Nepal Adoption Notice
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
September 29, 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 approved Agency in 2009. The GON provided copies of the new requirements, to all approved agencies.
According to Nepali officials, the new requirements apply to all intercountry adoptions. There is NO provision to permit prospective adoptive families who had already begun an adoption to be “grandfathered” under the previous Nepali regulation. All but one of the prospective adoptive parents matched with children under the previous system relinquished the match so the children could be available for adoption under Nepal’s new Terms and Conditions. Some of these children have since been matched with new prospective adoptive parents.
On September 2, 2009, the Nepali Prime Minister appointed a new minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare. This minister has authority to sign final adoption decrees. Since then, under its new “Terms and Conditions,” the GON has granted adoptions to U.S. families in four cases. As a result, these families have now approached the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu to complete their processing under U.S. law. The GON has also indicated that they will likely process several more adoption cases for U.S. families in October and that approximately two dozen additional case referrals have been sent to U.S. families. The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu continues to meet with GON officials and is working with the Office of Children’s Issues to provide timely public updates.
As part of required processing for orphan adoption cases, the Embassy conducts a thorough investigation of each case. Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that the investigation process may take several months, which could mean that prospective adoptive parents who travel to Nepal before the investigation is completed will need to spend a significant amount of time in country.