Nepal 2009-2007

October 5, 2009

The Department of State has released a statement about adoptions from Nepal. Please click here to read it.

February 11, 2009

Joint Council has received the latest list of agencies accredited to work in Nepal. The full list of agencies may be viewed here.

January 9, 2009

The U.S. Department of State has released the following announcement:

On January 1, 2009, the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MWCSW) established procedures for processing adoptions pursuant to the Government of Nepal’s (GON) new Terms and Conditions for adoptions. The initial announcement stated that only 10 applications will be processed from each Embassy, Mission, or enlisted Agency in 2009. It is understood that these requirements have been provided to all approved agencies. According to Nepali officials, the new requirements will apply to all intercountry adoptions. There is NO provision to permit adoptive families who may have already begun an adoption to continue (be “grandfathered”) under the previous regulations.

Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that Nepal suspended intercountry adoptions in 2007 because of serious irregularities as well as credible claims of fraud and possible child-buying. It is not clear that the new adoption procedures will provide sufficient safeguards to ensure that intercountry adoption procedures will be transparent and will adequately protect the rights of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents.

Although the government has announced that the MWCSW is prepared to begin processing intercountry adoptions, adoptive parents considering an intercountry adoption from Nepal should be aware that the current transition period likely will pose considerable delays and challenges as the Government of Nepal seeks to implement its new policies and regulations. The Embassy continues to seek clarification regarding these procedures and will post additional details as they are available.

November 14, 2008

The U.S. Department of State has announced that the Government of Nepal has not yet resumed processing intercountry adoptions. It is expected that the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (WCS) may begin accepting applications in January 2009; however, many procedures remain to be implemented at the Ministry and local levels before adoption processing can officially resume.

In preparation for the resumption of intercountry adoptions, on October 25, 2008, the WCS published a list of 58 international adoption agencies that it has accredited to work in Nepal. Among the list are 32 U.S.-based agencies. U.S. prospective adoptive parents who are considering an adoption from Nepal should work with one of these approved agencies.

We will update this notice as soon as there is additional information. For specific adoption questions you may contact: adoptionsnepal@state.gov.

October 28, 2008

The Nepalese government has released a list of agencies approved to work in Nepal. Please see the attachment for details.

May 28, 2008

The U.S. Department of State announced that the Nepali Cabinet approved the following terms and conditions to govern the intercountry adoption process on May 2nd, 2008:

Some changes introduced by the new terms and conditions include:

  • The WCS Ministry, not the orphanages, will be responsible for matching children with adopting parents.

  • Documented efforts by the orphanages to find an abandoned child’s natural parents will be intensified, as well as efforts to promote domestic adoption of these children by Nepalese families in Nepal as a first preference.
  • Adoption agencies must be registered with WCS in order to work in Nepal, and prospective adoptive parents must apply to adopt through these registered agencies.

The legislation also stipulates that adoptive families who had been matched with a child prior to June 15, 2007 may be processed under the terms and conditions which were in effect at that time.

November 6, 2007

Joint Council is very pleased to report that the Nepali Cabinet has approved the completion of the over 400 adoptions which have been suspended since April 2007.

With a goal of ensuring that each child retained the right to find a permanent, safe and loving family, this truly collaborative effort included the governments of the United States, Spain, Italy and France along with advocates such as Joint Council and service providers such as Faith International and Holt International. Undoubtedly, the nexus of our collective advocacy was a small group of loving and tenacious adoptive families. These families remain committed to the children referred to them over six months ago and to all Nepalese children.

Joint Council, along with other advocates will continue to work with the Nepali government to ensure the process of facilitating the adoptions serves the best interest of each child via an expeditious and legal manner.

October 27, 2007

Joint Council, in cooperation with adoptive families and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, have initiated numerous efforts to complete the adoptions of over 400 children currently caught in legal limbo. Prior to the suspension of adoptions, 400 children were referred to families, yet their adoptions have not been able to be completed. Joint Council expects to announce a new Initiative in the coming weeks as part of the collaborative effort to allow Nepal’s children to find permanent families through intercountry adoption.

September 5, 2007

On May 8, the Nepali government imposed a moratorium on all intercountry adoptions pending the passage of adoption reform legislation by the Nepali cabinet. On May 23, the U.S. Embassy delivered a formal diplomatic note urging the Nepalese government to continue processing cases in which adoptive parents have already been matched with a child. For more information about Nepalese adoptions, please visit the Department of State’s Nepal website.

January 2007

Joint Council staff and Board of Directors met with the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Monday in conjunction with our quarterly Board meeting. The following update was supplied to us by DOS:

The U.S. Government continues to have concerns about the adoption process in Nepal. Due to both the security situation and Nepal’s difficult geography, the Embassy in Kathmandu has not always been able to conduct the level or number of field investigations we would like. The number of orphanages in Nepal has proliferated during the past two years. Nepalese law regarding paternity claims – under which Nepalese fathers of out-of-wedlock children have up to 12 years to assert paternity – make maternal relinquishments essentially impossible, and thus many children are “found abandoned”. The State Department has been working closely with USCIS and particularly the USCIS office at Embassy New Delhi (which covers Nepal) to review how we might be able to better deal with this environment. Joint Council will continue to work closely with DOS to assess the situation and advocate for the best interest of children in Nepal. We will be sure to update the membership with new information as it is made available to us.

The U.S. Department of State has posted frequently asked questions regarding the current status of adoptions in Nepal on its website. Topics discussed include actions taken by the U.S. Embassy in Nepal to address the current suspension, as well as what it is doing for American parents currently in the process of adopting a child from Nepal. Click hereto access the full document.

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