Who Can Be Adopted from Nepal

Kathmandu - Boudhanath.

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, Nepal has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption:

Relinquishment: Nepal will process intercountry adoptions for relinquished children. Under Nepali law, single mothers, or married mothers who have been left by their husbands, must meet stringent requirements regarding the relinquishment of their children for adoption. Birth fathers have twelve years from the child's birth to claim the child and assert custody rights. Unless a mother identifies the father and he agrees, in writing, to the child's adoption, the child will not be eligible for adoption. This can result in uncertainties as to a whether a child is actually eligible for adoption and may result in further investigations and delays. Birth parent(s) may not directly relinquish their child to an orphanage. Any relinquishment must be done through the Child Welfare Authority at the Chief District Office (CDO) of each district. Each of the CDOs report directly to the Nepal Home Ministry (central government). There are 75 districts in Nepal, and each of the districts has a CDO, who is roughly equivalent in authority to a U.S. state governor. The authority to determine legal guardianship of a child has been conferred to the Child Welfare Authority operating under the CDO, not the courts. There is a court system in Nepal, but it does not deal with legal guardianship or adoption issues.

Abandonment: On January 5, 2011, the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare in its Notice No. 1 announced that children found by the police will not be available for intercountry adoption until further notice.

Age of Adoptive Child: Children under the age of 16 may be adopted.

Sibling Adoptions: If the prospective adoptive parents already have a child or children, Nepal government regulations state they only match a Nepali child of the opposite sex of their biological child or children. Siblings of the opposite sex can be adopted together if other qualifications are met. The Government of Nepal does not have a policy to keep siblings together.

Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Children with special needs or medical conditions can be adopted by prospective adoptive parents approved to adopt special needs children.

Waiting Period or Foster Care: Children are required to have been in the children's home for a minimum of 90 days before they are eligible to be matched for intercountry adoption.

Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are adoptable. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)’s adoption.

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