U.S. withdraws its letter of interest in Guatemalan adoption program

By now most of you who are interested in adoption from Guatemala have probably heard the news that on Tuesday, October 5, 2010, the United States withdrew its letter of interest in participating in Guatemala’s pilot program of a new adoption system.

This is a sad day for the thousands of children currently living in orphanages in Guatemala. To my knowledge, since adoptions closed in December 2007, the number of relinquishments and abandonments of children has not decreased. In addition, the number of domestic adoptions of Guatemalan babies by Guatemalan families remains small. Please correct me and point me to your source if I’m wrong.

Nevertheless, as the announcement states, the United States “believes that more safeguards for children should be in place before the CNA (Consejo Nacional de Adopciones) 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.”

In my opinion, the best short-term outcome of the U.S. decision is found in this sentence: “It is our hope that the U.S. withdrawal from consideration for the pilot adoption program will allow CNA to focus its attention on resolving all pending transition cases. ”

This seems to indicate a desire for the resolution of the pending cases known as the Guatemala900. Perhaps now, finally, those children can begin to live their lives in homes more settled and permanent than their current orphanages. 

Read the full statement here:

October 5, 2010

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.

It is our hope that the U.S. withdrawal from consideration for the pilot adoption program will allow CNA to focus its attention on resolving all pending transition cases.  

http://adoption.state.gov/news/guatemala.html#

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One Response to “U.S. withdraws its letter of interest in Guatemalan adoption program”

  1. [...] the moment the U.S. announced its withdrawal from the Guatemalan pilot adoption program, many families who had hoped to adopt from there were devastated. The news is especially crushing [...]

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