HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare has extended the deadline for applications from foreigners to adopt Nepali children after it received only a handful of requests.
Foreign parents who want to adopt Nepali children now have two more months to file their application, which was due by mid-February for this year.
“We extended the deadline after we received only around four applications from Indian and Japanese nationals,” said Sher Jung Karki, member-secretary at the Inter Country Adoption Management Committee of the ministry.
Before the system of applying to the government for adopting Nepali children came into effect, interested couples would approach orphanages directly and select children. They would pay huge sums to the orphanages to take away the children of their choice. But now couples can only choose the gender and age of children.
The application has to come through embassies, diplomatic missions and international adoption agencies concerned, said the ministry. Couples seeking to adopt a Nepali child also need to submit documents showing that their government has granted permission to adopt the children.
Karki said the number of foreign nationals, who want to adopt Nepali children, has fallen after the Permanent Bureau of The Hague Conference on Private International Law raised questions over documents of children up for adoption. He said the ministry did not receive a single application for the adoption in 2011 due to pending applications from 2009/10.
The European countries’ baning of adoption of Nepali children after ‘extensive cases of abuse, fake documents and false statements’ has also driven interest in Nepali children down. Italian, French and Spanish nationals were enthusiastic about raising a child from Nepal before the ban. The ministry received around 500 such applications each year from those countries and the US.
Karki informed that the US launched a probe into 65 cases of adoption for a year, but did not find irregularities.