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Indian culture as of late has been seeing some powerful changes. One such good change has been single parent adoption. Instances of individuals getting to be single guardians through adoption are on a relentless ascent. A sizeable number of individuals, both single women and men, are selecting to wear the job of a parent by going in for adoptions. Adoption offices, which prior demonstrated a staunch predisposition against unmarried people, are currently progressively arranged to think about them as imminent guardians. Research demonstrates  that adopted children raised by single guardians will in general passage similarly well when contrasted with adopted children raised by a couple. This paper highlights the plight of a single woman who wants to adopt a child in India- the advantages, disadvantages and obstacles faced on the way to adoption.

The paper further delves into the laws of adoption in India with special reference to the Juvenile Justice Act clarifies adoption as a procedure that for all time isolates an adopted child from the natural guardians and changes over him into the authentic offspring of his adoptive family with every one of the benefits, rights and obligations which the job of guardians involves. This demonstration engages single or separated from individuals to receive a child. Finally, the paper puts forth procedural aspects, statistics and an international adoption overview.


Single women regularly seek after parenthood for similar reasons wedded women do. They refer to a similar need and want to love and support their very own child. Yet, in contrast to wedded women, a single woman faces the laborious procedure and expenses of adoption alone and with the truth that she may finish up bringing up her child alone without a dad or an accomplice.  Many single moms who adopt will straightforwardly share that they are not really single by decision. They would like to at last parent their child with an accomplice. Others are all right with being single as well as they stay single as they bring up children to adulthood.  Looked with ticking natural timekeepers, various women have ineffectively sought after intrauterine insemination with benefactor sperm or potentially giver eggs before seeking after adoption as the way to parenthood.

There is a recent increase in the number of Single Mother as the difficulties for single women adoption have significantly diminished. Numerous elements may have supported this float. On such factor can be the developing acknowledgment of one-parent families because of separation or partition and unmarried single women bringing up a child all alone. Others elements like expanding proficiency and recently discovered monetary freedom of women may have additionally reasonably contributed to making single parent adoption prominent. An expanding number of instructed individuals are starting to consider marriage superfluous to appreciate the delights of child rearing. They are increasingly disposed to advance their vocation and the craving to deliver a natural child is reducing. In addition, numerous big names by making the strong stride of getting to be single guardians have helped in expelling the forbidden connected with single parent adoption.


With developing mindfulness and changing social mores, the pattern of single women approaching to adopt children is developing in India, government figures[1] show since August 2015, when new selection rules were presented that made online enrolment required for guardians needing to adopt, 412 single ladies have enlisted with the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), a self-ruling body under the Women and Child Development (WCD) service that screens and manages adoption of Indian children.

Of this, 75 single women adopted children in 2015. The number expanded to 93 of every 2016. By and large, 2,903 and 2,671 children were adopted in India in 2015 and 2016 individually.

The number may not be much on the off chance that one considers the general appropriation figures and furthermore, the 2011 Census information that pegged the number of single women (unmarried, widow, divorced person) in India at 71.4 million. In any case, sexual orientation specialists state it’s an appreciated pattern, considering the societal weight on single women needing to receive.


The means expected to adopt a child in India are as per the following[2]:

  • Guardians wishing to adopt need to enroll on the web or can achieve District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) to enlist the planned guardians on the web. The application structure is likewise accessible at the site of CARA.
  • The adoption office at that point makes a Home Study report, portraying the different components and compliances of the family inside 30 days of the enlistment of forthcoming guardians.
  • The home investigation report is posted on the database by the concerned office.
  • The guardians are then permitted to pick the child dependent on their inclinations and decisions.
  • They appear of the child their investigation reports and the child’s medicinal examination reports, of up to 6 children.
  • The adoptive guardians have the alternative of saving one child inside a time of 48 hours for the conceivable adoption while the rest of the children would be discharged for other planned guardians.
  • The adoption organization will at that point fix the gathering of the imminent adoptive guardians to survey whether they are reasonable guardians for the child or not. The guardians ought to likewise be permitted to have a gathering with the child.


Critics note[3] that the number of both household and worldwide adoptions has consistently expanded. Contrasted with their wedded partners, single women state that the procedure of worldwide adoption is less protracted and the probability of adopting a more youthful child is a lot more noteworthy.

