Mental health check ups compulsory for Indian couples living abroad who wish to adopt

The mental wellbeing of couples who seek to adopt a child from India will now be looked into before authorities give them a baby. This is a new rule that will be brought into effect after the death of a child born in India in the United States.

Adoption rules made stricter for couples living abroad

The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) has asked its partner agencies in the world to make sure that applicants who want to adopt a child from India undergo a psychological evaluation by a licensed practitioner to determine their stress and frustration tolerance.

This comes after the death of three-year-old Sherin Mathews in a city in Texas due to choking after her adoptive father 'physically assisted' her with drinking milk. Sherin was adopted in July 2016 from Bihar by Indian-American parents. The adoptive father, Wesley Mathews, is under arrest and faces life in prison.

According to the rules, a social worker meets prospective parents to determine their suitability for adoption and collects details about their social, economic and health status as well as family background. Now a psychological evaluation will also have to be carried out.

The norms have been changed only for couples living abroad as extra measures have to be taken for a child who is going out of the country. The Ministry of External Affairs has also made its passport norms stricter for adopted children. Parents who apply for a passport for an adopted child will have to get a certificate from the CARA after a court issues an order legalising adoption.

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