Specialised Adoption Agency (SAA)
In order to facilitate the placement of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children in adoption, the JJ Act empowers the State Government to recognize one or more of its childcare institutions or voluntary organizations in each district as Specialised Adoption Agency (SAA) for placing children in in-country adoption. Each SAA shall carry out the following functions:
Role towards children
SAA shall perform the following functions:
a) Be responsible for care, protection and well being of every child in its care and shall cater to their health needs; special care for children with special needs; emotional and psychological needs; educational and training needs; leisure and recreational activities; protection from all kinds of abuse, neglect and exploitation; social mainstreaming; restoration and follow-up etc.
b) Restore the child to his/her parent(s) soon after his/her admission in the institution, provided that such restoration is in the best interest of the child.
c) Report all cases of admissions, restorations, transfers, adoptions and death of children, and any children missing from the institution, to CWC, SARA/ACA and any other appropriate authority.
d) Be responsible for birth registration of a child placed in its care. If a child already has a given name, the same shall be retained. In case no name is known, the SAA shall give an appropriate name.
e) Prepare individual care plans for each child following the principle of the best interest of the child. In preparing individual care plan, the care options in the following order of preferences shall be considered: (i) Restoration efforts/preserving the biological family; (ii) In-country adoption; (iii) Inter-country Adoption; (iv) Other non-institutional Care and (v) Institutional Care.
f) Create a Baby/Child Book as soon as a child enters an institution, which would include photo album of the child, history and details of the child’s life so far (cases of surrendering parents should not be mentioned) and interests of the child. This book will form part of the file to be handed over to the family with whom the child is placed.
g) Make efforts to place each child who has been declared legally free for adoption by CWC in adoption with loving and caring PAP(s) expeditiously.
h) Be responsible for matching, referral and the legal procedure related to the adoption as provided in these Guidelines.
i) Prepare every adoptable child psychologically for his/her assimilation with the adoptive family and the new surroundings.
j) Facilitate visitation between suitable PAP(s) and the children proposed for adoption.
k) Ensure that Siblings and twins are placed in the same family and are not separated.
l) Monitor the wellbeing of the child placed in adoption or in non-institutional care for a period of 2 years from the date of such placement, through post placement progress reports. It shall also discharge all responsibilities assigned to it under these guidelines in cases of disruption.
m) Keep all post-adoption records in a manner, which should not be accessible to common public.
n) Facilitate root search by the adoptive child, If the child desires to know his/her history, especially information relating to his/her biological mother, father and siblings. However, in doing so the age and maturity of the child would be a consideration. In case of unwed mother or other parents not willing to be contacted, SAA shall not pass on the information regarding the biological mother to the child or the adoptive parents.
(o) Submit child status report on the online reporting system available on the website www.adoptionindia.nic.in
Role towards Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs)
a) Not deny registration to any PAP(s) unless stipulated conditions are not fulfilled or required documents not submitted within a reasonable time.
b) Complete the Home Study Reports of all PAP(s) registered with them, expeditiously within a maximum period of four months from the date of their registration with SAA. The prescribed format for Home Study Reports is at Annex-VII. Such report shall be prepared by trained professionals and shall clearly indicate the suitability of the PAP(s) for taking a child in adoption.
c) Continuously update the PAP(s) about the status of their applications.
d) Provide information about the medical history of the child to PAP(s) and advise the PAPs to have the child’s medical assessment done by their own doctor.
e) Inform the PAPs about the health status of a Special Needs child if such a child is proposed for adoption.
f) Place a child in pre-adoption Foster Care after on completion of assigning and referral and after observing necessary formalities as laid down in these guidelines.
g) Not discriminate against any PAP(s) on the ground of being single. However, such cases will be thoroughly scrutinized in order to ensure that the single PAP is capable of taking care of the child.
h) Extend post adoption services such as counselling etc., to the PAPs, if requied.
i) Entitled to receive registration fee, HSR fee and contribution from PAPs towards CCF. However, this would be strictly as per amounts prescribed in these guidelines (Annex-I).
j) Treat PAP(s) with respect and due courtesies and render necessary assistance & advice as and when required.
