Saturday, October 1, 2011

Internal Memos from U.S. Embassy in Guatemala

Erin Siegal, journalist, filed a Freedom of Information Act request for internal memos from the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala about adoption and just received them!  She's posted about it at the Finding Fernanda website, including some snippets from some of the memos. One of the memos was actually entitled, “David v. Goliath or Birth Mothers v. Attorneys,” and describes the difficulties of birth mothers getting their children back if they changed their minds about placement:
According to US immigration law, a child whose mother refused to voluntarily consent to an adoption clearly would not qualify as an "orphan." As such, when a birth mother changes her mind and refuses to sign a relinquishment for the Embassy it generally means that the case has reached the end.

Yet, for the mother herself, her refusal to relinquish the child often means her problems are just beginning. While some Guatemalan attorneys will willingly return the child to its mother, other make the process extremely difficult, if not impossible, by pressuring, threatening, and even petitioning the court for an abandonment order.
 Siegal has promised to post more, so keep an eye on her site!

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