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Baby dearth snags adoption


KATHMANDU, APR 12 - Despite government measures to make inter-country adoption foolproof and hassle-free, the prospective adoptive parents are unlikely to get the children of their choice if the present situation persists.

The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW) is facing shortage of children who are eligible for inter-country adoption. As a result, adoptive American parents, who have submitted applications seeking babies of their choice, will probably have to return empty-handed.

The problem occurred after most adoptive American parents, who make a large chunk of adoptive foreign parents, sought little Nepali children.

According to MoWCSW officials, almost 90 percent of the prospective adoptive parents from America have shown interest in adopting children under the age of one and a half years. Over 250 American parents have already submitted their documents wishing to adopt Nepali babies.

“The adoptive American parents won't get babies of their choice as most of the children registered at the ministry are above three years old,” said an MoWCSW official. This means adoptive families either have to shelve their plans to adopt Nepali babies or opt for older ones.

The second option is time-consuming, as adoptive parents should obtain new approval from the concerned authority of their native country.

MoWCSW spokesperson Tilak Ram Sharma expressed hope that the matching committee would do its best to meet the demands of the adoptive American parents. The matching committee, however, has no alternative to matching with the available children.

Records show that 534 foreign parents have registered their applications, while only 520 children are available for adoption. Out of this, 20 children have already been handed over to adoptive parents.

Many American parents want to adopt infants, according to officials, to prevent cultural shock and ensure their transition smooth. In addition, they want to bring up the adoptive children in the native environment.

Meanwhile, the ministry has cleared files of 38 parents who can fly with babies of their choice soon, while other cases are under matching committee's scrutiny.

2010 Apr 12