Diplomats urge Nepal to strengthen adoption controls
February 24, 2010
Diplomats in Nepal on Wednesday urged the government to tighten controls on international adoptions after the parents of a child put up for adoption said they had not given their permission.
Nepalese children at an orphanage in Kathmandu in October 2008. Diplomats in Nepal have urged the government to tighten controls on international adoptions after the parents of a child put up for adoption said they had not given their permission.
In a statement issued by the US embassy, diplomats from 14 countries urged the government "to act swiftly" to implement safeguards contained in a 1993 Hague convention on international adoption.
These include "implementing measures aimed at ensuring authenticity and accuracy of documents, promoting family preservation and, most importantly, safeguarding children?s well-being," they said.
The warning came after a US couple trying to adopt a young Nepalese girl discovered that the child's biological parents were not only alive but were actively searching for her.
Authorities reportedly only became aware of the parents' existence when they turned up at the ministry for women and children to seek help in finding their daughter.
Nepal introduced new legislation in 2008 to try to prevent such abuses, and only restarted international adoptions last year under the new system.
But campaigners say widespread problems persist and earlier this month, a team of legal experts from The Hague called for international adoptions of Nepalese children to be suspended.
They said their investigations found documents were routinely falsified and children's homes were largely unregulated, with the interests of the child often not considered at all.