This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

Left in limbo: Nepalese adoptions halted

Adoptive parents on the verge of bringing home a child find themselves caught between two governments.

The U.S. State Department has suspended adoption of abandoned Nepalese children, citing numerous examples of unreliable and possibly fraudulent documents.

For Dee Dee Milton and 70 other American families who were in the midst of finalizing adoptions from Nepal, the new U.S. policy left them in limbo. The onus was now on those families to prove that the child they wanted to adopt is a legitimate orphan.

Need to Know traveled to Nepal to meet American adoptive parents who are fighting to bring their adopted children home, as well as Nepalese biological parents whose children were put up for adoption without their consent.

Watch the rest of the segments from the episode.



  • Oma

    Why aren’t these couples adopting in the US?

  • Jenzundel

    1. American adoptions cost more. 2. There aren’t as many children available to adopt in America. 3. People want to feel like they’re giving an opportunity to a child who is truly in need. Even homeless children in America have a better life and more possibilities that what they have in other countries.

  • julie

    My heart goes out to all involved. Our precious son was born in Guatemala and we waited through several governmental freezes before we completed and it was heartbreaking to watch him grow up without us. We’re still dealing with the trust and anger issues that come from his long wait before he transitioned to our family. I hope those with the power to fix this will do what is best for the children as soon as possible; be that a reunion with their birth families or placing in loving permanent families domestically or in the US (or elsewhere). The most important thing is for the children to be in a stable and loving situation as soon as possible so they and their families can start their lives. God bless to all the mothers–birth, foster, and adoptive or PAP–whose hearts are with these children.

  • guest

    We adopted in the US, through our state’s DHR service. They lost our paperwork at least three times that we know of. It took 6 years between the time we started the process to the time that we adopted a special needs child. And when they called us about the child, they said they had lost MOST of our paperwork… all but one sheet…. and could we redo it again (!!!) We love our child; we feel very lucky and blessed. But it was one very long process fraught with frustration and fear. Americans don’t want to pay taxes so our states don’t have the funds to upgrade information systems or pay enough people to make the system work. If Americans realized this and decided to pay taxes, perhaps more American children could be adopted. (And American children wouldn’t end up like Zahra Baker because there would be enough social workers to keep children SAFE !!!!)

    But I don’t want to discourage anyone. American children need homes. You just need to know that you should get help from your local state representative or senator if things go sour. (That seemed to help us for a time but even then, our process was prolonged.)

  • guest

    And by the way, because of a mis-step in our case, our adoption couldn’t be finalized for THREE years! That was three years of fear that our child might have to be returned to a criminally abusive parent.

  • Kerry

    Adoption in any country is difficult, including the US (read comment below by ‘guest’ regarding his/her adoption in the US. I assure you, this stuff happens more than people think). So ‘why aren’t these couples adopting in the US’ comment really is irrelevant.

    All due respect Jenzendul, I have to disagree with your comment that, “People want to feel like they’re giving an opportunity to a child who is truly in need”, so therefore they look outside the US. People adopt because they want to be parents and really, it should never be an act driven to ‘save’ children. There are children in every country on this planet in need.

  • Anonymous

    WHY does it seem the children always pay the price.

  • Henry Scobie

    The U.S. Pipeline families hired members of Kathmandu’s adoption mafia to conduct their “investigations.” No surprise that these folks found “no fraud” in any of the 66 Pipeline cases.

    Nor is it surprising that the USCIS accepted these sham investigations.

    The U.S. adoption lobby has long called the shots in Washington. (Foreign
    birth parents don’t have lobbyists on Capitol Hill.) The USCIS and DOS
    are subject to the same sort of regulatory capture that Americans saw on Wall Street.

    A good example is the State Department’s outsourcing of
    Hague accreditation to a private organization dominated by the adoption
    industry. “Self regulation” of the worst sort — with dozens of rogue
    agencies given Hague accreditation.

    Over a dozen countries have suspended adoptions from Nepal. The U.S. (as always) was the last country to act.

    If you want to understand the corruption that led to the suspensions, read:

    Nepal Children’s Organization (Bal Mandir) — Victims of Balmandir:


    Trade of Children (Voice of Children) at PEAR Nepal:


  • Henry Scobie

    Nepal — Paper Orphans documentary posted on the web: documentary on the Bal Mandir kidnappings.By the Swiss INGO — Terre des Hommes.