Role towards Biological Parent(s)
a) Treat the birth parent(s) surrendering a child with respect and dignity throughout the surrender process. The SAA shall obtain appropriate information from birth parent(s) before surrender of the child. The SAA shall encourage the biological parent(s) surrendering a child to provide maximum information about the child’s background and development as well as their own health.
b) Not enter into any commitment/agreement with biological parents regarding adoption of a child prior to his or her birth. The SAA shall not make any promise of, or give any, financial support to the biological parents that could influence them to surrender their child.
c) Explain to the parents the implications of surrendering their child including the possibility of adoption of the child by foreigners and of no further contact with him/her. The SAA shall also inform the parent(s) that they would get a reconsideration period of sixty days from the date of surrender during which they can take back the child.
d) Respect the wish of the surrendering parent(s), to the extent possible, if they state a preference for the religious upbringing of the child. However, the best interest of the child shall be the paramount consideration.
e) Maintain the confidentiality of unwed mother and the biological parent(s).
The SAAs shall provide counselling services to PAP(s) and children. Such support shall be provided as and when required by them. In case of a male counsellor, presence of female nursing staff or female superintendent may be ensured during the counseling session. The counselling function shall involve:
(a) Counseling of biological parent(s) in case of surrender
Through counselling, the SAA has to ensure that the consent for surrender and adoption is given by the parent(s), without coercion and without monetary/material consideration. The biological parent(s) should be encouraged not to surrender the child unless keeping the child with the parent(s) is against the best interest of the child. The SAA must counsel and assist the surrendering parent(s) and ensure that they are informed of the possibility of a future contact in the event of a search for roots by their child, and that in such cases, the biological parent(s) would be required to cooperate with the SAA to meet the child. However, unwed mothers may not be required to do so, if they so desire.
(b) Pre-adoption Counselling of PAPs
In case of prospective adoptive parents, counselling must be completed before the Home Study Report is prepared to make them aware of the process of adoption. During the counseling sessions, the qualified Social Workers should, amongst other issues, focus on:
(i) Emotional readiness of couples aspiring to adopt
(ii) Acceptance of adoption as an alternative way of building a family
(iii) Parenting and disciplining
(iv) Sharing the facts of adoption with the child
(v) Child's needs for search of roots
(vi) Bonding and attachment with a child not biologically related
(vii) Concerns about the child's social background and genetic factors
(viii) Issue of selecting the child
(ix) Any other issue that might emerge
PAP(s) may be advised also to contact Adoptive Parents Associations, adoptive families and older adoptees to understand the entire process of adoption.
(c) Counselling of Adopted Children and their Adoptive Parents
SAA must be equipped to extend post-adoption support and counselling services for adopted children and their adoptive parents. The adoptive parents should be counselled, not to change the name of an older child so as to help the child keep his/her identity; to try and keep contact with the child’s cultural roots if possible; to come with the child at a later time and see the Home/City etc. from which the child came and interact freely with his/her caretakers; to keep contact with the agency for as long as the child feels the need; and to keep connected with other children adopted from the same orphanage if possible and if the child so wishes.
The counselling may include other advice specific to the requirements of the child and the adoptive family.
Preparation of Child Study Report (CSR) and Medical Examination Report (MER)
a) The CSR shall be prepared by professional social workers or experienced personnel of the SAA while a paediatrician attached to the SAA shall prepare the MER.
b) A formal Child Study Report shall be prepared as prescribed (Annex-XVIII) in each case once the child is legally free for adoption. The MER (Medical Examination Report) shall also be prepared in the prescribed format at Annex-XIX.
Preparation of HSR and Suitability of Parents
HSR of the PAP(s) shall be prepared in the format which is at Annex-VII by a professional social worker or a competent person as per the provisions laid down in these Guidelines.
Cradle Baby Reception Centre
Cradle points may be set up by SAAs with the help of hospitals/nursing homes for safe abandonment and rehabilitation. The primary objective of this Reception Centre shall be to receive abandoned children and look after them with due care and affection till he/she is given in adoption. Each SAA shall install one cradle at the doorstep to receive such babies.
