Monday, August 16, 2010

An Adoptive Mom’s Plea to United States Government

*Author's Identity Withheld on Request

I am one of the US adoptive parents adopting from Nepal. On August 6th 2010, US suspended inter-country adoption program from Nepal. The wordy and heartbreaking notice posted on US Department of State’s website ( was essentially to tell US citizens who did not receive the referral before August 6th to give up seeking adoptions from Nepal, and ask those parents who received referral before suspension to be prepared for the worst scenario. I am posting my voice here to hope that anyone came across this message to help us fight for the following causes:

First we need to fight for the Nepali orphans to have the right to a forever family.

Second we need to fight for the families that have a referral of a child to get their child home safely and in a timely manner. (We do not wish to see the indefinite delay for the reunion of the 80 families in the pipeline due to the complexity of the structure within the US government, which could mean layers of approval requirements from one office to another).

Third we need to help fight for those families that have submitted dossiers into Nepal Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare but are waiting for a child.

As an adoptive parent, I do want ethical adoptions in Nepal, but I am also hoping that US government is taking into account Nepalese culture and ways of life. When a parent abandons a child in the US do we have to ask why? So why is the US asking Nepal this? Would a Nepali mother tell people in her village that she abandoned her child, would she do it in public, is she shamed how she would be treated in her village....? Is it that the US thinks that the policemen in Nepal are stealing the children? Then we need to investigate if there is such corruption in Nepal, is this common in their culture. If a family has had their child stolen do they not shout out for help in their village? Does the US have a person that has been educated in Nepalese culture to help with these sorts of questions in order to fully understand what is going on with finding orphans with very little information?

We know that US is allowing adoption programs in some other countries that have similar issues. In China adoption program, very few biological parents would step out to admit they abandoned their kids because of the shame and fear of legal sanctions. Most Chinese orphans adopted to US have no information of their biological parents, and just for the record, China is not a country totally innocent of corruption charges… If US government can solve these issues in China’s adoption program and other western countries are able to work with China to carry out a well-organized adoption program, I am confident that they will be able to work out a solution with Nepal government to solve the very similar problems. I am urging Nepal government and US government to keep working together to find a solution for these Nepali orphans as soon as possible.

It is very tragic that these adorable Nepali children may have to remain in orphanages (where they have already lived for one or more years) for the rest of their childhood because the US Department of State is now reviewing each abandonment case on a guilty until proven innocent view instead of an innocent until proven guilty burden. These children who have been abandoned for years living in an orphanage are not going to be given a visa to the US to come and live with their forever family that will provide a safe, loving and nurturing home because their original abandonment cannot be substantially verified. That is, these Children might not have any  opportunity simply                because these mothers/family members/relatives will go to all costs not to be identified due to the Nepalese culture, norms and rules. Doesn't sound reasonable, does it?

I hope that the US government is taking into account these things.

Lastly, I would like to request that you help the orphans and the adoptive families to be joined together as soon as possible. Please advocate for these children now. Hurry, time is of the essence.

Thanks for your time and thanks in advance for your immense support.


  1. Yes, I like this article. It is nice, I like it. But the problem is becoming unemployment due to lack of education that is why the the persons who has not education and not working then country has to take heavy risk in the future.

  2. Anyone wanting to understand the U.S. suspension should read:

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


    Trade of Children (Voice of Children) at PEAR Nepal

  3. I speak on behalf of every adopted child who, like me, has returned to his or her birth country.

    The premise of your plea is faulty on many levels.

    First, it assumes that the conditions that lead to orphaning of children in the world are completely disconnected from the foreign and economic policies of the United States as representative of current global hegemony. If it were possible to show that the economic and political wars being waged around the world against Third World countries directly resulted in the production of orphan children, would you be willing to sponsor legislation to counter such policies?

    Second, it presumes that the nuclear family, the basis of the Anglo-Saxon model of how family works, is a universal given. This is far from the case, and orphan children slated for adoption thus need to be redefined in terms of this framework as opposed to their local communal framework, in which they often have extended and extensive family.

