Adopting a child from India
Who can adopt?
|Who can adopt?||Who can’t adopt?|
|Married couples||Same sex couples|
|Single people||De facto couples|
Please note: You can only adopt from India if you live in Queensland or the Northern Territory.
If you are interested in the program but live outside of Queensland or the Northern Territory, you can subscribe to Intercountry Adoption Australia mailing list to receive updates on the India-Australia program and other intercountry adoption programs.
Children you can adopt from India
Children needing intercountry adoption are:
- children aged between 2 and 5
- sibling groups and children aged 5 years or older
- children with special needs
India defines special needs as:
- mentally ill
- physically challenged
- children with a condition that has long-term effects and can’t be corrected
Children with mild or correctable medical conditions or mild to moderate developmental delays (emotional, physical or social) aren’t considered special needs.
Only 1 child can be adopted at a time, unless part of a sibling group.
Specific eligibility criteria to adopt from India
If you’re interested in adopting a child from India, you need to meet the eligibility criteria of your state or territory central authority (STCA). You will also need to meet the following India criteria:
- you need to have been married for at least 2 years
- you can’t be a de facto or same sex couple
- if you’re a single female you can adopt a child of any gender
- if you’re a single male you can only adopt a male child
Both you and your partner (or if you’re single) need to:
- have a minimum age gap of 25 years between yourselves and your child
- be no older than 45 to adopt a child up to 4 years of age
- be no older than 50 to adopt a child aged between 4 and 8 years
- be no older than 55 to adopt a child aged between 8 and 18 years
- you need to be physically, mentally and emotionally stable
- you can’t suffer from any chronic, contagious or fatal disease or any mental or physical condition that will prevent you from caring for a child
- most STCAs advise one of you must be an Australian citizen
- India gives preference to Indian citizens and the following:
- non-resident Indians
- overseas citizen of India (a foreign citizen of Indian origin who holds an overseas citizen of India card)
Number of children in your family
- if you already have 3 or more children you will only be considered for children with special needs, or if adopting as a relative or step-parent
- you need to supply your criminal record check
Waiting times are difficult to estimate due to processing requirements. Your application is valid for 2 years from acceptance in India. After 2 years, you will need to update your application to keep it current.
Cost of adopting a child from India
The estimated fee is US$5,000.
On top of state and territory central authority fees, there are other expenses such as:
- translation fees
- travel and accommodation costs
Travel to India
Travel times vary depending on the location of the child, exit permit timeframes and if a judge needs to be present at the court hearing.
After the adoption
You will need to complete post-placement reports for 2 years as follows:
- quarterly reports for the first year after the child’s arrival in Australia
- half-yearly reports during the second year of the child’s arrival in Australia
These reports are important to ensure your child is settling in to your family and their new social environment.
You may also need to complete post-placement reports for your state or territory central authority.
Immigration and citizenship for your child
Once you have the adoption certificate, your child is eligible to apply for Australian citizenship. You can then apply for an Australian passport so they can travel back to Australia with you.
Your child could also travel to Australia on adoption visa (subclass 102). When you enter Australia, you will need to apply for ‘citizenship by conferral’, as soon as possible.
Hague Convention information
India will attempt to place a child within a family in India before deciding if a child can be placed through intercountry adoption.
The central authority in India is Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA).
- Learn more about the citizenship requirements for the adoption of children from outside Australia
- You can access local and community adoption support, as well as the Intercountry Adoptee and Family Support Service
- You can learn more about India at Department of Foreign Affairs – India