In addition, the reception centre will receive babies from Cradle Points which may be placed at all the Primary Health Care Centres (PHCs), Hospitals/Nursing Homes, Short-stay homes, Swadhar units/Swadhar reception centres and the office of the DCPS (District Child Protection Unit/Society). Once the Cradle Baby Reception Centre receives a child from a Cradle Point, it should make the following arrangements for rehabilitation of the child:
(i) Provide for proper medical treatment and food as per the advice of the Medical Officer;
(ii) Report the arrival of the child to the Child Welfare Committee;
(iii) Provide for all basic needs of the child;
(iv) Provide care and protection to the child;
(v) Register the birth of the child with the competent authority.
Documentation and Record Keeping
(a) Keep all relevant information such as declaration by CWC; surrender deed of the biological parent/s, CSR, MER including immunisation record, HSR, birth certificate, court order and progress reports etc. in the file of each child. In addition, report of the counselor/social worker, information from previous institution, if any; periodical health reports; IQ testing report and social history, photographs of the child taken at intervals of six months, etc. shall be documented in the case file. As far as possible, a child’s complete record may be scanned, microfilmed and preserved by both, the SAA and SARA, permanently.
b) Make available, whenever required by the inspection team, the case file of each child. Children’s records in the case file should, however, not be revealed or shown to unauthorized persons.
c) Prepared individual Care Plan for each child based on age specific and gender specific needs. The Individual Care Plan shall address the following needs of the child:
(i) Health and medical needs ;
(ii) Emotional and psychological needs;
(iii) Educational and training needs;
(iv) Leisure, creativity and play;
(v) Attachments and relationships;
(vi) Protection from all kinds of abuse, neglect and maltreatment;
(vii) Rehabilitation including reunification with family, adoption and other non- institutional care;
(viii) Social mainstreaming;
(ix) Follow-up after rehabilitation or restoration.
d) SAA shall maintain the following registers:
(i) Master Admission Register,
(ii) Medical and development file of the child
(iii) Case file of the child
(iv) Attendance Register of the children and staff,
(v) Register of PAP(s) with details (date of registration, date of home study report etc.),
(vi) Vouchers, cashbook, ledger, journal and annual accounts,
(vii) Grant Utilization Register,
(viii) Stock Register,
(ix) Record of Minutes of Meetings
e) SAA shall prepare and maintain monthly reports in the prescribed format, Annual reports and Audited Statement of Accounts.
f) SAA shall also maintain other records stipulated under Society’s Registration Act/Trust Act etc. and JJ Act or its corresponding Rules.
SAA shall work in the best interest of children and carry out the following specific responsibilities:
a) Motivate people to adopt;
b) Organize training and development activities to spread awareness about the programme;
c) Evolve its own model/curriculum for training its childcare and professional staff on the basis of model rules or guidelines issued by central government or CARA from time to time;
d) Update online data base on regular basis as prescribed by CARA from time to time;
e) Lodge complaint with SARA, CARA, CWC and police authorities if nursing homes/hospitals or any other person(s) are found involved in illegal adoptions.
Staff in SAAs
The SAA shall employ professional staff and child care staff to cater to the needs of all its children as per norms provided(Annex-XVI).
RIPA (Recognized Indian Placement Agency)
CARA shall give recognition to suitable SAAs to function as Indian Placement Agencies for Inter-country Adoption (RIPA) based on State Government’s recommendations. RIPAs shall function as recognized bodies in accordance with the provisions of Article 11 of Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of Inter Country Adoption– 1993 and shall:
a) Perform all roles and functions assigned to a SAA under these guidelines in addition to specific roles and functions assigned to it in cases of inter-country adoptions.
b) Be staffed by qualified persons of high ethical values and having training or experience in the field of inter-country adoption;
c) Be subject to supervision, monitoring and inspection by competent authorities of the Centre or State.
d) Complete all formalities for Inter-country adoption as provided in these Guidelines;
e) Place children in in-country and inter-country adoption only in a ratio of 80:20 respectively on an annual basis. This would, however, exclude children with special needs as categorised separately in these guidelines. For this purpose, while deciding on whether a child is special needs or not, the final decision would vest with CARA.
f) File progress reports including the adoption decree in case of all
guardianship matters before the competent Court which has issued Guardianship Order.
g) Discharge all responsibilities assigned to it under these guidelines for post-adoption follow-up in all cases of inter-country adoptions and also in cases of disruption, repatriation of children.
