KATHMANDU, Jan 19: The Hague Secretariat based in the Netherlands that monitors compliance with Hague Conventions has written to the government of Nepal to participate in a meeting in Rome, Italy, to discuss the country´s inter-country adoption process.
Nepal amended its inter-country adoption process in December 2010 amid allegations of widespread irregularities. The Hague Secretariat apparently maintains that Nepal hasn´t done enough.
“The Hague Secretariat wrote to the Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare on Monday saying it strongly desires that inter-country adoption of Nepalese children resumes,” said Sher Jung Karki, chief of the ministry´s legal section.
“The secretariat has also invited ministry officials to Rome to discuss the amended adoption process and has asked us for a convenient date to meet there,” he added.
The ministry is set to reply to the secretariat on Wednesday. “The meeting will most probably be fixed for sometime in February,” Karki said, adding that government officials from several recipient nations are expected to participate in the meeting.
Eleven countries suspended inter-country adoption from Nepal last year saying Nepal was not meeting international standards and practices determined by the Hague Convention that says adoption should take place in the best interest of the children.
Among countries that halted adoption from Nepal are the United States, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
Last month, the government announced a new set of inter-country adoption policies hoping to placate the international community.
Under the new process, for any children-related organization to be eligible to facilitate inter-country adoption, it should be engaged in child welfare for at least six years and should be registered as a placement agency.
Also, organizations must submit details of each orphan to a probe and recommendation committee within seven days and to a family selection committee within 14 days after the concerned district administration office verifies that the child is an orphan or a destitute.
Any organization found involved in suspicious practice will be barred from facilitating placement for five years.
The new set of policies allows local placement agencies to charge US$5,000 to adopting parents, while the government charges US$3,000.
Any foreign placement agency must set up a liaison office in Nepal and pay the government US$10,000 that will be handed over to an organization working for the welfare of children.
The new policy also allows Nobel laureates, heads of states/governments, foreign ministers, celebrities, or a couple with an annual income of over US$300,000 can become foster parents, while others cannot.
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~ What All Adoptions Deserve.