Friday, August 6, 2010

MEDIA: US suspends adoption from Nepal (Republica)

US suspends adoption from Nepal

Kiran Chapagain

KATHMANDU, Aug 6: The US has suspended inter-country adoption from Nepal from Friday, questioning the authenticity of the system that has been marred by fraudulence and irregularities.

"In order to protect the rights and interests of certain Nepali children and their families, and of US prospective adoptive parents, the Department of State and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have jointly decided to suspend adjudication of new adoption petitions and related visa issuance for children who are described as having been abandoned in Nepal," the Department of State said in a statement on Friday.

Nepal´s adoption system has been questioned by the Western countries following publication of a report by The Hague Conference on Private International Law, an intergovernmental organization, in February this year.

The report based on an investigation by a group of lawyers had accused Nepal´s adoption system of widespread abuse. It had also called for suspension of adoption from Nepal until the system is reformed.

Following the publication of the Hague report, eleven Western countries including the US, have suspended adoption officially and unofficially from Nepal. Earlier Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom had suspended adoptions from Nepal.

The US decision is likely to force the Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare to suspend inter-country adoption altogether.

No official from the ministry was available to comment on the US decision. But Secretary at the Ministry Mahendra Shrestha had told in July that the government would suspend adoption from Nepal if the US also halted adoption.

A team from the Department of State had recently visited Nepal to interact with government officials.

The team had investigated numerous abandonment cases, including field visits to orphanages and police departments. Its investigation found that documents present to describe and "prove" abandonment of children in Nepal were unreliable, according the statement.

"Civil documents, such as the children´s birth certificates often include data that has been changed or fabricated. Investigations of children reported to be found abandoned are routinely hindered by the unavailability of officials named in reports of abandonment," the US said in the statement.

In March, the US had issued an alert notice to prospective adoptive US parents, expressing concern over Nepal´s adoption system and the accuracy of the information in children´s official files.

Published on 2010-08-06

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

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