India adoption

The country of India extends from the Himalayan Mountains in the north to the tropical reaches of the Indian Ocean at its southern tip. It is the most populous democratic country in the world (over 1.2 billion people) and its diversity is amazing. Delicious and aromatic foods; modes of transportation that boggle the western mind; beautiful saris and scarves and tunics; animals and people crowded together on busy streets and marketplaces, it is a nation filled with cultural wonders. India offers a unique perspective on life and the world. The country consists of 29 states, the city of New Delhi is the capital.

Nightlight has been providing adoption services in India to families since the early 1980s. We work directly with the Indian central authority named CARA (Central Adoption Resource Authority). Many Nightlight families have successfully adopted through the program. We continue to work diligently to help orphan children living in India be placed for adoption into loving families, like yours.



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View available children.  Children of all ages are available for adoption from India. More females and children over the age of 2 years tend to be available. Sibling groups and children with varying degrees of special needs are also available. In most cases, we see vast improvements in children with special needs once they are receiving proper medical care and living in a healthy environment.


India requires that, if married, couples must be married a minimum of 2 years (at the time of Home Study) and a couple with more than 2 children are not eligible unless pursuing a child with special needs. India requires that families keep birth order. Singles are eligible to adopt. The minimum age difference between the child and either of the adoptive parents should not be less than 25 years and the maximum composite age of both parents cannot be over 90 years (this requirement is more flexible if adopting a school-age child). All parents should be physically, mentally and emotionally stable; financially capable; motivated to adopt, and should not have any life-threatening medical conditions.


  1. Complete all Nightlight application paperwork and a Hague adoption home study.
  2. Prepare an I-800A application and be granted approval by the United State Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS). In the most basic terms, this process grants a pre-approval for you to bring an orphaned child into the U.S. as a citizen.
  3. Gather documents which will go through a certification and authentication process to become your dossier. (We will help you through the certification and authentication process.) This step can be worked on concurrently with the Home Study.
  4. Once your dossier is submitted to India, be matched by India’s Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) with a child meeting your preferences outlined in the Home Study. Have the child’s medical and social information reviewed by a medical professional and, once you are committed, formally accept the child with CARA.
  5. Prepare an I-800 application and be granted approval by USCIS. This process grants approval for the adoption to move forward and gives permission for the child to immigrate into the U.S. with you as their sponsor.
  6. Send CARA and/or the orphanage documents as requested for court processing. Upon completion of court processing, the child’s passport will be issued.
  7. Apply for an E-visa tourist visa for India (six month, double entry).
  8. Travel to India. You will pick up your child from their orphanage and travel to the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi for your medical/visa appointment to obtain an immigrant visa for your child to enter the United States. This trip takes an average of 7-10 days. Note: Some states in India will require a longer in country stay if a court appearance is required.
  9. Bring your child home from India!
  10. Complete post-adoption reports as required by CARA.


There is one trip required for adoption from India. This trip will be to bring your child/ren home and is typically 7-10 days in length. Some states in India will require you to be present for court thus lengthening you’re in country stay by several weeks. You will pick up the child and their documents from the orphanage and then travel to the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi where you will have your child evaluated at the medical clinic there and obtain their immigrant visa. Nightlight has an in-country representative that will accompany you to all appointments.


Nightlight Christian Adoptions is committed to preparing families for the adoption of a child with special needs. We provide pre- and post-adoption education and information regarding medical resources.


The total number and interval of post-adoption reports/visits can vary by state in India but will be specified on your India court order. The most common is a total of 6 reports according to the following schedule: 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months and 24 months from U.S. arrival. Nightlight will send these social worker reports, along with photos and citizenship information to the orphanage and CARA.


The program fee for India is $15,750. Your additional costs will include home study, USCIS approval, notary & apostille fees, airfare, hotel, in country guide, and embassy fees as shown on the fee schedule. Your out-of-pocket expenses may further be reduced if you receive scholarships, grants or employer-provided adoption benefits. For additional fee information please see Exhibit A.

To learn more about adopting from India, you may contact us, call our office at (502) 423-5780, or email inquiries to Lynn Main at

India Adoption Program Details

  • Children will be 24 months of age or older
  • Adopting parents must be no less than 25 years older than the child
  • Referral time is typically 24 months or more depending on the family’s openness to age, gender and special need

More Information on India Adoptions

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