    This brings up the third point, which is why you do not extend the obvious concern you have for such children to their parents and their communities? It can obviously be argued that if we have empathy for children, then we should have empathy for the situation that resulted in their orphaning, and would want to rectify this in any way possible. This would lead to a change in how we view immigration and immigrants, as well as the treatment of minorities within the United States as well as their homelands around the world.

    Fourth, the focus on international adoption begs the question of why children in the United States equally deserving of family are looked over for this international gesture of "good will". Could it be that this so-called good will in fact masks just another arm of the imperial desire to destroy community around the globe as well as the globalizing market's need to co-opt and counter any resistance to such hegemony?

    The history of imperialisms historically speaking does not bode well for the current empire working out of Washington, D.C. that you would wish to sponsor such legislation. It might behoove you to state the true reasons behind this desire, and reveal the sponsors of it conceptually and financially, so that a better understanding of what is driving international adoption can come to light and be discussed in a forthright manner.

  4. Henry's link above I think anwers most of the questions that has been raised by would be adoptive parents. I believe 90% of the children that dwells mushrooming orphanages in Kathmandu are not orphans. These are the childrens of loving parents who are poverty-stricken in rural areas therefore easily lured by the promises of free education for their children. In most adoption cases from Nepal, its "fake orphan, fake documents", the adoptive parents, of course, would never know what the biological parents may go through when they learn that their tots are already in a foreign country.. A genuine orphan deserves a good home and loving parents but the process of verification has to be rigorous and transparent but frustratingly, Nepali government is in no mood to do so as it has been a lucrative business for a long time.....

  5. As an international adoption social worker, a mother of a Nepali orphan and one denied a second child from Nepal, because the country I live in shut down the program, I am both incredibly sad and angry at what is going on. I understand the stakes for all of those children that truly are orphaned are high. I also understand the anger and heartbreak of the adoptive parents that will have to go through so much red tape to get their children home and those who will not be allowed to continue. I understand articles like this because it comes out of our heartache. The bottom line here is Nepal has not made the required steps to be open and transparent. Steps that would have stopped the shut down by many countries. The US as well as other countries have been working with them and trying to help the situation, but it has not gotten better. Yes, we should be advocating, but that means hearing the bad and the good. Nepal's adoption system is not like China's. China ratified the Hague laws on inter country adoption years ago. What all countries and the Hague are doing is asking Nepal to put forth the effort to do the same. The sad thing is that Nepal has so many other issues that adoption will not be the front runner on receiving the support and income it needs to get all things done. So by all means advocate, but do it by using the skills that you have to help the situation.
    Such as, support an orphanage or NGO that you trust so that the children get their physical needs met. Or better yet, go volunteer at an orphanage to love the children for a while. Raise funds to be put into the betterment of the adoption program, etc. Yes, we should unite and become a force for the Nepali orphans, but that means first pressing for an ethical and transparent adoption process in Nepal. Only then can we know we did everything we could to make sure these kids are safe and can go to loving homes without the possibility that somehow we added to child trafficking.

  6. No one has mentioned the adoption service providers that continued to encourage PAPs to submit dossiers (and take their money) in 2010 despite clear indications by the US DOS that Nepal had not made enough progress toward implementing a transparent and ethical process since reopening in 2009. The suspension should not have been a surprise to anyone who has followed the situation for as little as 10 months. No one has mentioned that Nepal licensed 60+ agencies in 2009 at $10,000 per agency with no accountability for where the $600,000 has gone and then licensed/relicensed 70 agencies in 2010 again at $10,000 per agency. As long as agencies continue to pay the licensing fees and convince PAPs to submit dossiers, Nepal does not have any incentive to change their program. I agree it is a tragedy for the true orphans and the families that want to welcome them, but it is also a tragedy for children whose parents are simply too poor to care for them and who are temporarily placed in orphanages to be sent abroad. I hope the USCIS will move quickly to implement orphan's first and help the 80 parents be united with their referred children if those children are found to truly be orphans. Then it is time for a better, more consistent, transparent process to be put into place by Nepal.

  7. Nepal -- Paper Orphans documentary posted on the web:

    Terrific documentary on the Bal Mandir kidnappings.

    By the Swiss INGO -- Terre des Hommes.


Add Your Comment here