Unmarried women are bound to seek after international adoption over local adoption. Birth mothers are bound to choose couples over singles for their children in residential adoptions, and age is a more prominent thought for general organizations.

Outside Agencies that help to adopt a child in India

Adoption is a major choice for which one needs legitimate help and direction at each progression. There is a great deal of tedious desk work and systems included. The help of external adoption organizations can lessen one’s dimensions of uneasiness related to adoption.

Inter-Country Adoption

On the worldwide front, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) deals with the issues of between-country determination. It is also constrained by the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption, 1993 (the HC) and it has been affirmed by around 90 countries.[4]

Issues Arising in Case of Inter-Country Adoption
  • Child trafficking

By and large, the child turns into the casualty of human dealing. Children are sold in the wake of being removed from the nation by giving false data about the child and fashioning records.

  • Post-Adoption Negligence

In transnational adoption, post-adoption observing is amazingly extreme and henceforth the child might be inclined to carelessness by the adoptive guardians.


Adoption law in India is related to the personal laws of individual religion and along these lines; adoption is not permitted according to the personal laws of Muslims, Christians, Parsis, and Jews in the nation. In any case, adoption can be produced using a halfway house under the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890, subject to the court’s endorsement. For this situation, the adoptive couple is guardians and not parents of the adopted child. Under this Act[5], Christians can adopt a child just under child care and the cultivate child is allowed to split away from all relations from the guardian on turning into a major. Indian natives who are Hindus, Jains, Buddhists or Sikhs are permitted to adopt a child officially and the adoption is according to the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 which was sanctioned as a component of the Hindu code bills[6].

Adoption of relinquished gave up or mishandled children is administered by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. As of now, there is no particular law that oversees the adoption of children in India by remote nationals or NRI’s nevertheless the equivalent is administered under Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children, 2015. Without any solid Act for inter country adoption, the methods set somewhere near the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 are pursued.

Adoption administers in India for single women

As indicated by the Juvenile Justice Act 2006, adoption means, “The process through which the adopted child is permanently separated from his biological parents and becomes the legitimate child of his adoptive parents with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities that are attached with the relationship.”

  • In India, all adoption issues are taken care of by the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)[7], a self-sufficient body administered by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • A base age distinction of 21 years between the single mother and the adopted child is required on the off chance that they’re of inverse genders.[8]
  • A single mother ought to be between 30 – 45 years in age in the event that she wishes to adopt a child in the age gathering of 0-3 years. As far as possible for a child more seasoned than 3 years is 50.[9]
  • The single mother ought to have extra family support.
  • According to the guidelines the adoptive parent must be both restoratively fit and monetarily settled.
  • According to the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956 Indian natives who are Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, or Buddhists are permitted to adopt not more than one child of a specific sex.


The adoption rules for a single woman in India include the accompanying:

  1. For Hindus

Adoptions for Hindus, including Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists, are maintained by the Hindus Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956. The demonstration permits: Any female Hindu is qualified to adopt a child. She might be unmarried. In the event that her husband is not living or her marriage has disintegrated by the court or her husband is legitimately announced to be incapable to take a child in adoption.

  1. For Muslims

Muslim doesn’t perceive absolute adoption. Be that as it may, Section 8 of the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 enables them to take up the guardianship of a child. The guardianship job accompanies a lot of standards fundamentally to safeguard organic family line, and not confound it. Notwithstanding, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 empowers Muslims to adopt. The mainstream law enables any individual in India to adopt a child paying little heed to the religion he may pursue.

  1. For Christians and Parsis

Christians and Parsis additionally don’t perceive full adoption. In the event that somebody needs to adopt, he can approach the courts and get legitimate consent under the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890. The act licenses them to take a child under child care. The child, on achieving the age of 18, is allowed to split all associations and leave. He additionally has no lawful privileges of legacy according to the Christian Laws. Be that as it may, under the specialist Juvenile Justice Act[11] which overrides individual laws, Christians and Parsis can adopt a child.

