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History of International Adoption

Intercountry adoption was formalized in Nepal in 1976 when the National Code of 1964 was amended to enable foreigners to adopt Nepali children. Prior to 1976, only national adoptions were allowed. Childless Nepali couples primarily adopted sons from close relatives to secure the family property and ensure their death rites were taken care of by the adopted son.2

In 1964, the Nepal Children's Organization (NCO) was set up to provide food and lodging, education, medical care and vocational training to children, especially to orphans and economically disadvantaged children. Today, in all 75 districts of Nepal, Nepal Children's Organization operates Bal Mandirs (children's homes) which provide food, shelter and education to orphans and abandoned children.3

From 1976 to 2000 the Nepal Children's Organization was the only entity mandated to conduct adoption in Nepal. In 2000, the Terms and Conditions 2000 opened up intercountry adoption to child centers other than NCO. In 2007, of the 1,048 child centers in Nepal, 47 child centers conducted adoptions. Most of these orphanages are located in the Kathmandu Valley area and a few are located in more remote mountainous areas. The number of adopted children for the period between 2000 and 2007 reached 2161.2


2 Adopting the Rights of the Child, A study on intercountry adoption and its influence on child protection in Nepal, UNICEF and the Terre des hommes Foundation, 2008, www.childtrafficking.com/Docs/adopting_rights_child_unicef29_08.pdf

3 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Nepal, www.law.yale.edu/RCW/rcw/jurisdictions/assc/nepal/nepal_CRC_report_1995.pdf


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