January 25, 2015
Generally, children reported as found abandoned at a Nepal hospital would fall within the scope of the U.S. suspension of adjudication of abandonment based adoption petitions in Nepal.
We recognize that the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW) of the Government of Nepal has stated that street children (“foundlings”) or children found in the streets are not eligible for intercountry adoption, but that this ban by MoWCSW does not extend to children reported to be abandoned in hospitals. While children reported to be found abandoned at a hospital are not within the scope of the MoWCSW ban, these cases are within the scope of the U.S. abandonment suspension on the adjudication of adoption petitions for children in Nepal reported as having been found abandoned, unless a birth parent can be identified and proper relinquishment procedures have been followed.
Nepalese hospitals currently do not have mechanisms in place to verify the true identity of a baby’s parent(s) during the hospital admission process. Under Nepali law, birth parents cannot relinquish a child directly to the hospital. Therefore, children reported to be found abandoned at Nepali hospitals generally would not be eligible for U.S. intercountry adoption processing at this time because the origin of these children is uncertain, and the identity of the birth parents cannot be sufficiently ascertained.