INTERNATIONAL PISSING CONTEST ~ CONTINUED

UNITED STATES vs. GUATEMALA

Guatemala and its adoption industry has been in the news quite a bit lately. Anderson Cooper did a fifteen minute piece on it. It was amazingly honest. Many in the adoption underworld fully expected him to cater to those “poor” adoptive parents without any thought or feeling towards the children or their natural parents. He presented Carolena, a baby girl, who was in the Casa Quivara adoption home that was raided in August of 2007. This home was described as being an assembly line for babies for American adoptive parents. It left 46 children in limbo including Carolena.

Casa Quivara did not have permission to be run as an adoption center. In the case of Carolena, Mr. Cooper’s staff checks out her case. They speak with the midwife that supposedly delivered her. She denied ever having delivered her. Now the original birth certificate is suspect. The address of the natural mother is also fake. The natural mother does not remember the exact date of her child’s birth.

The owner of this adoption agency, an American is interviewed. He feels that the Guatemala system is more efficient than China’s adoption system because it takes less time. He also says mothers not remembering the birth of their children is quite common. His version smells very fishy all the way around.

The allegations circling Guatemala involve coercion, child kidnapping, corruption, baby trafficking, stealing, false DNA tests, and even mothers reproducing for compensation. There have been stories of mothers having their children stolen from them only to have them sold to American adoptive parents. This is sounding very much like Georgia Tann.

Angelica Lopez lost her daughter to the Guatemalan adoption industry. Three women came to her home a year ago and took her daughter. Norma Cruz runs a women’s rights organization called “Survivors.” She began helping women just like Ms. Lopez. As a result, Ms. Cruz has been receiving anonymous death threats because of it. Many adoption attorneys use jaladoras or recruiters to seek out poor and pregnant women. Geez this is very much sounding like Georgia Tann. Their babies then disappear into a casa cuna or a cradle house usually operated by an adoption attorney that is not even licensed or has permission to do so.

Twice this year, the United States State Department has issued statements asking prospective adoptive parents to stop adopting from Guatemala. The National Council For Adoption called the State Department’s state unqualified and negative. They could only say that yes Guatemala needs adoption reform but would not say specifically what or how. These people are profiting off adoptive parents and are getting a cut in helping these international adoption agencies. The National Council for Adoption does not care about adoptees, whether domestic or international, nor their natural parents. They see us as product and producer to further their pocket loading. They even asked President Bush to speak with Guatemala leaders concerning the issue.

HERE IS A BRIEF RUNDOWN OF THE GUATEMALA FIASCO TIMELINE:

February 16, 2007: Joint Council can confirm that the Presentation of the Protocol on Good Adoption practices has been postponed. Both the US and Guatemala have no further information on whether or not it will be rescheduled.

February 22,2007: The US State Department issues the notice to all adoptive parents considering adoption through Guatemala to seriously reconsider.

March 8, 2007: USCIS Guatemalan has been unable to respond to any inquiries since March 2.

March 20,2007: The United States Department of State has issued a notice regarding the processing of “pink slips” by the US Embassy in Guatemalan.”Due to the increased volume of workload, the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City will no longer be able to issue the appointment letters (“Pink Slips”) the same day as the Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services (DHS/USCIS) office’s adjudication of the final documents. “Pink Slips” will now be issued the next business day, Monday through Thursday, after the Consular Section gets the final documents from DHS/USCIS.”

May 10, 2007: The Joint Council has confirmed that the Guatemalan Congress pass the first reading of the reaffirmation of the Hague Convention and corresponding amendments on May 8Th.

May 16, 2007: The US Department of State has issued a statement regarding Guatemala, the Hague Convention, and US law.

May 23, 2007: The Guatemalan government held a special session in which the Hague Convention was reaffirmed and thus creating the effective date of January 1, 2008.

June 13, 2007: The State Department has issued a statement on the status of inter country adoption and the Hague Convention in Guatemala.

