Friday, August 6, 2010

U.S. Suspends Approvals of Nepali Adoptions Based on Abandonment

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), it and the Department of State have agreed to suspend processing for new adoption cases based on abandonment in Nepal:

In order to protect the rights and interests of certain Nepali children and their families, and of U.S. prospective adoptive parents, the Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have jointly decided to suspend adjudication of new adoption petitions and related visa issuance for children who are described as having been abandoned in Nepal.

The Department of State’s recent interactions with the Government of Nepal and its efforts to review and investigate numerous abandonment cases, including field visits to orphanages and police departments, have demonstrated that documents presented to describe and “prove” the abandonment of children in Nepal are unreliable. Civil documents, such as the children’s birth certificates often include data that has been changed or fabricated. Investigations of children reported to be found abandoned are routinely hindered by the unavailability of officials named in reports of abandonment. Police and orphanage officials often refuse to cooperate with consular officers’ efforts to confirm information by comparing it with official police and orphanage records. In one case, the birth parents were actively searching for a child who had been matched with an American family for adoption. Because the Department of State has concluded that the documentation presented for children reported abandoned in Nepal is unreliable and the general situation of non-cooperation with and even active hindrance of investigations, the U.S. Government can no longer reasonably determine whether a child documented as abandoned qualifies as an orphan. Without reliable documentation, it is not possible for the United States Government to process an orphan petition to completion
Took 'em long enough.  Just about every other country has stopped international adoptions from Nepal, and the State Department has been issuing warnings for a while, but they have just now stopped adoptions from Nepal.


Wendy said...

I was told about Nepal corruption when we first started our adoption in 2005; our agency (who offered adoption from there) warned us against it. You are right, it is about time!

Von said...

And they're not alone.

Henry Scobie said...

If you want to understand the U.S. suspension, read:

Nepal Children's Organization (Bal Mandir) -- Victims of Balmandir


Trade of Children (Voice of Children) at PEAR Nepal

Henry Scobie said...

Nepal -- Paper Orphans documentary posted on the web:

Terrific documentary on the Bal Mandir kidnappings.

By the Swiss INGO -- Terre des Hommes.