KATHMANDU, Nov 29: After receiving no application for inter-country adoption in 2011, the government has asked prospective foreign parents to apply for adopting Nepali orphans for the year 2012.
The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MWCSW) has formally invited applications through concerned embassies, diplomatic missions and international adoption agencies for the first time after inter-country adotption was suspended in 2009.
The ministry had suspended inter-country adoption following disclosure of rampant irregularities in the process. Some European countries including USA had also suspended adoption of Nepali children indefinitely after revelation of irregularities. Before the suspension, the ministry used to receive more than 500 such applications each year.
“We have completed listing eligible children for adoption for 2012. Altogether 252 children are eligible for adoption,” the legal officer at the ministry, Sher Jung Karki, said. Children formally relinquished by the family will also be put on offer for adoption, he said.
Some of the children´s homes had stopped providing shelter to newcomer orphans since a year after foreign countries stopped taking in Nepali children. The children´s homes cited financial problems for stopping providing shelter to newcomer orphans. Foreign adoption is one of the main financial sources of the orphanages.
The government has also introduced strict measures after reports of irregularities in adoption were disclosed.
Karki said that the foreign parents seeking to adopt Nepali children cannot approach the children directly. “Prospective parents cannot visit Nepal to select children without the consent of the Nepal government. They have to apply through the Internet,” the legal officer at the ministry, Karki, stated. The ministry has asked foreign parents to submit application within three days from November 17.
He also said the adopting parents need to submit documents concerning permission from their respective governments for adoption and should apply through registered adoption agencies.
The government had also fixed fee for adoption. Adopting parents have to pay US$ 8,000 and the orphanage will get only US$ 5,000 per child. The US$ 3,000 will go to the state and it will be spent for the welfare of children.
Previously adopting parents would approach the concerned orphanage directly and select a child. They would pay huge amount to the orphanages to take away the children of their choice. Karki said that adopting parents from now on will be able to choose only gender and age of the children.
The ministry says 29 orphanages have renewed their licenses for inter-country adoption. Seven new orphanages have acquired licenses for adoption. Parents from around 72 countries adopt Nepali children.