Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has been forever since I have posted here; my DH and I are/were about to get on the wait list for a Guatemalan adoption of an infant.

The Hague Treaty stuff is finally hitting the fan, with the announcement by the Guatemalan president:

Announcement by Berger Administration
-As of January 1, 2008, (the date the Hague Convention goes into force in Guatemala), all adoption cases must meet Hague standards. This includes all pending (in-process) adoptions including those filed prior to January 1, 2008.

-As of January 1, 2008, Guatemala will not process adoptions for non-Hague countries, including the U.S.

Our agency, personally, is taking the Joint Council's recommendation for suspending referrals as of October 1st. This is disappointing news for us, at worst. This is heartbreaking news for those who are near the top of the list or for mothers who are due to give birth. Our agency alone has 33 mothers under their care who are due to give birth by the end of the year.

This may be different tomorrow, or it may be much longer. No one knows for sure, even though there are actions the guatemalan Congress could take pretty soon.

Anybody else here affected by this? Until now we were considered safe because we have already applied for our I-171H and would have that done by march of '08.

I would appreciate any prayers and positive thoughts sent this way. We are in as fortunate a position as we could be right now, as we are about to receive our notarized documents back from the state for certification, and have yet to actually send the dossier to our placing agency.

We must now decide whether to wait it out or change programs, as we have been given the option to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,329 Posts
I'm so sorry for your situation, but I think your agency is doing the right thing, based on what I've read. I think it is just too uncertain right now for agencies to be making referrals.

I have a lot more I could say about this, but I don't want this to turn into a big debate on IA. Let's just say that the whole situation is very painful to waiting families, families planning adoptions, families who have already adopted from Guatemala, people within Guatemala that need to care for the children left abandoned by the upcoming changes, etc. etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Quote:
P.S., today was the day we received our License to Foster from our DCFS! I can't decide whether to be or
Be careful! The day we got our license is the day we got our first & only placement of three kids!! To say our life has changed dramatically would be a gross understatement. But we are so in love with these kids and wouldn't change a thing!!

I am sorry about your situation with Guatemala. I am a true believe that things will happen and do happen when they are supposed to. KWIM?

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by midwestaimee View Post
I am a true believe that things will happen and do happen when they are supposed to. KWIM?

Good luck.
I know EXACTLY what you mean, thanks!

BTW, we are adopt-only through DCFS...I am not sure why the license says for fostering, but I think you have to have it whether you plan to foster or not!

DH and I decided that as of right now, we are not prepared to foster...but we DO need to make a decision re country.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,061 Posts
Yes sadly right now there is ALOT going on in Guatemala. I haven't posted too much because I didn't want it to get into a debate and honestly don't have the energy for it. I think its very smart of your agency to be very very cautious. This has actually been in the works for quite sometime. Agencies should have warned about this long ago. I have a friend at the Marriott right now who was suppose to meet her baby last night for a visit trip and now is flying home tomorrow empty handed without ever seeing the child.
She is crushed.

If you want good accurate info a few places to check are www.guatadopt.com and also look at the Prensa LIbre (Guatemala Paper). The DOS also seems to be issuing several statements in the last few days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
has anyone heard what is happening to adoptions already in progress? i know my case has been with pgn since august ...so far no one has been able to tell me anything and i'm freaking out...i am going thru this alone and am not sure what i am going to do if it all falls apart now.:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,061 Posts
Right now the "official" statement is that no matter where you are at, unless your embassy date is before January 1st your adoption will stop.

However sevreal people are saying there is going to be a meeting held Oct. 16th to decide how to proceed with cases already in progress and that the "official" statement was worded harshly to stop people from starting an adoption.

I would talk with your agency and see how they are going to proceed if adoptions stop, maybe refer you to another country? reimbursement?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by asnowinca View Post
has anyone heard what is happening to adoptions already in progress?
Starr is right; pray that your case will get through, and that you will be able to bring your child home by the end of the year.

That said, the Guatemalan Congress IS submitting a clause to that law that, if approved, would count in-progress adoptions as "grandfathered." They will aslo probably be applying for an extension for the implementation of Hague, to Spring of '08.

What will actually happen is anyone's guess.

