Adoptive Families, the award-winning national adoption magazine, is the leading adoption information source for families before, during, and after adoption.


Nepal Adoption

[Nepal Adoption]
Photos courtesy Adoptive Families readers  

An Overview

The Republic of Nepal has been processing intercountry adoptions since 1978. Many of the children are available for adoption due to financial reasons. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in Asia; the average per capita income is $340 per year.

Nepal's Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare established new procedures for processing adoptions, as of January 1, 2009, and released names of 32 agencies in the U.S. that are approved to provide intercountry adoption services. Nepal had suspended intercountry adoptions in 2007 because of serious fraud. Under the new regulations, only 10 applications will be processed from each agency per year. Nepal is not a member of the Hague Adoption Convention.

Both boys and girls are available for adoption in Nepal, but families who have a child of one gender are only permitted to adopt a child of the opposite gender. Families with two children of the same gender may also adopt a child of the opposite gender, but families with a boy and girl may not adopt from Nepal. Also, the adopted child must be the youngest child in the family. Sibling groups are rarely available for adoption.

Fast Facts:

Number of adoptions from Nepal:
Source: U.S. State Department
2009: 6
2008: 54
2007: 42
2006: 66
2005: 62
2004: 73

Age/Gender of Children Adopted From Nepal in 2008
Source: INS Immigration Statisticss
Two-thirds of the children (67%) are ages 1-4; the majority of children adopted are girls (2008).
Estimated Cost: $25,000 to $35,000
Profile of Children: 43% of children are ages 1 to 4, and 55% are 5 or older (2008).
Parent Ages: Minimum age for both parents is 30. Single women must be 35 to 55 years old. There must be at least a 30-year difference between the parent and child.
Family Status:Couples must be married for at least 4 years. Single women may adopt; single men may not. Preference is given to infertile couples. If the prospective parents have a child, they must adopt a child of the opposite sex.
Travel: One parent must travel. Time in-country is typically 2 to 3 weeks.
Timeline: It is unknown how long the process will take. Prior to the 2007 closure, wait times averaged 8 months from completion of dossier to referral. Time from acceptance of referral to travel is 6 to 8 weeks.

Helpful articles from Adoptive Families Magazine:

Adopting Internationally by Susan Freivalds
Raising a Child of Another Race by Jana Wolff
Someone to Watch Over Me by Janice Cooke Newman
Our Journey to Lucy by Christina Frank and Josh Lerman
The Reluctant Spouse by Jill Smolowe

To Get Started in Nepal Adoption:

Find an adoption agency with a Nepal program through Adoptive Families' searchable database.

Join a parent support group near you. Find one that includes families who've adopted in Nepal through the Adoptive Families searchable support group database.

Attend a pre-adoption information meeting. Find one near you through Adoptive Families' searchable events database.

Consult these Web sites to stay up to date:


U.S. State Department—International Adoption: Nepal

© 2010 Adoptive Families. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Back To Home Page

Subscribe to Adoptive Families online or via toll-free phone 800-372-3300

Child Development, Family, Health, and Education Research

Magazine Publishers of America