Adoption Rules for the Single Female

  • In 2015, the Ministry of Women and Child Development issued the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) Guideline which allows a single woman to adopt a child of any sex. The Juvenile Justice Act does not legitimately recommend a single male to adopt a female child.[12]
  • The base age cutoff of single mother adoption in India has been brought down from 30 to 25. The base age of the adopting single male is likewise 25 years. Planned single female guardian as long as 45 years old can adopt a child under the age of 4 years, while those up to the age of 50 are qualified to adopt kids between the ages of 5 to 8.For those up to the age of 55, they may adopt kids between the ages of 9 to 18. Adoption isn’t permitted after this age.[13]


Adoptions by single women are thought by people in general and by adoption experts to be an arrangement for children requiring adoption which is less worthwhile for the child than a two-parent adoption. Hence, children who are hard to discover homes are frequently put with single women; these are generally more seasoned children whose encounters have prompted passionate and social issues. Single people who wish to parent a baby regularly adopt a child from another nation. An audit of the writing[14] concerning single parent adoptions and examination of the discoveries of a longitudinal consider, demonstrate that the single people who adopt are well ready to complete the obligations of parenting. They handle the exceptional issues of adoption skillfully. Since children put with single parents are much of the time children with complex needs, and on the grounds that single parents don’t have an accomplice to share the duties of parenting, proceeding with help from family and companions, the community, and from the adoption office are significant. Below mentioned are some noteworthy challenges faced by Single Woman who wants to adopt:

  1. Adoption offices

In spite of there being a law wherein single women in India are permitted to adopt, there are as yet numerous offices the nation over that makes it intense for single women. They continue deferring procedures on some appearance or the other.

  1. Family

As the possibility of two guardians bringing up a child has been so instilled in our brains, it is extreme for anybody to acknowledge single parenthood in all respects effectively.

  1. Society

Unfortunate however evident, the society’s perspectives are intolerant in regards to this fact and everybody has an urge to think about the whereabouts of the father. In this way starts the fight for regard by most single parents in India.

Companions, family, and society may hail a wedded adoptive who saves or adopts a child, however single mothers are not generally so promptly commended for their arrangements to seek after parenthood.

Depreciators and pundits may blame single moms for immaturity since they’re not giving the child a father and an unblemished home. Others will wrongly refer to measurements connecting single parenthood to an assortment of potential social ills for their children.

A single woman may even need to create recently discovered mental fortitude to overcome her own internal evil presences and ease her very own beforehand held contemplations and convictions about adoption.

  1. Schools

A couple of organizations have obligatorily executed the utilization of the mother’s center or family name during affirmation. Yet, there are as yet numerous who deny affirmation when the child does not have a birth testament and a dad’s name.

  1. Work-life

The change from being an autonomous opportunity getting a charge out of’ woman to one who starts to impart her life to another life isn’t simple. Parenthood is a requesting job even in homes where an accomplice may be accessible to contribute with the family unit tasks. While co-child rearing has its own difficulties, single child rearing can likewise make a great deal of pressure the single parent. Following a tumultuous day at work when single parents may ache for snapshots of isolation, they end up regularly troubled by blame.

  1. Telling the child

The most important dilemma in the life of a single mother is when to tell her child that they are adopted and how to do that. The matter is so delicate that it can completely uproot years of nurtured relationship.

  1. Managing Guilt

Single moms can feel blame and disgrace when they long for snapshots of isolation and the freedom of their previous single lives.


  1. Consult NGO

Numerous NGOs help single women in India to adapt to this adjustment in their lives. Going along with one may assist you with forming a core group of other similarly invested women who could share their encounters and exhortation.

  1. Media

Luckily, the Internet, TV, and media have brought issues to light of the issues single women face in the adoption procedure, just as the difficulties they may manage after the arrangement. Everyday nature of the Internet and the accessibility of a gigantic measure of data and assets on the web have prompted progressively sharp and decidedly ready forthcoming adoptive mothers. The consistent accessibility of visits and data sharing on different gatherings all-inclusive on the web help a great deal.  For instance, the People’s Group for Child Adoption in India[15] has more than 700 online individuals who offer to tutor to those intending to adopt.

  1. Peruse Thoroughly

Books on adoption can go about as great aides. Some such reads include: Toddler Adoption: The Weaver’s Craft by Mary Hopkins, Adoption in India: Policies and Experiences by Vinita Bhargava, Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge.

