6 Different Types of Adoption Optons in India - Pros & Cons

6 Types of Adoptions Available in India

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Harsha G Ramaiya (Counsellor)
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Being parents is one of the biggest joys in the world, but not all couples are able to give birth to a child and become biological parents and nurture their own baby. But if you really want to be parents, you can always opt for adoption. There are many types of adoption that you may consider. Here in the following article, we shall be discussing the various types of adoptions in India and their pros and cons.

What Are the Different Types of Adoption Options Available in India?

Adoption is a legal way of getting a baby from an adoption agency and raising the child as your own by taking all the responsibilities of that child. But, before adopting a child you must be familiar with the different kinds of adoptions available. There are various kinds of adoptions available in India depending upon its effect on the adoptive parents and the birth mother. Adoption may also depend on the location of both the concerned parties. Following are the different kinds of adoptions available in India:

1. Open Adoption

As the name suggests this kind of adoption is open, which means that the adoptive parents and the birth parents keep in touch with each other.

What It Is

You may wonder how open adoption works, well; it involves open contact between both the parties. The birth mother or parents may stay in touch through letters, e-mails, phone calls and may even visit each other and the birth mother can meet the child. This kind of adoption involves making a plan that may suit everyone’s expectations and needs. The access is usually granted when the adopted child reaches the age of 18 (in most countries). Also, the birth mother may meet the prospective parents and may decide to which couple her baby should go to.


Here are some pros of open adoption:

  • There is substantial medical information available to the adopted child, which is very important to assess some genetic disorders and other medical purposes.
  • The adoptee has access to his birth parents, in case he wishes to find the need to know why they took such a decision.
  • The adoptee has an extended family and more people who love and support him.
  • The adoptee has access to his ancestry and lineage.


Here are some cons or disadvantages of open adoption:

  • There may be a difference in expectations from adoptive or birth parents.
  • The boundary issues may occur, where both the parties may struggle with drawing the line.
  • The morals and values of both the families may not match, this may cause confusion.

2. Semi-Open Adoption

This is a kind of adoption that does not involve direct contact between the birth parents and the adoptive parents.

What It Is

Semi-open adoption or mediated adoption does not require the birth parents and adoptive parents to be in touch with each other. However, the mother may keep receiving letters or photographs from the adoptive parents or through the adoption agency she is registered with. This may continue until the child reaches the legal age. At any given point of time, semi-adoption may get converted into an open or closed adoption.


Here are some pros of semi adoption:

  • Adoptive parents have access to the medical records and other information of the birth parents.
  • This kind of adoption helps you maintain your privacy.
  • Birthing parents have the information on how their child is taken care of.
  • Adoptees may contact the birthing parents in future.


Following are some cons of semi adoption:

  • Both parties have to rely on the mediator agency.
  • A semi-open adoption may become closed adoption in case the adoption agency goes out of business or stops functioning.
  • The communication may stop if either of the party loses contact with the agency.


3. Closed Adoption

As the name suggests, this kind of adoption involves absolutely no contact between the adoptive parents and the birth parents.

What It Is

In a closed adoption process, both the set of parents do not have any kind of communication or information about each other. Sometimes, the medical information of the birthing parents may be shared with the adoptive parents. However, sometimes there may be strict enforcement of the regulation and no information, whatsoever, is shared with the adoptive parents. This may happen in cases when a child is rescued or removed from an abusive environment.


Some advantages of closed adoption are as follows:

  • The adoptee will not feel torn between two families.
  • There is a sense of closure for both the set of parents.
  • The adoptee will have a close-knit family.
  • There will not be any intrusion from the birth parents.


Some disadvantages of closed adoption are as follows:

  • The child on knowing that he is adopted may become obsessed with finding birth parents in case of a closed adoption.
  • There may be limited medical information available.
  • The adoptee may face an identity crisis.

4. Intra-family Adoption/Relative Adoption

This is a kind of adoption that happens within the family.

What It Is

If the biological parents of a child die, get married to someone else, or are not in a capacity to take care of their child, a member of the family or the step-parents may legally adopt that child.


Some of the many benefits of intra-family adoption are as follows:

  • The child stays within the biological family.
  • The adoptive parents are in full control of taking various important decisions concerning the child.
  • The adopted child in most cases gets to keep his original name.


Some of the cons of relative adoption may include:

  • The change in relation to the adoptive parents may confuse the child (in case the child is old enough).
  • The time to contact and visitation is usually decided by the adoptive parents.

Application for Adoption

5. Domestic Adoption

Domestic adoption refers to adoption that happens within the country.

What It Is

When the adoptive parents and birth parents belong to the same country, and the adoption happens within the country, it is called domestic adoption. The couple who wish to adopt a child may register with any registered government agency. An investigating officer will verify their particulars and also assess if the couple is eligible to adopt a child or not. Once the formalities are complete, the couple may adopt a child.


Here are some advantages of a child or infant domestic adoption:

  • This type of adoption is less expensive as compared to international adoption.
  • It also involves lesser paperwork in contrast to international adoption.
  • Couples who intend on adopting a newborn baby may adopt him easily.
  • The information of the birth parents may be accessible to the adoptive parents.
  • You may keep in contact with the birth parents, or the contact may vary as per the requirements of both the parties.
  • It does not require any international travel.


Here are some cons of domestic adoption:

  • There may not be enough information on the medical history of the birth parents.
  • The rules are very strict, and the eligibility criteria of adoptive parents are very strict.
  • Adoptive parents may have to choose from a limited number of children.
  • The mother may refuse the adoption, which may amount to termination of adoption.

6. International Adoption

International adoption involves adopting a child from outside the country or in other words giving a child to the couple (adoptive parents) who are not a native of that country.

What It Is

When the citizens of one nation wish to adopt a child from another nation, it is called international adoption. International adoption laws are different in all countries, and some countries do not even allow international adoption. In India, domestic adoption holds priority. The next in line are Non-resident Indians (NRIs) or persons of Indian origin (PIOs) and then international citizens are given preference for international adoption in India.


Here are some benefits of international adoption:

  • International adoption may usually happen with orphaned children and thus birth parents may not be involved.
  • There are a wide variety of children to choose from in terms of sex, race, health, and age.
  • There is no interference of birth parents.
  • Once the home approval is received, it increases the chances of adoption tremendously.


Here are some of the disadvantages of international adoption:

  • This type of adoption is expensive as the adoptive parents are required to travel to foreign lands.
  • There are chances of frauds and scams in international adoption.
  • As the adoption procedure may take a while, it may not be feasible to adopt a newborn baby.
  • If the child is a bit older, he may take considerable time to adjust to a new setting, new country, and new ways of life.

It does not matter what type of adoption you may choose, what is more, important is that you get home a child with warmth and love, and make that child feel at home.

Also Read: Foster Parenting- How to Become a Good Parent?

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