Monday, February 22, 2010

Nepal's Adoption System Unreliable: US (Republica)

Nepal's Adoption System Unreliable: US


: The United States has accused Nepal´s inter-country adoption of being unreliable and cautioned prospective adoptive US parents to find out orphan status of the minors before taking any decision on adoption from Nepal.

"We caution prospective adoptive parents who have yet to choose a country that the inter-country adoption system in Nepal is not yet reliable," said the US State Department in a notice last week.

The US allegation comes after the finding of US Embassy in Kathmandu which found that a child set for adoption was not a true orphan and its biological parents were actively searching for it.

The US´s concerns follow a similar allegation by The Hague Conference on Private International Law, an inter-governmental organization based in The Hague, early this month. The organization, in its report, said that the Nepal´s inter-country adoption system was marred by widespread abuses. It also urged Nepal to suspend the adoptions till the children are better protected and new legislation introduced to prevent such abuses.

The State Department said in the notice that the US shares many of the concerns outlined in The Hague report. US is the second country to respond to the report. Earlier on February 10, Germany had also suspended adoptions from Nepal on the basis of the report.

This is the second time since 2007 Nepal´s adoption system has been questioned at the international level. Nepal had faced similar allegations and had officially suspended inter-country adoptions in May 2007. The government had introduced new rules in 2008 to address the loopholes before deciding to resume adoptions in January 2009. But child rights campaigners complain that the abuses continue even after the rules were enforced.

Most Nepali children are adopted by families in Spain, Italy, the US, France and Germany. Nepal saw a surge in inter-country adoptions after 1999/2000, when the process was standardized and brought under the Ministry for Women, Children and Social Welfare.

In the meantime, a Kathmandu-based international group on adoption, which held a meeting at the US embassy on February 11 on The Hague report, is making preparations to come up with a common response to the report, most likely this week, according to an official working at the embassy of an EU country.

From - a sister publication of Republica national daily:

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

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