Posts Tagged ‘PGN’

Article in “The Guatemala Times”

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

From a report in the Friday, April 29, 2011 edition of The Guatemala Times titled CICIG requests explanation from US Senator Landrieu regarding illegal adoption comments in Guatemala:

The Guatemalan media edition of Prensa Libre, dated 26 April 2011 (pages 4 and 5), published a story about the visit of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu which reads:  “Landrieu said she does not share all of CICIG´s findings presented in a report in late 2010, detailing abnormalities in the adoption processes which are still in transition between the previous and the current law.”
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CICIG informs the public opinion that the report is a result of the work of a team of professional experts who analyzed for 18 months over 3,342 notarial notices from the records of the Attorney General’s Office (PGN) related to adoption processes: 1,412 issued by the PGN and the National Council on Adoptions (CNA); 879 requests and protection measure processes from the Youth and Children Courts; and 153 declarations of adoptability issued by the Courts of Children and Adolescents. Furthermore, more than 50 criminal investigations conducted by the Public Ministry (MP) were analyzed in relation to the crime of trafficking in persons for illegal adoption.

From the analysis of the data gathered, it was found that over 60% of the processes for adoption contained abnormalities such as theft and illegal purchase/sale of children, threats and deception to biological mothers, and forgery of documents to carry out “adoption processes” both before and after the entry into force of the Adoption Law (31 December 2007).  In many cases there are multiple and clear indications that the illegal procedures were promoted by transnational organized crime who acted along with the participation or acquiescence of state officials. Currently, the Public Ministry investigates more than 325 adoption processes which present serious irregularities.
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Moreover, specific cases were identified in which the representatives and/or facilitators of international adoption agencies in Guatemala were aware of the illicit origin of the children placed for adoption and yet continued illegal processes through altered DNA tests, deception and threats to biological mothers, and the use of forged documents.

CICIG supports that the international adoptions are an option of life for those children who need it. However, given that the pending processes have serious irregularities, CICIG supports the position of PGN, CNA and MP – competent institutions on the issue – and in particular promotes that each adoption process approved individually, as a minimum, should establish the following:  (1) lawful origin of the child; (2) ratification of the biological mother´s consent; (3) determination of paternity through DNA testing; and (4) veracity of the identity of the child and the mother.

Please read the entire article here.

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U.S. State Department notice on pending adoptions in Guatemala

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

The U.S. State Department has issued a notice about Ambassador Susan Jacobs’ December 2010 meetings in Guatemala with President Colom and other officials involved with intercountry adoption. The notice is dated February 3, 2011. As someone who has navigated the Guatemalan adoption process, I believe the most telling statement regarding the meetings is this:

The Office of Children’s Issues (CI) was encouraged by the positive reception on the recent trip, but the process for resolving the final grandfathered caseload remains complex.  Pending Guatemalan investigations and court processes must still be resolved, on which a strict timeline cannot be imposed. 

In other words, resolution will not be easy, and it is not going to happen overnight. But here’s the good news:

  • The Guatemalan government is holding frequent working group meetings to evaluate pending cases and make decisions regarding next steps.
  • The U.S. Embassy is checking in frequently with the working group to monitor its progress.
  • Why is this news good? Because Americans citizens with pending adoptions need advocacy in-country, on the ground. The U.S. government has  promised to check in “frequently.” Great news. Let’s hope the State Department holds to this promise.   

    Another important point as posted previously on this blog:

    On December 20, 2010 Ambassador Jacobs and Alison Dilworth hosted a conference call for prospective adoptive parents to report on their December trip.  During the call they asked that all adopting parents with grandfathered cases send their case information to AskCI@state.gov to be sure their cases are included on the master list that CI and the Embassy are compiling.  This information was also solicited on the adoptions website.

    In response to this request CI has received 63 responses from adopting parents.  As a reminder, in order to be considered grandfathered, the case must meet both U.S. and Guatemalan requirements. 

    If you know someone with a pending case, urge them to send an email to AskCI@state.gov. This is critical in order for the State Department to get a handle on the “universe of cases.”

    Finally, this:

    The Guatemalan working group met on January 21, 2011 and will meet weekly.  The institutions that participated in this first meeting were the PGN, CNA, MP, and CICIG.  The Embassy communicates with each of the institutions that participates in the working group on a regular basis.

    From my reading, these weekly Guatemalan working group meetings are the crucial conduit through which the pending cases will be resolved. May they stay focused on the task at hand.

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    The Guatemala 900 Campaign

    Friday, June 18th, 2010

    Adoptions from Guatemala closed on January 1, 2008. At that time, some 900 cases started by U.S. citizens hoping to adopt children from Guatemala were still pending. As of this writing, about 400 cases remain unresolved. That means that 400 children have spent, at a minimum, the past two and a half years in orphanages, waiting to join their new families.

    Guatemala 900 is a grass-roots campaign initiated by the original 900 adoptive families to call attention to this situation. Thanks to their efforts, a letter co-authored by Senators Frank Lautenberg (NJ), Barbara Boxer (CA), and Russ Feingold (WI) garnered 73 Congressional signatures and will be sent to top-level government officials in Guatemala who play instrumental roles in the adoption process. According to Guatemala 900′s website, the letter “respectfully requests the Guatemalan government take steps to institute a transparent and predictable process for all pending adoption cases.”

    I’ve posted here a photo of my children, taken in late 2007. To see how much they’ve changed since then is to realize what two and a half years means in the life of a child. To the waiting parents of those 400 children, I offer my solidarity. To learn more, visit the Guatemala 900 website:

    http://guatemala900.org/wp/

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