On home stretch

A study on adoption released by UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Terre des homes (Tdh) on Friday emphasised the need to prioritise the interests of the children up for adoption over benefits of childcare homes and orphanages. The study report “Adopting the rights of the child: a study on inter-country adoption and its influence on child protection in Nepal” reveals that only four of 100 children adopted from among the over 15,000 children in children’s homes in Nepal are domestic adoptions. The rest are snapped up by foreign parents.

According to the study, nearly 80 per cent of children now housed in childcare centres can be reunited with their relatives as they are not orphans per se but only separated from their families for various reasons. The standard of care in many orphanages is a far cry from the healthy and nurturing environment needed for healthy growth and development of children. Sadly, a cottage industry has grown around adoption, where profits for childcare homes are the focus rather than placement of children with good families. The government should explore ways to rehabilitate children to their original homes. And for those left behind, appropriate legal safeguards devised to prevent abuse and facilitate inter-country adoption on need basis.