Search This Blog

Thursday, March 25, 2010

6) Fees & Expenses

Even before starting our adoption process, we were very firmly determined - as far as was possible - to do everything the proper, official, legally aboveboard way. Now at the end of the journey, I am glad to report that - with a single minor exception** - we did not have to pay anybody in Singapore or India anything more than the official adoption fees as set out by MCYS and CARA.

In general, if you are an NRI resident in Singapore, the fees you will encounter to adopt a child from India are as follows (correct as of April 2010 - the time of this writing):

1. Home Study Report performed by Touch Family Services, Singapore: Singapore Dollars 900 Only.

This fee is fixed by MCYS - the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, Singapore and is payable upon your engaging Touch in two instalments as follows:

a) Upon submission of documents: S$100 (non-refundable deposit)
b) At the office interview: S$800

2. Adoption Fees: United States Dollars 3500 Only.

This fee is fixed by CARA for inter-country adoptions and is payable by you to your RIPA in India only after the entire adoption process is complete, i.e. after the court order is received and the deed of adoption has been prepared for you by your RIPA's lawyer. Your RIPA may ask you to provide a USD cheque or a cheque for the equivalent amount in Indian rupees as per the prevailing exchange rate. Ensure you get a receipt.

*Note*: Do NOT pay anything more than this amount to anybody in your RIPA. You do not need a broker or an intermediary of any kind to deal with your RIPA. The agency's fees, the lawyer's fees - and every other kind of fees - are included in the CARA-prescribed amount of USD 3500. Even if you are well-off and/or feeling grateful/generous, do keep in mind that by offering any extra financial inducements, we are ultimately endangering the welfare of the thousands of children who are placed for adoption each year. If anybody in your RIPA or elsewhere offers to fast-track your adoption for a fee - for the sake of the children, please try not to give in to this.

Section 5.17 in the CARA Guidelines for Inter-Country Adoptions states:

5.17 Recovery of Costs in case of Inter-country Adoption

a) The organisation will pursue only non-profit objectives. Under no circumstances should it derive improper financial gain from any activity related to inter-country or in-country adoption. In inter-country adoption, an adoption fee of a fixed amount of US$3500 or its equivalent in Indian rupees will be payable by the adoptive parents to the Recognised Indian Placement Agencies through EFAA or a central authority. This fee will include the cost involved in providing quality child care, medical and legal services, passport, visa, payment towards professional staff, monitoring, correspondence, preparation of child study reports, medical reports, etc. This outer limit of recoverable expenses may be reviewed by CARA/Govt. of India once in a period of five years depending upon escalation of the expenses including cost of living. In case of disruption or failure of adoption, the cost of repatriating the child to India, will be borne by the Enlisted Foreign Adoption Agency, if no alternative placement for the child is effected in the foreigner's country with the concurrence of the Recognised Indian Placement Agency.

b) No donation shall be received by a Recognised Indian Placement Agency from a Foreign Prospective Adoptive Parent/Parents or Enlisted Foreign Adoption Agency. 

i) If it comes to CARA's notice that any RIPA charges more than the prescribed fees or tries to financially exploit the sponsoring agency/adoptive parents, CARA may after giving an opportunity to such agency to explain its position, suspend or withdraw its recognition as well as recommend criminal prosecution to the State Govt. as per law i.e. in terms of the principles of accountability of the person found defaulter. Similarly, if any Enlisted Foreign Adoption Agency induces a Recognized Adoption Placement Agency by giving offers of more money than the prescribed fees for processing a case of inter-country adoption of an Indian child, CARA may after giving an opportunity to such agency to explain its point of view, de-enlist the foreign agency along with recommendation to prosecute the defaulters as per law of that country.

ii) There should not be any agreement between Indian and Foreign Agencies on number of children to be offered for adoption to foreign families. Similarly, no such agreement on donations and fees will be entered between such Agencies.

3. Registration of Adoption Deed: Indian Rupees 550 Approximately.

You'll need to get the adoption deed franked (equivalent to putting it on a stamp paper) in a bank for Rs. 200. You'll also subsequently pay the city registrar a fee for registering the document - the final step that makes your adoption official. The exact amount for registration depends on the number of pages your deed + the court order have. We paid a total of Rs. 320 in Mumbai in Jan 2010.

*Note*: At least in Mumbai, the registration process is well-defined (though crazy in its own way) and happens within a single day. So there's no waiting period, and no need to pay a bribe.

4. Application for a new Birth Certificate: Indian Rupees 300 Approximately.

The Health Dept. of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation issued us with a birth certificate for our child with our names as parents. We ordered 10 copies of the birth certificate and in total, this cost us Rs. 260.