August 2, 2007: The Joint Council received confirmation during a call with Assistant Secretary Maura Hatry that the US Embassy will require a second DNA test effective August 6, 2007 for all adoptions from Guatemalan. This new procedure will apply to adoption cases finalized by Guatemalan authorities and submitted to the Embassy on or after August 6Th.

September 27, 2007: The Joint Council on International Children’s Services and the NCFA issued a press release responding to the changes in Guatemalan adoptions by the US Department of State.

Currently the State Department and other organizations are hoping that adoptions currently will be grandfathered into this new Guatemalan system. It doesn’t look like there is much hope but they are fighting for it.


Interestingly enough, all of this has been to continuing the pursuit of the right to raise children by adoptive parents. Adoptive parents have flocked to the hotels hoping to get themselves a child. Here one of the most powerful groups, the NCFA, has asked every adoption agency under their wing to stop sending referrals to Guatemalan adoption agencies. Now they are finally standing up.

Interestingly also the United States has pushed for Guatemala to put into place the Hague Convention yet we as a country have not ratified it ourselves. The United States signed the Hague Convention on August 6, 2000 by President Clinton. The main reasons why it was not passed is because of American adoption agencies, the NCFA and others that support deregulation of adoption. Now that it is hitting their pocketbook, things will be a changing. The United states is expected to ratify the Hague Convention before the end of the year. What will the ramifications of this have on our society,its adoptees, and their parents?

It never ceases to amaze me the entitlement that many prospective adoptive parents feel when it comes to gaining or purchasing a child. Many think that love will overcome all the obstacles an adoptee faces domestically. Those obstacles are now compounded by being an international adoptee. It shall not be long until the mothers of Guatemala will speak out against what is being done to their children. Just like the mothers of Korea have done. It won’t be long before all the mothers are vocal and will not stand for the horrors of adoption.

A while back I met an adoptive parent who gave me the lowdown on the cost of a domestic adoption. She paid $7,000 which included attorney’s fees and home study fees. No one gained in her adoption. She wanted to do more for the natural mother of her child but she, her husband, and the natural parents followed the letter of the law. Neither violated it. So coercion was not even a factor in this case. If the average adoption costs $40,000, where does the remaining $33,000 go in adoption? This woman and her family could not afford a normal adoption. I do believe that the adoption industry feed this so called right to adopt, making it all encompassing and entitling. I believe the industry fights to keep things stirred up amongst adoptees, natural parents, and adoptive parents. The industry fights to take away our right to choice. The adoption industry strips adoptees and parents of their rights to original documents.

With this stir going on in Guatemala and we know that it goes on here and probably other countries as well, when are we as Americans going to stop commoditifying adoption? Adoptee access is one way but it is twenty one years too late. Make open adoption agreements legally binding. Make adoption agencies financially and morally accountable for their actions is another way. Remove the outrageous amounts of money out of adoption.

Adoption as it is practice in this country and many others is illegal, immoral, and corrupt. It disparately needs to be investigated. I am not completely against adoption. It has its place in our society but it shouldn’t take away one’s right to their heritage nor one’s right to make a choice about our individual lives. It should not be more important that a parent’s right to parent his/her child.

A woman makes choices in her life daily. She chooses her clothes, hair and makeup. She chooses whether or not to have sex. She chooses her partner. She chooses whether or not to consent to the pregnancy. She should be able choose whether or not she can abort. She should be able to choose whether or not to parent or to put the child up for adoption. It comes back down her choices. When it comes to a child being born, it becomes about the rights of three people not just one or an adoption agency. It isn’t easy for any woman to choose to abort, adoption or raise her child. It still is her choice. Family members should be the first choice for the mother to raise her child. Choosing to relinquish to an outside family should not take precedence over family.

Keep fighting on.

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9 Responses to “INTERNATIONAL PISSING CONTEST ~ CONTINUED”

  1. Gershom Says:

    oh my, i’m still catching my breath, great post amy, really!

  2. Orphan Daughter Says:

    thanks for this post. I found it really dificult to find info on what was really the situation re Guatamala.

  3. Aurelia Says:

    In Ontario, back in the 1970’s, all international adoptions were free to parents, because social workers were sent over to get children and bring them back.

