step adoption

Adoption Process for Step Parents in India

                                       Adopting Previous Child of Spouse

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

In case of step-parent adoption, one of the biological parents will have to register with 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.

According to the CEO of CARA, Lt Colonel Deepak Kumar ” There is no law in India to define legal relationship between a step parent and a step child. A step child has no claim to the step parent’s property. Nor is the child legally obliged to look after the step parent in his or her old age. Once the child becomes mature, he/she is free to break all connections. Besides, such a child does not have legal right of inheritance.

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 representative also provides help to complete the process.
  • Biological father is natural Guardian of child. So to file an application in the court to get 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 legal guardian, the name of such step-parent can be written as legal guardian”.
  • It won’t be possible to exclude biological father name in passport. Delhi High court has held that for valid degree of adoption father consent is necessary. Even if he has given custody to mother he continues to be biological father.