India Adoption


About The Children

There are close to 1,000 children on India’s CARINGs site.  Most have moderate to severe special needs.  Families with Indian heritage may wait for a direct referral from CARA of a healthier child.  Families without Indian heritage must be open to a child with special needs.

Waiting Children are between 6 months and 16 years of age. The India program includes three categories, relative to your heritage:

·         NRI:  One spouse is an Indian citizen and the other is a US Citizen.  This will be a Hague adoption process and your child will become a US citizen.  NRI families are eligible to adopt a young child with no known health problems.

·         OCI – US Citizens, of which one or both parents have Overseas Citizen of India status.  You are eligible to adopt a young child with no known health problems.  Most OCI families are also open to a child with minor and/or correctible special needs.  OCI are treated on par with NRI families.

·         Foreign – Families with no Indian heritage or Indian families that do not qualify as NRI or OCI.  The reality of the program requires us to counsel foreign families to be open to considering a child with moderate to severe special needs, or a child over age 10. Applications from families hoping to adopt only healthy young children (unless they are NRI/OCI) will result in many years of waiting and possibly not receiving a referral at all

NOTE:  At least one spouse must be a US Citizen to adopt a child from a foreign country.  Unfortunately, Permanent Residents and those living and/or working in the USA under other types of visas do not qualify.


The prospective adoptive parents (PAPS) should be financially stable to support a child comfortably.
Couples must be married for a minimum of two years.
Single women are eligible to adopt a child of any gender. Single men shall not be eligible to adopt a girl child.
The age of prospective adoptive parents as on the date of complete registration shall be counted for deciding the age group of the child you apply for. The eligibility of prospective adoptive parents to apply for children of different age groups shall be as under – All age requirements will be emailed to you upon request.
Couples with two children shall only be considered for special needs children. The minimum age difference between the child and either of the PAPS should not be less than twenty-five years.
Waiting Children are between 6 months and 16 years of age. There are four categories: no known health issues, physically challenged, mentally challenged, and multiple disabilities.

Travel and Time Frame


India has recently made changes in the legalization process, wherein District Magistrates will now hear adoption cases instead of District Court Judges. This was done in an effort to streamline the process. This may result in faster time frames for finalization and hopefully a one-trip process.

Time Frame

NRI and OCI families are currently waiting 36+ months for a healthy referral of a young child from CARA.

NOTE: Wait times are estimated and based on our current experience. All wait times are subject to change without notice. The estimated time between referral acceptance and travel to bring your child home is 6-10 months, depending on the court.



CHI has worked in India since 1975.  We have professionals in India, as well as our U.S. staff ready to assist you through all the adoption steps.  Please contact us for a conversation about your adoption.

Want To Learn More
About India?

CHI will be happy to talk to you to discuss your hopes and dreams concerning adopting from India.  Please contact us for a confidential conversation about your questions and thoughts.  Please also see the following sites.

Click here to go to the State Department Website!

Click here to go to the Centers for Disease Control Website on International Adoption!

Click here to go to the CIA World Factbook on all countries!

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in India?

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