Spain, Italy suspend adoption from Nepal

July 14, 2010

KATHMANDU, July 14: Spain and Italy have suspended inter-country adoption from Nepal, joining other countries which have taken similar steps accusing Nepal´s adoption system of being non-transparent and unaccountable.

According to a member of the adoption group -- a loose forum of western countries to discuss adoption related issues -- Spain and Italy are the latest in the league that has decided to not adopt children from Nepal.

Nepal´s adoption system has been questioned by the western countries following publication of a report by The Hague Conference on Private International Law, an intergovernmental organization in February this year.

The report based on an investigation by a group of lawyers accused Nepal´s adoption system of widespread abuse. It also called for suspension of adoption from Nepal until the system is reformed.

Following the publication of the Hague report in February, eight western countries have suspended adoption officially and unofficially from Nepal. They include Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Nepal-based embassies of the EU countries and the United States have already asked Nepal government to ensure transparency in adoption system and keep child rights protection mechanism in place.

In addition, the United States in March had issues an alert notice to prospective adoptive US parents, expressing concern over Nepal´s adoption system and the accuracy of the information in children´s official files.

Secretary at the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare Mahendra Shrestha said that the ministry is will talk to the US embassy officials in this regard.

Meanwhile, The Hague Conference has once again questioned transparency and accountability of Nepal´s adoption system even as Nepali mission in Brussels last month had claimed that there have been reforms in the adoption system following the enforcement of a 2008 regulation.


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