*Note*: On top of the official fees, I paid a bribe here (scroll to the bottom of this page for details). If you are not pressed for time, don't feel obliged to part with anything.

5. Application for an International Passport: Indian Rupees 600 Only.

If both the adoptive parents have passports (a reasonable assumption if you are NRIs), police verification is not required for application of a minor's passport.

This has a startling benefit that is not very well known - you don't need to pay Tatkaal fees even if you want the passport quickly. Provided all your documents are in order, the passport office will issue your child's passport on the 5th working day after receiving your application. If you pay Tatkaal fees of Rs. 1500 on top of the official minor's fees of Rs. 600, they are obliged to issue you with the passport on the same day! Admittedly rarely, but every once in a while, the service you encounter in India can be an unexpectedly pleasant surprise!

6. Post Placement / Follow-up Reports performed by Touch Family Services, Singapore:  Singapore Dollars 800 Only.

Upon your return to your host country, you are required to furnish regular post-placement reports in triplicate - one copy goes to CARA, one to the city civil court and one is retained by your RIPA. The reports must be prepared by your EFAA.

a) First Report: Singapore Dollars 300 Only.
b) Second Report: Singapore Dollars 200 Only.
c) Subsequent Reports: Singapore Dollars 150 Each.

You will need to send your RIPA at least 6-monthly reports for a period of 2 years, so in total, post-placement reports should set you back by SGD 800.

7. Other Expenses:

Apart from these official fees, we also encountered expenses for:
- Getting our medical reports prepared as per documentation requirements
- Getting our documents notarized and attested & couriering our dossier across to our RIPA in India. A notarial certificate in Singapore costs S$75, notarizing each page costs S$10. Notarization in India costs Rs. 100 per document. (2009 prices)
- Medical tests for our adoptive child
- Travel & accommodation in India during the adoption

** *Note*: The single exception was when I had to perforce offer an inducement (Rs. 600 for an officer + Rs. 200 for a typist) to get our child's birth certificate prepared in the extra short time that was left for us to return to Singapore. I regret having had to do even that, but the battle between your principles and the corrupt gentlemen in an Indian municipal office is an uneven one at the best of times. When you are pressed for time, it is pretty much a lost cause.


  1. We have applied for passport for our adopted daughter. Even with Tatkaal fees of Rs 1500/-, we are told the passport will be issued in 7 days. We are waiting to see of this holds true. We are on day 7 today.
    Its heartening to know that you got the passport in less than 7 days.

  2. The fees payable to the Registrar (Rs. 320/= in your case) : Is this payable in cash? Pl. let me know. Thank u so much.

  3. Hi Anonymous,
    Yes, we paid in cash. (although I noticed that everybody else who was there for a property related transaction was paying by bank draft).

  4. Dear RM,

    Thank u so much for yr feedback. Yes, it was my previous experience with the Registrar's office where I had to pay charges in DD form (for registering my house agreement).

    I really appreciate your entire effort. In fact I was very impressed with your blog and the format / contents. It is a vitual walk-through of the entire procedure and presented in the form of a step-by-step manual.

    Congratulations and best wishes!!

    Thank u once again.

  5. Hi Anonymous,

    Thank you for your very kind comments! Always gratifying to hear the blog is of use to someone, somewhere. Feel free to write to us at for any further info, or simply if you wish to share anything at all about your experience.

    Congrats and best wishes on your adoption too. What a terrific journey it is, isn't it? :)


  6. Dear RM,
    A commendable job with the site.I am in the process of embarking on this journey and your blog has certainly removed confusion about how to get started and the next steps!


  7. Dear AA,

    Thanks & best wishes for your journey!

    Please note that the CARA process has changed with the issue of the new 2011 guidelines. Your first dossier with HSR now needs to go straight to CARA for them to match you with an orphanage.

    Link to New CARA Procedure.


  8. Thank you so much for providing the undertaking sample. It was of great help :) bless your kid!

  9. My pleasure, Anonymous! Thank you for the blessings and good luck! :)

  10. thanks for the undertaking sample. Great help.

  11. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Wish you a speedy process!

  12. Hi RM,

    Great blog on your adoption process. I myself am thinking of writing a blog on in-country adoption procedure.
    We're yet to make the adoption deed. Your site has some useful info.
    Could you tell me what were the documents that were required to apply for the adopted child's passport.

  13. Thanks Anonymous; yes please do, there is a serious dearth of information out there. The more current, the better too, since the rules and procedures keep changing!

    Here's the information on the passport requirements: