Thursday, October 7, 2010

U.S. Withdraws from Guatemala Adoption Program

From the U.S. State Department:
On October 5, 2010, the United States withdrew its letter of interest in participating in a pilot program to resume processing of intercountry adoption placements for a limited number of older children, groups of siblings, and children with special needs. The letter of interest had been previously submitted to the Guatemalan Central Authority for Adoptions, Consejo Nacional de Adopciones (CNA), in response to its November 2009 announcement of this limited pilot program.

The U.S. decision to withdraw its letter of interest is based on concerns that adoptions under the pilot program would not meet the requirements of the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention. Specifically, the United States believes that more safeguards for children should be in place before the CNA could start processing new intercountry adoptions. In addition, the Guatemalan Government has not yet provided specific details for how adoption cases under the pilot program would be processed under Guatemala’s new adoption law.

The United States remains open to resumption of intercountry adoption placements from Guatemala, but will consider such a resumption only when it is confident that a Hague-compliant system is in place, including strong safeguards against abuses and resolution of the issues that led to corrupt and fraudulent practices prior to the 2007 halt in new adoptions.
The State Department says this applies only to new adoptions, and won't affect pending adoptions.


Anonymous said...

The US needs to walk away from this permanently.

NOT continue to dangle a carrot of possible future opportunity to families seeking to adopt internationally.

Guatemala's program is an ethical disaster with no good outlook for serious reform. During it's day, the per capita placements for adoption were orders of magnitude greater then any other nation. Even given the Catholic dominance of birth control policy in Guatemala, there is no explanation for such a high per capita placement rate other then organized corruption.

Jessica said...

I agree with Anonymous there is organized corruption in Guatemala. However, there are other explanations for such a high per capita placement rate: punishing social rejection of unwed mothers, lack of educational opportunity and economic advancement for the indigenous, poverty.

The same reason that a large percentage of young people willingly leave Guatemala and crawl across the Arizona border to get to the U.S.: The perception that they are headed toward a better life.