Nepal re-allows adoptions
KATHMANDU - NEPAL is to restart international adoptions after tightening regulations in the wake of widespread corruption allegations, an official said on Tuesday.
Adoptions of Nepalese children by foreigners were stopped last year following reports of middlemen charging prospective parents up to US$20,000 (S$30,109).
'New applications for adoption will be accepted within a month,' said Mr Prakash Adhikari, an official at the ministry of women, children and social welfare.
'We have approved 58 adoption agencies from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Norway.'
In the past, adoptive parents could approach children's homes individually, but this practice had been ended, the official said.
'The international agencies and prospective parents can no longer select the children on their own. The government will do the matching after the parents furnish their criteria,' Mr Adhikari said.
Adopting parents will pay US$5,000 to the children's home and US$3,000 to the government.
In Aug, a United Nations report into adoptions in Nepal found that children were being sold, abducted and trafficked.
Around 80 per cent of the 12,000 children in homes around Nepal had family they could live with and should not put up for adoption, said the report.
Government figures show 2,200 children have been adopted by foreigners in the past seven years. -- AFP