Quote:
Joint Council Statement:

Joint Council has confirmed that today October 3, 2007, the Guatemalan Congress passed Hague compliant legislation - bill #3217. The Guatemalan Congress is now reviewing the written text of the bill and may amend particular sections on Tuesday October 9, 2007. It is our understanding that a grandfather clause has been drafted by the Children's Committee and will be added to the bill as an amendment. Additional information is unavailable at this time including the effective date of bill #3217.
My understanding is that the US will be signing the Hague Treaty December 31, 2007.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
From the Joint Coucil of International Children's Services:

Quote:

What can you do?
Make six simple phone calls and one email.
1. Call your U.S. Senator.
You can find your Senators' phone numbers at www.senate.gov Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff.

2. Call your second U.S. Senator.

3. Call your representative to the U.S. House of Representative.
You can find your representative at www.house.gov
Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff

4. Call or fax UNICEF Headquarters
Ask to speak with Ann Veneman, Executive Director.
Their number is 212-326-7000. Their fax number is 212-326-7758

5.Call or fax UNICEF Guatemala. Ask to speak with Manuel Manrique·
Their number is 011-502-2327-6373·Their fax number is 011-502-2327.6366 Please note that calls and faxes to Guatemala are international calls

6.Send and email supporting Intercountry Adoption to
[email protected] .Write briefly or at length·Joint Council will use the cumulative email petition in our advocacy for Intercountry Adoption

When should you call? Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (October 9th, 10th 11th)·

For maximum affect, we are asking you to make these calls within a 72 hour window!

What should you say or write to member of the U.S. Congress? Speak from your heart and give them the following information:

-Inform them that you are calling regarding Guatemala 5000
-Ask them to sign the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) sponsored letter to President Oscar Berger
-Ask them to sign the Joint Council on International Children's Services sponsored letter to UNICEF
-Inform them that the Guatemalan government has announced that all intercountry adoptions with the U.S. will be suspended on January 1 2008
-Inform them that President Berger's announcement also indicated that there will be no 'grandfathering' of adoptions already in process
-Inform them that if children referred to families are not allowed to be adopted, they will languish in institutions or foster care.·
-Ask that their office get involved and sign the sponsored letters to the President of Guatemala and UNICEF. These letters ask that all adoptions in-process as of January 1 2008 be allowed to process to completion under the existing notorial laws.

Sample Statement:

Hello,We are calling/writing on behalf of the Guatemala 5000 Initiative. We, as your constituents, are asking that the Senator/Congressperson add their signature to two letters. First, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute sponsored letter to Guatemalan President Oscar Berger. Second, the Joint Council on International Children's Services sponsored letter to UNICEF. As you may be aware, the Guatemalan government has announced that all intercountry adoptions with the U.S. will be suspended on January 1 2008. Their announcement also indicated that there will be no 'grandfathering' of adoptions already in process. If children referred to families are not allowed to be adopted, they will languish in institutions or foster care. Your office must get involved and sign the sponsored letters to the President of Guatemala and UNICEF. These letters ask that all adoptions in-process as of January 1 2008 be allowed to process to completion under the existing notorial laws.
Sincerely,
<your name and contact information>

What should you say or write to UNICEF?

Speak from your heart and give them the following information:
-Inform them that you are calling regarding the Guatemala 5000.
-Ask them to support the right's of children and lend their considerable influence to ensuring that intercountry adoptions currently in-process be allowed to process to completion under the existing notorial laws.
-Inform them that the Guatemalan government has announced that all adoptions with the U.S. will be suspended on January 1 2008.
-Inform them that President Berger's announcement also indicated that there will be no 'grandfathering' of adoptions already in process.
-Inform them that if children referred to families are not allowed to be adopted, they will languish in institutions or foster care.
-Ask them again for their support of the Guatemala 5000 Initiative.

Sample Statement:

Hello,We are calling/writing on behalf of the Guatemala 5000 Initiative. As financial supporters of UNICEF (through our tax dollars), we are asking that UNICEF lends its support and considerable influence to the Guatemala 5000 initiative. As you may be know, the Guatemalan government has announced that all intercountry adoptions with the U.S. will be suspended on January 1 2008. Their announcement also indicated that there will be no 'grandfathering' of adoptions already in process. If children referred to families are not allowed to be adopted, they will languish in institutions or foster care. UNICEF must get involved and help ensure that all intercountry adoptions in-process as of January 1 2008 be allowed to process to completion under the existing notorial laws.
Sincerely,
<your name and contact information>

Can you explain the problem behind the pending crisis? Here is some additional information&#8230;

-Guatemalan President Oscar Berger has announced plans to effectively stop all adoptions into the United States including those children who have already been referred to adoptive parents.
-Over 5,000 children have been referred . The birthparents for these children have already relinquished their parental rights. As a result, they currently have no family and the Berger suspension will result in these children having no prospect for a permanent, safe and loving family. The government of Guatemala currently does not have the finances or facilities to even provide housing for these 5,000 children. The Berger plan is a crisis waiting to happen.

