Central Adoption Resource Authority [CARA]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jun 1, 2022, 5:42

Adoption is the process by which an adopted child becomes the lawful child of their adoptive parents and enjoys all the rights and privileges as that of a biological child.

Central Adoption Resource Authority [CARA] is a statutory body under the Ministry of Women and Child Development of the Government of India. It is formed to regulate and monitor in-country and inter-country adoptions of abandoned, orphaned and surrendered children through its recognised adoption agencies.

Set up in 1990, the Central Adoption Resource Authority [CARA] was given statutory status under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. CARA is formed in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption, 1993.

Central Adoption Resource Authority [CARA] Fundamental Principles

In India, there are some fundamental principles governing adoption. They are -

  • The child's best interests shall be given paramount importance while processing any adoption placement.
  • Preference will be given to placing children in adoption with Indian citizens and to be placed in their socio-cultural environment as far as possible.
  • All adoptions will be registered on the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance Systems, and confidentiality will be maintained.

Different Stakeholders in the Adoption Process in India

Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA): The CARA issues guidelines for the smooth functioning of the adoption process and the procedures to be followed by the different stakeholders.

State Adoption Resource Authority (SARA): This acts as a nodal body within states and promotes and coordinates the adoption process with the Central Adoption Resource Authority [CARA].

Specialized Adoption Agency (SAA): The Specialized Adoption Agency is recognised under the Juvenile Justice (Care and protection of children) Act for placing children in adoption.

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Authorised Foreign Adoption Agency (AFAA): On the recommendation of the Central Authority or the Government Department of the foreign country, the Central Adoption Resource Authority [CARA] authorises foreign child welfare agencies for coordinating on all matters relating to the adoption of an Indian child by a citizen of that foreign country.

District Child Protection Unit (DCPU): The DCPU identifies orphaned, abandoned or surrendered children in the district and gets them declared as legally free for adoption by the Children Welfare Committee.

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Central Adoption Resource Authority [CARA] Adoption procedure

Firstly, specialised adoption agencies study and prepare a home study report on the eligibility of the prospective adoptive parents. They must be registered on the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS).

Then, based on the seniority in the adoption list, prospective children are offered, and the specialised adoption agency secures a court order that approves the adoption. Non-residents must approach the authorised adoption agencies in their respective foreign countries for registering under CARINGS. The Central Adoption Resource Authority [CARA] then issues a pre-adoption 'no-objection' certificate which is then followed by a court order.

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FAQs on the Central Adoption Resource Authority [CARA]

Q1. Why was the Central Adoption Resource Authority [CARA] formed?

The Central Adoption Resource Authority [CARA] was formed to promote and regulate the adoption of orphaned and abandoned children.

Q2. Does the Central Adoption Resource Authority [CARA] have to issue a NOC in all cases of adoption?

The Central Adoption Resource Authority [CARA] has to issue a NOC in all cases of inter-country adoptions.

Q3. Is the Central Adoption Resource Authority [CARA] a statutory body?

Yes, the Central Adoption Resource Authority [CARA] is a statutory body under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Q4. When was the Central Adoption Resource Authority [CARA] formed?

The Central Adoption Resource Authority [CARA] was set up in June 1990.