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India Mainstream 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 must be open to children minimum of 18-months and up. In some cases, sibling groups are available for adoption from India. Applicants wishing to adopt siblings must be open to children up to age 8 (minimum). These adoptions are processed through the Special Needs Stream.
  • Both parents are required to complete one trip of approximately 2 weeks. 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.
  • Single men or women are eligible and must be over 30 and less than 45 years of age to adopt a child under 4 years old, under 50 years of age to adopt a child 4-8 years old, and under 55 to adopt a child over 8 years old.
  • 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.
  • Adoptive parent’s composite age should be less than 90 years to adopt a child under 4 years of age, less than 100 years to adopt a child 4-8 years of age and less than 110 to adopt a child over 8 years old.
  • 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.
  • Couples with more than three or more children in the home already are only eligible to adopt via the special needs program.
  • Completion of a home study and approval in province.
  • Complete dossier, including India specific home study.
  • File notarized by The Children’s Bridge, then sent to Canadian Foreign Affairs and the India High Commission for authentication and legalization.
  • Completed dossier sent to CARA in Delhi, who will review and approve it.
  • Following approval, CARA will assign the family’s dossier to a specific orphanage. Families and The Children’s Bridge have no influence on which province or orphanage a dossier is sent by CARA.
  • Child referrals come to The Children’s Bridge, who will share the information with the family.
  • 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).
  • Home study completion varies (average time 3 – 6 months).
  • Provincial approval takes between 4 and 16 weeks.
  • Family matched with a child within approximately 12 – 24 months following CARA approval. This timeline varies depending on openness to age range, etc.
  • After accepting a referral, court finalization takes place within approximately 4-6 months.
  • Family travels to India approximately 2-4 months after the final court hearing.
  • Stay in India is approximately 2 weeks.
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