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India Program Information Sheet

Dillon International began placing children from India with U.S. families in 1986. Children become available for adoption in India primarily because of the extreme economic disadvantages of their birth families and the social stigma of single parenthood.


For Indian Heritage families: Families with Non-Resident Indian (NRI) status will have their adoption treated on-par with a domestic Indian adoption. NRI means one spouse needs to be a U.S. citizen and the other spouse needs to be an Indian citizen with a valid Indian passport.


• Boys and girls from 2-15 years old at time of arrival home
• Children younger than 3 years old typically have more serious medical and/or developmental needs.


Cartwrightfamily-groupParents’ Ages

  • 25–55 years of age for heterosexual married couples
  • 29.5-55 years of age for single heterosexual women and men (considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • Single male applicants may only adopt a male child.
  • No less than 25 years age difference between parents and child


Age Restrictions at Time Dossier is Registered with CARA (India Central Authority)

  • For a child up to age 4 years old, composite age of married couple must be 90 or less and maximum age of 45 for single
  • For a child age 4 to 8 years old, composite age of married couple must be 100 or less and maximum age of 50 for single
  • For a child age 8 to 15 years old, composite age of married couple must be 110 or less and maximum age of 55 for single

 Length of Marriage

  • At least 2 years for first marriage
  • At least 2.5 years if second marriage for either spouse

Children in Family Prior to Adoption

  • For NRI families, no more than 2 children
  • If adopting a child with special needs, no more than 5 children. Larger families will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.


  • All 50 states

Psychological Evaluation

  • Required for each parent
  • At discretion of CARA, may be required for other adult members of the household.


  • Minimum annual income of $30,000

Child’s Gender

  • Families may choose gender


  • Both parents must travel and make one trip of 10-14 days.
  • A second trip may be necessary if required by the region.


  • Social worker reports due at 1, 3 and 6 months (unless state of residence requires more).
  • Family reports due at 12, 18, 24 and 30 months.


  • Application: 2-3 months
  • Home study: 2-3 months
  • USCIS and dossier: 2-3 months
  • Referral: 1-18+
  • Child’s arrival: 9-18+ months
  • Total timeframe: 16-45+ months

Want to see how this compares to other countries’ requirements? Look at our country comparison chart.

Learn even more in the Adoption Guide.