14 countries urge govt to bolster adoption process

KATHMANDU: The international community in Nepal has asked the government to strengthen the inter-country adoption process to safeguard the children’s well-being.

The International Adoption Working Group encourages the Government of Nepal to act swiftly to strengthen the adoption process, the US Embassy said in a press statement issued on behalf of 14 countries — Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

The Group has appealed to the government to implement all 1993 Hague Convention on

Inter-Country Adoption regulations, including the measures aimed at ensuring authenticity and accuracy of documents,

promoting family preservation and, most importantly, safeguarding children’s well-being.

All of these recommendations are included in the recent

Hague Conference on Private

International Law — Mission

to Nepal Report.

The Working Group is composed of representatives from the diplomatic missions of countries who have adoption agencies, both private and state-run, active or considering becoming active in Nepal. “We support providing the Nepali government technical assistance in this matter,” according to the statement.

An investigation by international adoption law experts in November 2009 had found that the documents were routinely falsified and children’s homes were largely unregulated, with the interests of the child often not considered at all.

The lawyers, from The Hague Conference on Private International Law, had also urged authorities in Nepal to introduce new legislation to prevent such abuses.