  1. Plan well

The wariness of adoptive organizations just as the questions raised by others will decrease when they perceive how solid and steady, dedicated and certain you are in adopting a child. Assess the monetary circumstance in detail with the goal that you can demonstrate the office precisely how you intend to accommodate your child later on. Set yourself up rationally to respect another individual into your life.

  1. Emotionally supportive networks for Adoptive Single Mothers

A single mother understands that it is anything but an indication of shortcoming or a sign of disappointment in the event that she connects for help and backing. Regardless of whether she does as such through a care group for adoptive families, her own guide or the digital world, help is promptly accessible for her when she adopts the child. As she makes the change into her new job as a mother, the guidelines and assistance accumulated from other people who have effectively voyage this street alone can help with keeping an eye out for and start mindful of known potholes and boundaries.

It isn’t sensible to expect that every single wedded couple will not remain wedded, nor should it be assumed that every single woman will always remain single. Rather, advocates for adoption by unmarried women trust that a person’s character, quality, and potential child rearing limit are better considered in giving a child an adoptive home.


  • While the adoption laws are regular crosswise over India, there are sure selection rules and administrative work necessities that may contrast for each State.
  • According to CARA (Central Adoption Resource Authority), one needs a base salary of Rs. 3000 to have the option to adopt a child. In the event that one has different resources like a house or a solid emotionally supportive network, a lower pay might be considered.
  • Under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, one can adopt a child of the contrary sex to your child. The Guardians and Wards Act and the Juvenile Justice Act, don’t have any such diktats. In the event that the child one will receive is mature enough to express his perspectives on the issue, his sentiment will be taken recorded as a hard copy.
  • While there is no focal database to follow applications, one can generally stay in contact with the ACA for the status of one’s application.
  • One reserves the option to take the child for general registration to decide his general wellbeing. Be that as it may, obtrusive tests ought to be done just if there means that a genuine ailment.
  • Variables to be considered for Single Parents before Adopting a Child are a solid emotionally supportive network, whether the present place of employment permits one the basic adaptability to oblige the requirements of bringing up a child, and monetary allowance of the single mother.


Over the span of the past few years, there has been a consistent increment in the quantity of single-women adoptions. The craving to sustain and to share life as a family is a solid widespread need that is felt by countless individuals and one that isn’t selective to wedded individuals or couples.

Various variables have energized the acknowledgment of single-mother families. Maybe most is the developing number of such family units because of separation and to unmarried women having and keeping their children. With such a significant number of children living in this sort of home condition, adoption organizations have been additionally ready to think about unmarried people as imminent adopters. Furthermore, the most recent research[17] demonstrates that children brought up in single adoptive women families contrast positively and other adopted children and demonstrate a sound contribution with loved ones just as in the exercises of their age gathering.

[1]Moushumi Das Gupta, More single women coming forward to adopt children in India, shows data

[2]Central Adoption Resource AuthorityMinistry of Women & Child DevelopmentGovernment of India, CARA

[3]Martha Osborne, The Challenges of Single Parent Adoption for Women Verywell Family (2019)

[4]Utkarsh Trivedi, Single Parent Adoption in India iPleaders (2018)

[5]The Guardians and Wards Act, 1890

[6]Christophe Jaffrelot, Nehru And The Hindu Code Bill (2003)

[7]Central Adoption Resource AuthorityMinistry of Women & Child DevelopmentGovernment of India, CARA

[8] Ibid

[9] Ibid

[10]Single Parent Adoption in India – Rules, Procedure & Cost, FirstCry Parenting (2018)

[11]Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015

[12] Single Parenting – Adoption Rules for Single Women in India – Women’s Web, Women’s Web: For Women Who Do

[13] Ibid

[14]Joan F. Shireman (1994) Adoptions by Single Parents, Marriage & Family Review, 20:3-4, 367-388

[15]Single Parenting – Adoption Rules for Single Women in India – Women’s Web, Women’s Web: For Women Who Do

[16]How to Adopt a Child in India – Procedure, Rules & Regulations, FirstCry Parenting (2018)

[17]Parents, Single Parent Adoption: How to Start a Family Solo Explore Parents (2018)

Cite as: Prerna Deep, Adoption by Single Women in India, 1 Int’l J. of Legal Sci. and Inno. 2 (2019)