Adoption & Foster Family Care for children awaiting adoption

Option of Adoption

Initiation of the process of adoption starts with some unsettled thoughts; and is accompanied with high emotions for a majority of Prospective Adoptive Parent/s (PAP/s). During the interaction which takes place during the Home Study process, they have a chance to reflect on complex personal and social issues, before coming to an informed decision.

The Process

The current process of adoption is set out by the Adoption Regulatory Body - Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), under the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India. Agencies like ours are authorized to work with CARA in providing adoption services for domestic and international adoption. Prospective Adoptive Parent/s (PAP/s) search for initial information about adoption, which we provide over the phone, by E-mail and in person; also guidance and counselling to those who seek it for themselves, family or friends.

Steps in the Process

  • Register online on the CARA website: with name of a local authorized agency (e.g. IAPA) for conducting 'Home Study' and preparing 'Assessment Report'.
  • Home study is an interactive process. While assessing their suitability, PAPs are also guided, counseled and helped in preparing for adoptive parenthood.
  • Assessment Report is posted by the agency on CARA’s Online System - Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS).
  • CARINGS system puts the PAPs on a waiting list, for matching the child and the PAPs
  • PAPs are offered a child online, from the state/s that they have given preference for.
  • PAPs travel to the location of the agency to see the child; get themselves approved by that agency and the local State authority, before seeing and finalizing their acceptance of the child or otherwise.
  • Petition is filed in the Designated Court for legal process; conditional custody is given to PAPs.
  • IAPA role may continue or may terminate after Court grants Adoption Order.

OVERVIEW on IAPA’s Role in Adoption:
The adoption process is simultaneously connected with the Child, the Prospective Adoptive Parent/s (PAP/s) and the birth parent/s (if in picture).

  • The Child: The child - abandoned, orphaned or surrendered - is placed in IAPA's custody, for care and rehabilitation through adoption. The local Child Welfare Committee (CWC)determines, after due diligence, if adoption is the appropriate alternative. IAPA looks after the child in a Foster Family working with it till the child is permanently rehabilitated through adoption or another suitable alternative.
  • Prospective Adoptive Parent/s: During the Home Study process, the PAPs not only learn about the social and legal aspects of adoption but more importantly they reflect with the adoption social worker on their life so far; voice their hopes and clear their doubts or fears. In the process they may gain understanding and insight into their imminent parenthood of a child who is unknown and non-related.
  • Birth Family: Social and emotional support is given to the birth family to go through the process of relinquishing their child. Counseling and guidance is provided for the necessary procedure and paperwork for legally surrendering the child, when they have made a firm decision to do so. The process of surrender takes place before the members of CWC. The birth family in some cases remain in need of help for their own rehabilitation or /and for emotional support; for which we provide assistance.

As an agency concerned with the immediate and the life-long interest of the child, we extend our work with the child’s birth family, adoptive family and grown up adoptees, for an indefinite period of time. Some of the ways of doing so, include :

Some of them are:

  • Services of our Post-adoption counseling cell - Resourced by a psychotherapist and IAPA staff, it provides counseling to adoptive families who are struggling to deal with issues related to their adoptive status. These services are open to adoptive families from other adoption agencies also.
  • Annual Family Meet - An annual event much looked forward to by adoptive families, it is aimed at promoting social integration of adoptive families, in an informal and fun-filled atmosphere. Besides getting the opportunity to share experiences, it is a forum where adoptive families can connect and strengthen their bonds with each other.
  • Workshops - Regular workshops are held for adoptive parents, on vital topics like sharing the fact of adoption, parenting challenges, and other related subjects.

Foster Family Care for children awaiting adoption:

The Foster Family Care (FFC) programme for children awaiting adoption which started in early 1980, marked a departure from the prevailing practice of care to such children in residential institutions. Started with the firm belief that an infant or young child needs the warmth and personalized care that only a family can offer, foster families recruited by IAPA provide such care on a one-to-one basis, to children born under various harsh realities.

Fostering children who are born in or have lived through adverse circumstances is a very challenging task. Many of them are in poor to critical health and require good medical care to stabilize their health. The responsibilities for their visits to doctors, giving medicine, providing nursing and nutrition, are part of the foster parents’ care.

In a few cases where the child’s adoption does not materialize due to medical or legal issues, the child may stay in foster care longer, or other suitable arrangement be made for the child’s specialized care. There have been two instances when foster families have legally adopted infants with special needs, who couldn’t go into adoption.

Foster families are selected as per the criteria laid down, based on their ability to care for and meet children’s needs with warmth and understanding. Close support, supervision and capacity building is provided from time to time, to assist them in child care.

Personalized attention and loving nurture provided by foster families, plays a major role in providing a secure foundation to infants under their care; allowing them to blossom into healthy and happy children, for their placement in a forever home through adoption.

Foster Care