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Indian Adoption Body Allows Live‑in Couples to Be Parents

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Sep 24, 2018

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Can an unmarried couple adopt a child? Now they can. In good news for couples in live-in relationships who are looking to adopt, the country’s supervisory adoption body recently withdrew its requirement that couples be married in order to adopt a child, as per this report by The Hindu.

Earlier in May this year, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) had barred applicants in live-in relationships from adopting a child. The organization announced, “the Authority would like the children to be placed only with a stable family and individuals in a live-in relationship cannot be considered as stable family.”

However, last week, the secretary of the Women and Child Development Ministry, RK Shrivastava told The Hindu, “We have decided to withdraw the circular and applications from prospective adoptive parents will be examined on a case-by-case basis.”

The move is said to benefit both domestic and international applicants, which means that Indians in  domestic partnerships and staying abroad will also be able to adopt via CARA. However, the agency has said that every couple wishing to adopt should be physically, mentally and financially stable to raise a child. It remains to be seen whether the vagueness of this wording proves to be truly case-by-case, or a vehicle for moral judgment from authorities that bars live-in couples from adoption in practice, if not in policy.

Amid debates to validate or disapprove live-in relationships in India, CARA’s step to allow live-in couples to adopt a child is one more win for the modern family. It also begs the question — when will same-sex couples get the green signal?

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Written By Anubhuti Matta

Anubhuti Matta is an associate editor with The Swaddle. When not at work, she’s busy pursuing kathak, reading books on and by women in the Middle East or making dresses out of Indian prints.

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