Friday, November 5, 2010

Minister Sarwadev Prasad Ojha's Opening Speech at Euradopt

The following transcript of Minister Sarwadev Prasad Ojha's speech at the Euradopt meeting in Oslo on October 30, 2010 was provided to PEAR by an interested party in Nepal:

Distinguished Participants,

Ladies and Gentlemen!


First of all, on behalf of the Government of Nepal and myself, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the President of EurAdopt Madam Pia Brandsnes for providing me this opportunity to express our views and concern on Inter-country adoption of Nepal in front of you.

As you all know that the history of inter-country adoption in Nepal has been started 3 decades back. A lot of changes have been made during these period regarding the policies, laws and practices. We are always concerned with the children of Nepal and our policies and laws have always directed towards the path of the child first. We are also aware that children should grow up in the family environment and should receive all the rights guided by the national and international standards.

At present the new law - Terms and Conditions and Process for Granting Approval for Adoption of Nepali Child by Alien 2008 is prevailed for processing inter-country adoption of Nepal. We all know that development is a continue process and there is always room for improvement in every aspects. However, the new Terms and Conditions 2008 is also flexible in this matter.

After the report in regard to inter-country adoption of Nepal prepared by Hague Secretariat on 4 February 2010 and the following meeting of Hague Secretariat on June 2010, some negative messages and misunderstandings have been spread out in international community which affected the process of inter-county adoption in Nepal. We do honor the sensitivity and seriousness of the report. We are always sincere to improve the weaknesses and gaps existed in our inter country adoption process.

We know international community is watching keenly the further steps to be taken by Nepal, as some of the countries have suspended inter-country adoption from Nepal at the moment. We are observing the international trend of inter-country adoption system. In this regard, I would like to assure you that the Ministry has started to reform the existing process and policies and for this we need your technical support and valuable suggestions.

To improve the existing Terms and Conditions we have already started necessary steps. A High Level Committee has been formed consisting government and non-government stakeholders. This Committee is working for providing suggestions to the Ministry for reviewing existing law to make it compatible with Hague Convention.

Nepal has already signed the Hague Convention in 28 April 2009 and now we are in a process to ratify it. The High Level Committee as I mentioned above is working in this guide line.

At present, malfunctioning children homes/orphanages have been penalized and they are banned for working on inter-country adoption. We are strictly monitoring the activities and process of documentation of the children homes/orphanages involved in Inter-country adoption.

We know there are more corrective steps yet to be initiated by the Government of Nepal for which we need valuable suggestions and technical support from the international community.

We are here today once again to show our commitments towards the welfare of children and willingness to work together with all of you.

Thank you very much for your warm welcome and the hospitality provided to us during our stay in OSLO.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

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