India Frequently Asked Questions

When did America World start a program in India?
The India program opened in August 2011. AW has been licensed in the country of India for several years and has supported orphanage development projects and sent staff to meet with government and orphanage officials.
What is the timeline for an adoption from India?
The adoption process timelines are subject to vary per family and to change as the family moves through each stage of their adoption process. The total timeframe it will take each family to complete their adoption will depend on the following:

Family Document Collecting- the average document collecting or “paper-chasing” takes 4-6 months, though some families may take longer.

Referral Wait Time: Once a dossier is submitted to the adoption authority (CARA) it will be assigned by CARA to a licensed orphanage (RIPA). It is the RIPA’s responsibility to match prospective adoptive families with children available for adoption. The length of time it takes a RIPA to match a child with a family will depend upon many factors, including the family’s child request, the children available at that orphanage and the number of other families whose dossiers are also with that RIPA waiting to be matched.

Overall, families entering the program should come in with the expectation that the process could change or get longer as you are in the process.
My family has 3 or more children in the home; are we still eligible for an adoption from India?
Yes, you can apply but your application is considered to be more risky as CARA may choose to reject your family’s application based on number of children in the home. While there is no adoption law to support this, many agencies have experienced this in the past and are cautious when advising families with 3 or more children in the home.
Do both parents have to be American citizens?
No, both parents do not have to be American citizens, but at least one must be.
Can American citizens who live abroad adopt through America World?
Yes. We will work with these families on a case by case basis.
Are single women allowed to adopt from India?
Yes, single women are allowed to adopt from India.
What is the age range of children that are available?
The ages of children available range from infants to teenagers. America World recommends that families that are not of Indian origin are open to the adoption of a child over the age of two due to the fact that adoption placements are prioritized first for domestic placements, then parents of Indian heritage who live abroad, then general international adoption placements. However, we do see an increasing number of placements of children under the age of two, please speak with India staff for more information on the likelihood of this for your family.
Are families permitted to adopt more than one child or sibling groups?
Unrelated adoptions are not permitted through the India program.
Why are the children in orphanages?
Some of the children in orphanages in India are true orphans in that they have lost both of their parents to death or abandonment. In other situations, children may reside in orphanages because the parents have lost their parental rights due to abuse or neglect. Children may also be relinquished to an orphanage by a parent.
How much information is available about the birth parents?
The amount of information available about the child’s birth parents varies depending on the circumstances. Often times, little or no information is available. You will be provided with all the information available from the orphanage at the time of referral.
Are the children healthy?
Families can request an older child with no known medical need. However, there is no guarantee that a medical condition might not come up later as could be the case with a biological child. Families should also be prepared for institutionalization and developmental delays or other associated conditions. Children in the orphanages are seen by a medical doctor before referrals are given to families and are tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and TB. The medical information is provided to the family as part of the referral, information on the child’s health and background. Families may also choose to request to adopt a child with a medical special need and can complete research with their doctor and social worker to indicate the types of medical needs they feel they have the resources and ability to care for, and indicate this to AW and CARA.
How are travel arrangements handled?
America World works in conjunction with the orphanage and adoptive family to help coordinate the adoption trip. America World helps make travel arrangements including flights, accommodations and appointments. In cases where a family wants to plan their own travel and stay with relatives for a portion of the adoption trip, this can be arranged on a case by case basis and will depend on the circumstances of the adoption.
Do both parents have to travel?
America World strongly encourages both parents to travel; in extenuating circumstances, it may be possible for just one parent to travel.
What does a typical adoption trip look like?
Families can expect to travel for 7-10 days. Most trips will include visiting the orphanage where the child is living and will end in Delhi where the family will work with the US Consulate to receive the child’s visa. There is one region in India that requires a two trip process, where the family is also present for court. The one trip process is most common.
What are the post adoption requirements?
There are four post adoption reports required in the first two years. Additional reports are required if citizenship is not established within the first 2 years.