Posts Tagged ‘RENAP’

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 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 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.


    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: