Frequently Asked Questions on Adoptions in Nepal
July 25, 2007
Q. What is the current status of adoptions in Nepal?
A. The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (WCS), which is the ministry in charge of international adoptions in Nepal, has informed the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu that the Government of Nepal has suspended all intercountry adoptions pending approval of reforms of the adoption process by the Nepali Cabinet. The Government of Nepal, which initiated this suspension on May 8, 2007, has given no indication about when it will be lifted.
Q. What is the U.S. Embassy in Nepal doing for American parents in the process of adopting a child from Nepal?
A. We see adoptions as a win-win situation for parents and eligible Nepali children. We are sympathetic to the emotional hardship that this decision by the Government of Nepal has caused American prospective adoptive parents. We have urged the Government of Nepal, while undertaking its reform efforts, to continue processing cases in which prospective adoptive parents have already been matched with a child. The Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu is, as always, available to speak with American prospective adoptive families and to assist them when possible.
Q. What is the U.S. Embassy in Nepal doing to address the suspension of adoptions by the Government of Nepal?
A. The Embassy is working with other international missions, U.S. adoption agencies, other international agencies, and the Government of Nepal at the highest levels. The U.S. Ambassador has addressed the processing of international adoptions with Nepal's Foreign Minister. The Embassy continues to meet regularly with contacts in the Government of Nepal, including the Social Welfare Council and the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, to advocate on behalf of American prospective adoptive parents.
Q. What will happen when the Government of Nepal resumes the processing of intercountry adoption cases in Nepal?
A. The U.S. Embassy is working closely with American prospective adoptive parents and U.S. agencies to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays once the Government of Nepal resumes processing of intercountry adoption cases. There are, however, several complicating factors that make adoption cases more difficult and thus more time-consuming in Nepal. Procedures for foreign adoptions in Nepal are unpredictable and the Government of Nepal’s requirements are not enforced in a uniform manner. Fabricated documents or genuine documents that are fraudulently obtained are readily available and often at variance with the facts of the case. The complete facts of many adoption cases are uncertain and the U.S. Consular Officers must often conduct lengthy investigations. In Kathmandu, as in many places around the world, Consular Officers have been granted the authority to adjudicate I-600 petitions on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) but only if the petitions are "clearly approvable." Some cases must be sent to the DHS regional office in New Delhi for review. Other delays are beyond the control of the U.S. Embassy, as the approval of adoption cases by the Government of Nepal is unpredictable and varies in length from six months to two years.
Frequently Asked Questions on Adoptions in Nepal, US Department of State, Intercountry Adoption News, 25 July 2007