Nepal: Department of State Announcement

1/9/2009

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.

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