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India Mainstream Program

Please note that our Agency is currently not accepting new applicants to the India Program.

Our India Program has grown rapidly over the past year, and we are thankful to have the opportunity to work with our families. However, with the increase in families and the added strain of COVID closures and backlog with Consulates and Central Authorities, our Agency has made the decision to focus on our current families and ensure that they are not being “lost in the process” during this time.

Our Agency will be lifting the hold and accepting new families to the India program in the new year. We will continue to answer inquiries regarding the India program, and look forward to staying connected with interested families.

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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