Adoption Coordinating Agency (ACA)
Adoption Coordinating Agency (ACA) is a State level organisation for promotion of in-country adoption. The ACA shall carry out the functions prescribed under these Guidelines as well as any other function assigned to it by the State Government/SARA or CARA from time to time. Accordingly, ACA shall:
a) Support SARA in coordination, monitoring, supervision and development of adoption programme in the state;
b) Coordinate the adoption activities of the recognized/licensed CCI/SAA within the State;
c) Circulate particulars of the child referred by one member agency among other Member Agencies for finding suitable Indian family;
d) Circulate the particulars of the Prospective Indian Adoptive Parents referred by one member Agency among other member Agencies for finding a child for adoption;
e) Carry out advocacy and awareness for the popularization of the concept of in-country adoption;
f) Assist SCPS in sensitization, training and capacity building of all adoption functionaries;
g) Carry out follow-up of the children given in adoption by the SAAs;
h) Work together with the concerned child welfare departments, SARA, CARA, Health, Childline and Registrar of Births and Deaths for policy and programme convergence for the benefit of children;
i) Undertake documentation and research on adoption to facilitate policy formulation;
j) Furnish Inspection Report about the SAA as and when required by CARA/SARA/Ministry of Women and Child Development;
k) Assist SARA in coordinating with the Health Department of the State Government and other agencies for combating illegal adoptions that might be taking place directly from the Hospitals & Nursing Homes or other organizations within its jurisdiction.
l) Call for data every month from all SAAs (including RIPAs) in order to monitor the functioning of these agencies and provide comprehensive adoption data to SARA/State Govt and CARA on a monthly basis.
Authorized Foreign Adoption Agency(AFAA)
Authorized Foreign Adoption Agency is a foreign adoption agency authorized by CARA on the basis of its accreditation/recommendation by the Central Authority/ concerned Government Department of that country to coordinate all matters related to adoption of Indian children by the citizens of that country. The AFFA shall perform the following functions:
a) Register the suitable FPAP(s) and prepare their Home Study Report (HSR) in accordance with the provisions laid down under the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption as well as the specific provisions laid down by the Central Authority of the respective country.
b) Forward an attested copy of the FPAP(s)’ dossier directly to CARA for consideration. In no case shall, the AFAA directly transmit any dossier to a RIPA.
c) Approach the RIPA indicated by CARA for getting a referral.
d) On acceptance of the referral by the PAPs, shall communicate the same to the concerned RIPA along with 50 percent of stipulated CCF.
e) Appropriately counsel the FPAP(s) to prepare them to receive and take proper care of their adopted child. If possible, foreign PAP(s) must be given orientation on the culture/language/food of the place to which the adopted child belongs.
f) Follow up with RIPA for ensuring early adoption after receipt of NOC for the adoption from CARA,.
g) Send the remaining 50 percent of the CCF to the RIPA on completion of the adoption process in India and issue of the court order.
h) Keep CARA and concerned RIPA informed about the progress of placement through quarterly post-placement reports during the first year and half yearly reports during the second year of the child’s arrival in the receiving country. Such follow-up shall continue upto a period of two years after the child acquires citizenship of the receiving country.
i) Follow up for early legal adoption and/or grant of citizenship order, as the case may be, in the receiving country and forward a copy of the legal adoption order of the appropriate Authority to CARA and the RIPA. A copy of the citizenship certificate of the receiving country for the child shall also be sent as soon as it is issued.
j) Draw immediate special attention of its Central Authority/concerned Government Department, Indian embassy/mission, CARA and the concerned RIPA in cases where the final legal order for adoption does not take place within a period of 2 years of arrival in the receiving country.
j) Abide by the provisions contained in Chapter IV of these guidelines in case of disruption of adoption or repatriation of the child.
k) Arrange get-togethers of children of Indian origin and their adoptive families from time to time with involvement of the concerned Indian Diplomatic Mission.