A team of adoption law experts who visited Nepal in November found documents were routinely falsified and children’s homes were largely unregulated, with the interests of the child often not considered at all.

“A new law for inter-country adoption is needed. It should be integrated with a comprehensive law on child protection measures and national solutions for children without parental care,” said the report, from intergovernmental organisation The Hague Conference on Private International Law.

“To undertake the necessary reform of the inter-country adoption system, a temporary suspension of adoptions will be necessary.”

Nepal first suspended international adoption in 2007 after reports that foreigners were paying up to $20,000 to adopt children, most of whom were not genuine orphans.

Child welfare campaigners say some were effectively trafficked out of the country by unscrupulous orphanages that falsified documents and lied to parents about where their children were being taken.

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