30 Sep 2011

The Author

Author of the award-winning book Finding Fernanda. Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. Redux Pictures photographer. Read more here.


Nepal: Orphanage Closures & New Adoption Agency Licenses

On September 4, 2011, the government of Nepal completed a review of “foreign organizations”– meaning adoption agencies– granted 2-year operating permits to 36 foreign businesses, enabling them to work in intercountry adoption until January 1, 2013. The permits are retroactively effective to January 1, 2011. The list is quite a reduction from the 63 international agencies licensed by Nepal in 2009-2019.

According to the announcement, all of the agencies must be Hague-accredited, and each one must work with a unique Nepali citizen in-country. There are a total of sixteen American companies:

  • New Beginnings adoptions and Family Services, USA
  • Holt International, USA
  • Wide Horizons for Children, USA
  • International Adoption, USA
  • Gladney Center for Adoption , USA
  • Families Thru International Adoption, USA
  • Adoption Ark, USA
  • Children’s Home Society & Family Services, USA
  • DeColores Adoptions International, USA
  • All God’s Children International, USA
  • Hope Promise, USA
  • Adoption Star, USA
  • Pearl S. Buck International, USA
  • La Vida International, USA
  • Adopt International & Domestic Services, USA
  • Illien Adoptions International Inc, USA

I haven’t taken the time to check if all of these agencies have indeed held Hague-accreditation in the past, but this list from the US Council on Accreditation shows one of the agencies on Nepal’s list, All God’s Children, is currently being reviewed for re-accreditation. I’m not sure if the agency listed above as “International Adoption” refers to the agency “International Adoption Services, Inc.,” but if so, they’re also currently under review. The Council on Accreditation’s list of agencies who were denied accreditation is here. The US Department of State banned all US citizens from initiating adoptions for abandoned Nepali children in fall 2010 due to fraud concerns, including the fact that “information regarding how children arrive at orphanages is consistently inadequate and that documents presented to establish that a child was found abandoned are unreliable.” The State Department also noted that investigations into abandonment cases were “hampered” by the unavailability of Nepali officials involved in reports of abandonment as well as the refusal of police and orphanage officials in allowing US Embassy consular officers access to records.

Since then, a number of Nepali orphanages have also closed. There’s a list of news clips about this over at PEAR’s (Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform) Nepal blog: http://pearadoptinfo-nepal.blogspot.com

The full notice on the renewal of foreign organizations/agencies from the Government of Nepal’s Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare  (and lots more) here: http://www.mowcsw.gov.np/inter-country-adoption-15-en.html


For background on adoption fraud in Nepal, see this BBC article from September 28, 2011, “Nepal Comes to Terms with Foreign Adoption Tragedy” by Thomas Bell.


The US Department of State’s Intercountry Adoption: Nepal page: http://adoption.state.gov/country_information/alerts_notices.php?country-select=nepal

The Nepalese Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (in Nepali): http://www.mowcsw.gov.np/

Yahoo Nepal adoption listserve: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nepaladopt/

Yahoo “NChild” adoption listserve: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nchild/





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