I just found some interesting information on the website for CARA (Central Adoption Resource Authority) which lists the procedure for adoption from India. (I am only including two steps in the process.) These are the timelines they offer for their approval of a dossier and the time that a court should take to clear the case.
Step V) Issue of No Objection Certificate (NOC) by CARA
- RIPA shall make application for CARA NOC in case of foreign/PIO parents only after ACA Clearance Certificate is obtained.
- CARA will issue the ‘NOC’ within 15 days from the date of receipt of the adoption dossier if complete in all respect.
- If any query or clarification is sought by CARA, it will be replied to by the RIPA within 10 days.
- No Indian Placement Agency can file an application in the competent court for inter-country adoption without a “No Objection Certificate” from CARA.
Step VI) Filing of Petition in the Court
- On receipt of the NOC from CARA, the RIPA shall file a petition for adoption/guardianship in the competent court within 15 days.
- The competent court may issue an appropriate order for the placement of the child with FPAP.
- As per the Hon’ble Supreme Court directions, the concerned Court may dispose the case within 2 months
Well, isn’t that interesting? CARA says that it will give approval in fifteen days. Of course, I personally know people who have waited more than a month for their approval from CARA and I don’t think they were being asked to supply additional information. Once you have NOC, the papers should be filed in court in fifteen days.
Then, they say the court “may” (not a very strong word) dispose (definition – to arrange or decide matters) the case in two months. If this actually came about in this time frame, we would be looking to travel to India by February. Once guardianship has been granted, then the orphanage can apply for a passport for the child. They want to make sure that passport is in their hand before you arrive in India.
I am not familiar with other country procedures for adoption, but for India, we are already legal guardians of the child before we even travel to India. The legal work is complete and the only thing you are doing while in India is applying for a U.S. visa. The child has a medical appointment at that time for the visa. It makes for a fairly uncomplicated time in the country. You get to spend several days visiting your child, go to the U.S. Embassy to apply for a visa, go back to the Embassy in a few days and pick up your visa. Each orphanage has their own procedure for getting acquainted with your child. We were in Delhi for about a week last time.
With the girls, we spent several days going to the orphanage to visit and did not take them with us to our hotel until the day before we traveled back. I think it would be better to have a couple of nights (or more) on our own at the hotel and to spend time alone and outside of the environment of the orphanage. We will find out when we get closer to making travel plans the way that this orphanage will handle this.
We did learn from Levi’s paperwork that he was born in Chandigarh – or at least that was the place of his first orphanage. He was moved to Delhi when he was two. This may have been so that he would be closer to better medical care. Chandigarh has an interesting history, if you are interested, click on the name of the town for a link to some information.
When we traveled to India to bring home Kalindi and Kira, we spent a day traveling to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and Fatepur Sikri. We spent the night and drove back the next day. We really enjoyed the trip, but it did take away two days we could spend with the girls because they wouldn’t let us take them with us.
We aren’t sure if we will take any side trips this time. It would be interesting to see Chandigarh, but there is a lot to see in Jaipur as well. However, it might be best to spend as much time as possible with Levi in Delhi.
We hope to bring the kids back to India when they are older so that they can experience their country and remain attached to their roots. What we have learned about the girls is that they have little knowledge of India. We want them to be proud of their heritage, we want to provide them with history, culture, customs, and eventually with the ability to experience it firsthand.
We appreciate your continued prayers for Levi’s adoption process!