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May 5, 08

NEWS / Nepal Introduces New Intercountry Adoption Terms





May 2008

On May 2, 2008, the Nepali Cabinet approved new terms and conditions to govern the intercountry adoption process, but it is not yet known when adoptions may resume. 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.

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 childís 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.

Background:

The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (WCS), the ministry in charge of international adoptions in Nepal, had suspended the adoption of Nepalese children by foreigners on May 8, 2007, pending approval of reforms of the adoption process by the Nepali Cabinet.

On November 5, 2007 the Nepali Cabinet voted to allow the approximately 440 cases of adoptive families already matched with a child and assigned a Ministry case numberto be processed under the existing terms and conditions of Nepalís adoption law. By April 2008, the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu completed processing the last of the fifty American cases affected by this decision.

Contact: adoptionsnepal@state.gov


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