Three years ago, Nepal temporarily suspended international adoptions because children were fraudulently identified as orphans and placed for adoption abroad without parental consent. Although adoptions resumed under new rules, The Hague Conference on Private International Law has recommended that adoptions be suspended once again because of continued abuses.
The children are often taken from parents under false pretenses of providing the minors with a better education and a higher standard of living. The children are then marketed as orphans available for adoption by couples residing in other countries.
Most adoptees end up in Western Europe or the United States. Many are separated from their siblings in the process.
Although separated from their parents, these children may be lucky in comparison to some of their counterparts. Some minor boys and girls are trafficked from Nepal for commercial sexual exploitation in brothels located in New Delhi and Mumbai.
Child trafficking, whether for profit or under the pretense of improving lives, is unacceptable. It is endemic of larger socio-economic issues underlying the abandonment of children by their parents within Nepal. According to Swiss charity Terre des hommes, more than sixty (60%) percent of children living in Nepalese orphanages have living parents.
In the short term, Nepal’s government should suspend international adoptions once again until it can create a workable mechanism that prevents children from being adopted without parental consent. To alleviate the problem long-term, the standard of living must improve to a point where parents can afford to keep and raise their children rather than selling or abandoning them to an unknowable and threatening future as a trafficked child.
Nepal 'should suspend' adoptions, BBC News (Feb. 4, 2010)
Case study: Nepali boy adopted in France, BBC News (Feb. 4, 2010)
Experts urge Nepal to ban international adoptions, AFP (Feb. 4, 2010)
U.S. report says natural disasters made more children at risk of exploitation in 2005, AP Worldstream (Sep. 7, 2006)
Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.