of the child in the passport.
  • Adoptions under Hindu law are governed by the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1965 which has several restrictions.
  • As per rules of Ministry of External Affairs Circular No.VI/401/01/05/2008 dated 05.10.2009 serial No.4(2) “In the event of remarriage after divorce, the name of step-father/step-mother cannot be written in the passport of children from the previous marriage. The relationship of the child to his biological parents subsists, even after divorce by parents. It is also not possible to leave the column of father or mother blank in the passport in such cases. Therefore, such applicants must write the names of their biological parents in the application form. However, if the stepfather or stepmother is appointed by a Court as a legal guardian, the name of such step-parent can be written as legal guardian”.
  • It won’t be possible to exclude the biological father’s name in the passport. Delhi High court has held that for a valid degree of adoption father consent is necessary. Even if he has given custody to his mother he continues to be his biological father.