It is almost 3 months since India started accepting new applications on 1/20/2012. We have finally had some movements in the new process with the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), and I want to provide an update on our program.
With the introduction of CARINGS, all new families must be registered in this website. And then, a photocopy of homestudy needs to be mailed to CARA to complete the registration. There are just 100 applications allowed in each month for healthy (normal) referrals, and the registration starts at 10AM (Indian Central Time) on the first Monday of the month. This quota is for all countries, not just the U.S. That means if I cannot register a family in this month because the quota is already met or their homestudy is not ready, I have to wait for another registration opening in next month. However, this quota is not applied for special needs adoptions, and I can register a family applying for a child with special needs at anytime as soon as their homestudy is complete.
There have been a lot of conversations between adoption agencies about the new CARINGS website and Indian adoption system. Many find that the CARINGS website does not function well and CARA does not response to any inquiry. This creates stress and difficulties for agencies to process the adoption appropriately. Adoption professionals come together and share their experiences and advices at the India adoption forum of Joint Council on International Children’s Services (JCICS). While successful stories are a few, many errors and complaints are reported. Dean Hale, JCICS Co-Chair, has gathering comments from all agencies and will forward them to CARA and the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi at the next meeting.
CARA will hold a meeting with RIPAs at the end of March. We hope that RIPAs will receive adequate training from CARA on the new CARINGS website as well as the new adoption system. This may help adoptions be processed more effectively.
There is no issue from the U.S. Government. The I-800A is still expected to be reviewed and approved by USCIS within 90 days. The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi continues to be responsive and corporate to process adoption cases in timely manner.
Please remember that timelines for referrals, processing of the approvals by CARA, and particular court proceedings are very inconsistent and unpredictable. The processing at each stage is much longer than what we are told by CARA and other Indian organizations.