Senior US official in Kathmandu to discuss inter-country adoption issue.
Kathmandu, Feb. 17 -- A top U.S. official arrived in Kathmandu on Wednesday on two-day visit to discuss issues related to inter-country adoption from Nepal.
According to press statement issued by US Embassy in Kathmandu, the visit of U.S. Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Janice Jacobs is primarily focused on inter-country adoptions. She will meet with officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Women, Children and Social Welfare to discuss the United States government's concerns about the inter-country adoption process.
The visit of Assistant Secretary Jacobs comes in the wake diplomatic community as well as rights groups raising serious concerns that inter-country adoption from Nepal was subject to widespread abuse. Many western countries including the U.S. had earlier stopped inter-country adoption from following such concerns from the rights groups.
Though the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare recently brought an amendment in the conditions and procedures relating to inter-country adoption the move has failed to fully convince the groups advocating for the rights of orphan and destitute children. They argue that there are still chances of sending 'not genuinely orphan and destitute' children for inter-country adoption.
Among other things, the amendment adopted new measures to ensure that children being approved for inter-country adoption are genuinely 'orphan' or 'destitute'. It has now made mandatory for any children's home, orphanage or children's organization facilitating inter-country adoption to submit details of each orphan child to a Probe and Recommendation Committee within seven days and to a Family Selection Committee under the Ministry Women, Children and Social Welfare within 14 days after the concerned District Administration Office verifies that the child in question is an 'orphan' or a 'destitute' seeking foster parents.
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