Effective August 6, 2010, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced the suspension of new adoption cases for children identified as abandoned in Nepal. The primary cause of the suspension appears to be that U.S. government feels the documentation on the children is not reliable, the origin of child cannot be adequately determined and the child’s adoptability cannot be assured.
The U.S. Dept of State will continue to process the approximately 80 adoptions for those children officially referred to an American citizen prior to August 6, 2010. However, the review of these approximately 80 adoptions will be vigorous and it is expected that some might not be ultimately approved.
Children who have been Referred
It is Joint Council’s understanding that for the approximately 80 children referred the U.S. Embassy in Nepal may soon begin a program during which cases will be investigated by the Embassy prior to the finalization of the adoption. Joint Council has no additional information regarding this program at the time. As soon as further information is available Joint Council will distribute it via our website and blog. Given the above information it is not recommended that prospective adoptive parents travel to Nepal until given approval by the U.S. Embassy in Nepal.
Joint Council Orphan and Family Database
Joint Council is swiftly creating it’s Orphan and Family Database for Nepal. Joint Council anticipates having the database fully functioning by the end of business on Wednesday, August 11, 2010. All U.S. citizens who has been referred a child from Nepal are encouraged to take a moment and fill-in their adoption information. The database will allow Joint Council to advocate with the U.S. and Nepalese governments, as appropriate, for the cases currently in process.
Participation by all families with referrals is needed and appreciated. Our goal with this initiative, as will all of our efforts, is to help to bring the children of Nepal closer to a safe, permanent and loving family through a legal, ethical and timely process. Joint Council has created similar databases during recent crisis’ in Guatemala, Haiti, and Kyrgyzstan. Having the information of children and families involved is critically important to the efficacy of our advocacy efforts.
Contacting Members of Congress and the Department of State
It is our understanding that families are understandably advocating on behalf of the children they have been referred with Members of Congress and the Department of State. Advocating on an individual basis is obviously everyone’s right and responsibility as citizens and adoptive parents. However, from numerous initiatives, it is our experience and the experience of other child advocates that advocacy is most effective when executed collectively, with a unified voice and singular and specific goal. We therefore respectfully suggest that families can most effectively advocate by utilizing the Joint Council database and joining our larger effort.
Joint Council will continue to work aggressively with the governments of Nepal and the U.S. along with adoption service providers to ensure that the children of Nepal will once again have the right to a family through legal and ethical intercountry adoption.