YouTube video, Abandoned in Guatemala

If you care about adoption from Guatemala, please watch this powerful YouTube video, Abandoned in Guatemala: The Failure of International Adoption Policies. The video examines the aftermath of the December 2007 shutdown, and its effects on children sentenced to spend their lives in orphanages.

Every line in the film is telling and significant, but for me, one in particular resonates. It’s spoken close to the end, by a man who helped institute the new regulations:

“As a Guatemalan, I’m very proud that… our image of being the number one exporter of children has changed. The children have dignity. Guatemalans have dignity.”

How does a child sentenced to 18 years in an orphanage retain more dignity than a child adopted to a family who will love him? That is logic I don’t understand. As I’ve written on this blog in previous posts, I believe the issue of dignity–and its corollary, shame–is central to the debate of international adoption. Quite simply, countries are “ashamed” they cannot “take care of their own.” Instead of enforcing existing adoption laws and prosecuting those who break them, countries shut adoption systems down.

Certainly, in-country adoption by Guatemalans in Guatemala must be encouraged. Women in Guatemala must be empowered through access to family planning, education, and equal opportunity. In the meantime, what happens to the children who are abandoned every day, in Guatemala and around the world?

This video depicts the very bleak reality.

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3 Responses to “YouTube video, Abandoned in Guatemala”

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    [...]YouTube video, Abandoned in Guatemala « Mamalita – an adoption blog by Jessica O'Dwyer on Guatemalan adoption[...]…

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