Saturday, March 17, 2007

U.S. State Dept.: Don't Adopt From Guatemala

Guatemala has been a popular option for people turned off by the long wait for a Chinese adoption.

U.S. advises against adopting from Guatemala
Citing rampant problems with fraud and extortion, the State Department says it no longer recommends that Americans adopt children from Guatemala -- the No. 2 source of orphans coming to the United States...

Adoptions from Guatemala are popular because of relatively swift procedures and have increased steadily in recent years, reaching 4,315 in 2006 -- second only to China. Yet U.S. officials have pressed Guatemala for anti-corruption reforms, saying there were frequent cases of birth mothers pressured to sell their babies, and adoptive American parents targeted by extortionists.

This week, the State Department issued a new, detailed advisory saying, "We cannot recommend adoption from Guatemala at this time. . . . There are serious problems with the adoption process in Guatemala, which does not protect all children, birth mothers, or prospective adoptive parents."

The advisory stopped short of imposing a ban on adoptions from Guatemala but said cases would be scrutinized more closely than before, and reviews would take longer.

"Adopting a child in a system that is based on a conflict of interests, that is rampant with fraud, and that unduly enriches facilitators is a very uncertain proposition with potential serious lifelong consequences," the advisory said.

[Thomas] Atwood [president of the National Council for Adoption] said the advisory amounted to a "de facto suspension."


Blogger Tracie said...

My cousin had to grease some palms to get out of Guatemala with her child back in 2001. They were surpose to be there 3 days and had to stay 10 days. I have heard so many negative things about the program down there.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Lisa & Oliver said...

Guatemala isn't open to us here, but I have also heard lots of negative press.

9:01 PM  

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