Prospective parents wanting to adopt can no longer “pick and choose” and can only accept or reject the child offered by the national adoption body, PTI reported on Sunday. The new rule will come into force from May 1.

Till now, parents who registered with the government’s adoption portal, CARINGS, were referred up to three children and could accept one. From tomorrow, parents will be referred only one child.

“The rate of adoption was very slow and the children would remain in the referral cycle for a very long time,” the Chief Executive Officer of the Central Adoption Resource Authority, Lieutenant Colonel Deepak Kumar told the news agency. “Under the new method, we will be able to refer all children in our adoption pool to an equal number of prospective parents.” The body functions under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Parents can participate in a maximum of three rounds of referral before they move to the bottom of the waiting list. In each of these rounds, they will be sent a profile of a different child. “We are also trying to discourage commodification of adoptable children where parents can pick and choose, “ Kumar said.

Parents will have 48 hours to accept a child from the time the child’s profile is sent to them. It takes another 20 days to complete formalities before an application is filed in a court to seek an adoption order.