THT 10 years ago: Government suspends inter-country adoptions

Kathmandu, June 28, 2007

The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW) has suspended inter-country adoptions and is drafting a new law in line with the Hague Convention to facilitate the adoption processes and exercises.

The inter-country adoption in Nepal has been suspended since March 5 and the ministry has returned 442 files related to such adoptions. A draft bill ‘Terms and Conditions for Inter-Country Adoption’ to curb irregularities and malpractice related to inter-country adoptions is currently being scrutinised at the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs (MoLJPA).

The MoWCSW drafted the new bill following the first International Conference of Inter-country Adoption held in March. The Kathmandu Declaration, issued at the end of the conference, had urged the government to ratify the Hague Convention, 1993.

Punya Prasad Neupane, secretary of the MoWCSW, said, “With the objectives of protecting rights of adopted children and making the adoption process transparent, we have taken initiatives to formulate a separate law on adoption.” The adoption process, which was regulated by the Child Act 1991, had authorised Nepal Children’s Organisation (Bal Mandir) to charge $300 per child for adoption.

“The Child Act did not have any provision to disclose the amounts charged by the orphanages and shelter homes from foster parents,” Neupane said.

Palace to get peanuts in next budget

Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat today said that the task of formulating the budget for the eight political parties was a daunting one.

In an interview to the Annapurna Post, he said that in a country so diverse as Nepal, a common budget that pleases everyone was not easy. The constituent assembly poll, rehabilitation of Maoist guerillas and general development work are formidable tasks, he said.

He added that due to unforeseen problems expenses could balloon beyond the set framework of the budget. Apart from the allocation of budget for the army, expenses could balloon in the sector of internal security, he said. “Right now, we are in the state of framing the budget. He added that the main focus of the budget would be on reconstruction, relief, CA poll process and establishment of peace.

He pointed out that even now the peace and law and order situation was not normal. Due to this , it would not be possible to slash the police or army budget, he added. The budget for the palace had been slashed heavily, he said, adding, “The palace will be getting a fund of Rs 3 crores only.

That also will be taxed. As such, the palace budget is no factor.” He regretted the lack of cooperation on part of the donor community, saying that the donor community was yet to believe that peace had really returned to Nepal.