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India Special Needs Program

Program Manager: Karyn Arnauld-Bakelaar


General Information:
  • Program opened in 2005.
  • This program is open to those of Indian descent, overseas citizens of India and also non- Indians.
  • Open across Canada (except Quebec).
  • Applicants should be open to a child of either sex, and be open to a child 18 months+ at time of referral.
  • Families who are open to healthy, older children (7+ years) and/or sibling groups will be processed through the Special Need Stream. Applicants wishing to adopt siblings must be open to children up to age 8 (minimum).
  • Both parents are required to complete one trip of 2 weeks (depending on orphanage). Some provinces require two trips (Hyderabad).
  • Majority of the children reside in orphanages with voluntary and professional staff.
  • Both boys and girls are waiting for families.
  • Children range in age from a minimum of 18 months+ at time of referral. Many older children are waiting for families in India.
  • Brief child study and medical report is provided.
  • Adoptive parent’s composite age must be under 85 years in order to be eligible to apply to adopt a child who is 0- 2 years of age; under 90 years to adopt a child 2-4 years of age; under 100 years to adopt a child 4 – 8 years of age and under 110 years to adopt a child over 8 years of age. NB: All families must meet the age requirements at the time their dossier is uploaded to CARA for review and approval.
  • Single men or women: Single adoptive parents are eligible to adopt. The parent must be over 30 and under 40 years to adopt a child 0- 2 years of age; under 45 years to adopt a child 2-4 years of age; under 50 years to adopt a child 4 – 8 years of age and less than 55 years to adopt a child over 8 years of age.
  • A single or unmarried male can only adopt a male child.
  • The minimum age difference between the child and either of the prospective adoptive parents should not be less than 25 years.
  • Married couples must have a minimum two years stable marital relationship.
  • Couples living common-law are not eligible to adopt.
  • Families must maintain an adequate financial portfolio to provide a good upbringing for the child.
  • Applicants should be physically, mentally and emotionally stable; financially capable; motivated to adopt a child; and should not have any life threatening medical condition.
  • Both applicants must be free from criminal record.
  • Completion of a home study and approval in province.
  • Complete dossier, including India specific home study.
  • Complete a Special Needs checklist.
  • Common Special Needs Include (but are not limited to): HIV, Hepatitis B or C, Hearing impairments, Visual impairments, Missing limbs, Ambiguous genitalia, Developmental delays, Achondroplasia (dwarfism), Facial and/or limb deformities
  • File notarized by The Children’s Bridge, then sent to Canadian Foreign Affairs and the India High Commission for authentication and legalization.
  • Dossier is uploaded by The Children’s Bridge to the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS) which is the online system of the Central Adoption Resource Authority.
  • Dossier is registered and approved by CARA, which takes anywhere from 4 – 12 weeks.
  • Matching is completed by your India Program Manager through the CARINGS online system.
  • Family consults with Adoption Practitioner and physician and is requested to accept the proposed referral within 96 hours.
  • Court hearings usually take place 4-6 months after acceptance documents are sent to India.
  • Both parents are required to travel to India following the court process, and after the issuance of all travel documents and IRCC approval (approximately 6 – 10 months following a child proposal is received).
  • Each adoption is processed slightly differently according to the court and province the adoption is finalized in.
  • Home study completion varies (average time 3 – 6 months).
  • Approval in province takes between 4 and 16 weeks.
  • Family matched with a child within approximately 4 – 18 months’ years after registering with the online system CARINGS. This timeline varies greatly depending on age range and special needs the family is open to.
  • After accepting a referral, court finalization takes place within approximately 4-6 months.
  • Family travels to India 2-4 months after the final court hearing.
  • Stay in India is approximately 2 weeks.
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