NEW DELHI: Bringing home their bundle of joy could soon be more expensive for prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) as the apex child adoption body has decided to raise the in-country adoption fee from Rs 40,000 to Rs 55,000.
The Child Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), a statutory body under the ministry of women and child development, has already submitted a proposal to the finance ministry in this regard.
"We have proposed that the adoption fee be reviewed. The file with our proposal is still with the finance ministry. Once the proposal is approved, for the first time in five years, the fee will be reviewed," CARA Chairperson, Deepak Kumar told PTI.
At present, CARA charges no fees for facilitating adoptions and the amount paid by PAPs for in-country adoptions (adoptions by non-Indian parents have a separate, higher fee structure) is for the child care institution (CCI) where the child was adopted from.
As of now, adoptive parents have to spend a total of Rs 46,000, of which Rs 24,000 at the time of acceptance of a child and Rs 16,000 after the PAPs get their court orders making the child legally theirs - this includes the legal fees, money spend by CCI for keeping child.
PAPs also need to pay Rs 1,000 during registration, Rs 5,000 for home study.
The People's Group for Child Adoption in India, an online platform for adoptive parents in India, said the move to charge fees by CARA will lead to corruption and also a disincentive for people who are financially incapable.
"No prospective adoptive parent is going to welcome the move specially because many people think that the charging of fees by CARA in itself leads to corruption," said Nishank of People's Group for Child Adoption in India.
"This is also a disincentive for people who are financially incapable. So basically you are telling a set of parents that if you don't have money, don't adopt. Also, CARA should have had a consultations with us," he said.
Nishank said that there are adoption lobbies that state that since the PAPs are taking on the burden of the state to raise these kids, the PAPs should not be made to pay the fees.