Concerning cross-country adoption, the Delhi High Court issued measures for adoptive and biological parents to receive certification and no-objection from District Magistrates, Foreign Authorities and the Central Adoption Resource Authority, CARA. These steps were directed in an effort to provide assistance and enable both adoptive as well as biological parents to obtain the required documentation.

The following directions were issued in the same regard;

(i) “Creation of a database of all SDMs/District Magistrates as also the State Adoption Resource Agencies and District Child Protection Unit who will need to be contacted for the purpose of verification and issuance of certificates; 

(ii) Publication of such a database on CARAs website; 

(iii) Creation of a help desk at CARA which shall be available both physically and online. The help desk/helpline should have a 24- hour helpline, considering the time differences in different jurisdictions. This would enable adoptive parents to contact CARA as per their convenience. The feasibility of the same shall be reviewed by CARA and shall be submitted before this Court by way of a status report; 

(iv) CARA shall also consider permitting advocates/lawyers to appear as authorized representatives to coordinate and facilitate the various formalities that are required to be undertaken; 

(v) Mechanism to be created to enable biological or adoptive parents to appear even virtually or be available telephonically, whenever CARA requires to contact them or interact with them; 

(vi) All communications with foreign authorities or District Magistrates or any other parties made by CARA shall also be copied by an e- mail- to the party concerned as also their authorized representatives so that the procedure being followed and the progress of the application is within their knowledge as well. This would also enable the parties concerned to follow up with the concerned foreign authority or with the District Magistrate for issuance of the certification.

Conclusion:

These developments resulted from three cases concerning inter-country adoption cases that the Court was dealing with. The issues in these cases arose when the children who were adopted by parents residing abroad were unable to move inter-country as they had difficulty in receiving their passport and visa and their adoptive parents were asked to take a NOC from CARA. In addition to the above directions, the Court also instructed CARA to present a status report within two weeks. The report must contain the details of the number of inter-country adoption pending applications and the time for which they have been pending.