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Nepal’s Orphans in Limbo

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Bina, who was found abandoned when she was 6 months old, was born with a cleft palate. She lived in an orphanage in Kathmandu, Nepal, before being adopted by an American. Photo: Anup Kaphle, Nepal, 2011.

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Dee Dee Milton, with her adopted daughter Bina in Kathmandu, Nepal. Milton was one of the American adoptive parents stuck in Nepal when the U.S. stopped all adoptions of abandoned children citing unreliable documents. Photo: Anup Kaphle, Nepal, 2011.

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Karuna outside the home where she lives with her parents in a one-room shack in Kathmandu, Nepal. She was matched for adoption to a couple from Louisiana. The couple had been told that Karuna had no family, but they later learned both of her parents were alive and desperately looking for her. Photo: Habiba Nosheen, Nepal, 2011.

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Karuna with her biological father, Rajan Kumar Nepali, outside their home in Kathmandu. Three years ago, Rajan Nepali went to rehab for drug addition and placed his children in an orphanage for temporary shelter. When he left rehab, he learned that his daughter had been declared an orphan and was being sent to the U.S. for adoption. Photo: Habiba Nosheen, Nepal, 2011.

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Maya Nepali, Karuna’s mother, washes dishes in her makeshift kitchen outside her one-room home in Kathmandu. Maya works as a maid to supplement her family’s income. Photo: Habiba Nosheen, Nepal, 2011.

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Correspondent Habiba Nosheen shoots inside an orphanage in Kathmandu shortly after the U.S. suspended adoptions of all abandoned children from Nepal. The U.S. government says the documents provided by the Nepalese authorities were not reliable. The suspension left more than 70 American families in adoption limbo. Photo: Anup Kaphle, Nepal, 2011.

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Children in an orphanage in Kathmandu. The orphanage director says that without the adoption fees, it has had to disrupt the children’s education and send them to more affordable schools. Photo: Habiba Nosheen, Nepal, 2011.

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A child in an orphanage in Kathmandu. Photo: Habiba Nosheen, Nepal, 2011.

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A child napping inside a crib in an orphanage in Kathmandu. Until recently, Americans were the number one recipients of Nepalese children. Photo: Habiba Nosheen, Nepal, 2011

Following the U.S.’s suspension of international adoptions from Nepal because of inadequate documentation proving the children were, in fact, abandoned — some Nepalese children are stuck in limbo between orphanages in their home country and adoptive families in the U.S.

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