    Home studies were free because they were done by the local CAS.

    Now, people have to go on their own, and friends of mine went to Russia. They paid for the home study, the translating of all documents, airfare for 2 one time, and airfare for 2 one way and 3 back the next time. Hotels and flights were close to 20,000. Lawyers, local adoption workers, and a donation to the hospital/orphanage ate up the rest.

    It’s not just the agencies making money, it’s hotel chains, airlines, countries desperate to get tourists/visitors.

    Guatemala is a nightmare and has been for a long long time. I really don’t know how anyone in good conscience could go there.

  4. Mary Says:

    Once Guatemala shuts down adoptions, we will hear from the paps crying about their lost children. How any one could adopt from that country without a twinge of guilt is beyond me.

  5. BethGo Says:

    Someone has had way too much coffee today…and it’s not Amy.

    What a nutjob!

    This is a great post Amy and it is very truthful and accurate.

    Perhaps someone has their knickers in a twist because they don’t want it publicized that they bought their kid.

    After all, what would the neighbors say?

    Gee 3rd Gen, I sure hope that all of this media attention gets covered up soon so that you can go back to believing what a grand savior you are.

    And Amy, don’t forget, you have a really “good heart”. Now go back to being a good little adoptee and starte reporting 3rd Gen’s “truth”.

  6. Julie Says:

    3rd Generation… While it is true that there are many factors that contribute to the problems with adoption today, we really need to focus on the KEY factors and not go off enumerating all the other less contributory factors.

    Amy has made an earnest effort here to target the key factors in Guatemalan adoption. While Anderson Cooper did indeed not cater to the desperate and entitled potential adoptive parents, he still only scratched the surface. BUT what he scratched at WERE the key factors.

    I sense that, while there is truth in what you say, you are rationalizing your own actions in adoption by way of deflecting and minimizing the key factors.

    Despite hollow declarations otherwise, adoption today is generally not about helping children; it is about helping ourselves TO children. This is why you will rarely find prospective adoptive parents offering donations to help children like those in Guatemala unless they get a child for themselves in the deal.

    There WAS a time when children without parents or extended family needed a home, and very special people unselfishly provided them with their own family home. Those are the people today who are adopting kids out of our foster system.

    The rest are turning their backs on these kids in favor of satisfying their own personal desires.

    Most adoption agencies today have employees or contractors on their payrolls whose specific job it is to mine the vulnerable for their children – both here in the U.S. and across the planet. They are called “Child Recruiters.”

    The demand is high, product is scarce, and agencies want to stay in business. Mortgage and car payments need to be made. Credit card payments need to be made. Without a supply of children, they are out of business.

    This is as true for U.S. agencies as it is for corrupt lawyers and government officials in Guatemala.

    For far too long we have let foreign governments off the hook from taking care of their own. No one owes childless people their own child, grandchild, niece, or nephew. It is our sense of entitlement that corners them into coughing them up because no one has bothered helping these families stay intact.

    Adoption today is all about money, exploitation, entitlement, and power.

    To turn one’s back on children in this country in favor of, say, a needy child from Guatemala, is tantamount to trampling one’s best friend in order to acquire a more vulnerable and, thus, more compliant and potentially more loyal and grateful new friend – a friend with less pesky history and existing characteristics that will be friendlier to one’s ego.

    Let’s take care of the “real creeps” in Guatemala first. Until we do that, the “real creeps” in this country will continue to succeed in exploiting the vulnerable in Guatemala.

  7. Addie Pray Says:

    3rd Generation,

    I’ve read your story, I do know how you have felt about your own adoption. I can’t believe the things you have said here come from anything but a deep sense of guilt.

    Shame on you.

    Amy,

    Great post, as always. Keep fighting the good fight.

  8. Ungrateful Little Bastard Says:

    Amy I read this post briefly before I left during the week. I want to read it again this weekend when I have more time. So many times you put more research into 1 blog post than I put into my entire blog. Word.

  9. ONE MEAN ANGRY ADOPTEE Says:

    Third Generation,

    You are hereby banned from my blog.

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