U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
June 05, 2009
On January 1, 2009, the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MWCSW) announced procedures for processing adoptions pursuant to the Government of Nepal’s (GON) new Terms and Conditions for adoptions. The initial announcement stated that only 10 applications will be processed from each Embassy, Mission, or enlisted Agency in 2009. Requirements have been provided to all approved agencies. According to Nepali officials, the new requirements will apply to all intercountry adoptions. There is NO provision to permit adoptive families who may have already begun an adoption to continue (be “grandfathered”) under the previous regulations.
On May 17, 2009, MWCSW stated that they will not provide any information on adoption cases in process until a final decision on the matching of a child is made. Information regarding referrals will only be provided to the Diplomatic Mission or the Adoption Agency that forwarded the dossier to the Ministry. For further details about this policy, please consult the MWCSW website.
Although Nepal announced the signing of the Hague Adoption Convention on April 30, 2009, Nepal has not ratified the Convention and it is not in effect at this time. Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that Nepal suspended intercountry adoptions in 2007 because of serious irregularities as well as credible claims of fraud and possible child-buying. It is not clear that the new adoption procedures will provide sufficient safeguards to ensure that intercountry adoption procedures will be transparent and will adequately protect the rights of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents. Although the government has announced that the MWCSW is prepared to begin processing intercountry adoptions, adoptive parents considering an intercountry adoption from Nepal should be aware that the current transition period likely will pose considerable delays and challenges as the Government of Nepal seeks to implement its new policies and regulations. The Embassy continues to seek clarification regarding these procedures and will post additional details as they are available.