Unmarried couples living together won't be considered eligible for adoption of children nor will unmarried or single males be permitted to adopt a girl child, according to the new guidelines governing the adoption of children. The government is expected to issue the notification soon.
The rules also make it clear that no couple without at least two years of stable marital relationship can adopt a child.
"The guidelines which have been framed keeping in mind the best interests of the child have completed the official process including vetting by the law ministry. The official notification will come out in the next couple of days," said a government official.
The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) issues adoption guidelines from time to time, laying down procedures to be followed by different stakeholders, in the adoption of orphans, abandoned or surrendered children.
To adopt a child in the 0-3 years age-group, the maximum composite age of the prospective adoptive parents (PAP) should be 90 years wherein the individual age of the PAPs should not be less than 25 years and more than 50 years.
To adopt children above 3 years of age, the maximum composite age of the PAPs should not be more than 105 years wherein the individual age of the PAPs should not be less than 25 years and more than 55.
In case a single PAP desires to adopt, he or she should not be less than 30 years of age and not more than 50 years. The maximum age will be 45 years to adopt children in the 0-3 years age group and 50 years for children above 3 years.
Preference will also be given for placing a child in in-country adoption. The ratio of in-country adoption to inter-country adoption will be 80:20 of the total adoptions processed annually.