What else can you do?

In addition to your primary calls to U.S. Congress and UNICEF, you can call the following:

SOSEP (Guatemala) Director Teresa Echeverría de Bastarrechea Office Phone- 011-502-2383-8400 Assistant Director- Edin Palma- Same office phone Office Phone- 011-502-2383-8400 ·Jaime Tecu Office Phone - 011-502-2239-0000 ext 2766 Please note that calls and faxes to Guatemala are international calls.

Guatemala Ministry of Foreign Affairs:Minister Gerth Rosenthal Office Phone 011-502-2410-0000, 2410-0010.Vice Minister- Marta Altoaguirre Office Phone 011-502-2410-0020 Please note that calls and faxes to Guatemala are international calls.

PGN (Guatemala)·Carlos Victor Hugo Barrios Barahona: Office Phone 011-502-2248-3200 Ext. 207/208. Please note that calls and faxes to Guatemala are international calls.

Procuraduria of Human Rights: Dr. Sergio Morales Office Phone 011-502-2424-1717 Please note that calls and faxes to Guatemala are international calls

Embassy of Guatemala in the U.S. 2220 R Street N.W.Washington, DC 20008Office Phone 1-202-745-4952 Office Fax 1-202-745-1908

Website: www.guatemala-embassy.org
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
I have been following this story and am so sorry for those of you who find yourselves in uncertain times because of the changing situation in Guatemala. I am hoping for the best outcome for all of you and those mothers/soon-to-be-born babies . . .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
For us there will be no "grandfathering" except for families whose reffered child was born on or before September 28, 2007.
I am sad and teary, but will soon move on to something different. The situation in Guatemala is just getting graver, those who pray, please continue. Whether you pray or not, please consider calling and emailing on behalf of the children and birthmothers in Guatemala.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
I haven't been on this site for a long time, but now that my adoption to Guatemala is in full swing I thought I would add my 2 cents.

The past 3 weeks have been a bit wild, from reports that all adoptions will be stopped, to the president saying they'll keep adoption open, to clauses in the law that says adoptions that are in process will be honored....

Long story short we know we are in a ride for our lives, and our willing to take it. I know in my heart the boy we've been referred is my son, and we'll do what it takes to get him home. Including hand carrying documents to the SF consulate, fedexing everything around the world, badgering those around us to get the rest of our dossier together.

We are early in the process, we took our referral 3 weeks ago and we know it's a risk. I also saw this little boy's picture and knew we had to get him out.

For those in the process my heart is with you. Guatadopt.com is a great reference, there are also a few good blogs out there that track GT adoptions.

Luck and light to those along on this ride with me.

ps - I know people will have many opinions about us taking a referral so late and our agency giving us one. My feeling is, what's done is done. Of course I'll listen to all opinions, and we're still bringing our boy home!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by moonbeem View Post
On the bright side, another country is drawing attention to the Hague Convention. Why in the world doesn't our country sign and honor it?
Moonbeem,

The U.S. was one of the original developers of the Hague Convention, back in the early 1990s, and was also one of the original signers.

Signing the Hague simply indicates the intent to pursue ratification. Once the U.S. signed the Hague, it had to convince Congress to pass legislation allowing ratification and creating a framework for implementing the Hague.

It took until the year 2000 for the U.S. to pass the necessary legislation, which is called the Intercountry Adoption Act. Adoption professionals and adoptive parents worked together to push for the enactment.

But of course, federal laws simply create a broad general framework for action. Regulations need to be written to give more specific guidance for how a law should be implemented. The process of developing the necessary implementing regulations for the Hague took a long time, in part because our system of government allows for lots of input from the public. There were many public hearings and public comment periods before the final version of the regulations was put in place.

There were also delays because the Hague requires major changes in the U.S. adoption system. As an example, the Hague requires each country to have a "Central Authority" that will regulate all adoptions. Up until now, adoption has not been subject to much federal regulation, with the exception of immigration regulation.

The Intercountry Adoption Act made the U.S. State Department the Central Authority for our country. This was a huge new responsibility for the State Department, which had never done anything of the sort before. It took quite a while for State to develop the internal capabilities for carrying out its responsibilities as Central Authority.

At this point in time, the process of getting ready for ratification is nowheres near complete. Yes, State has approved accrediting bodies for agencies and "approved persons" who place children from Hague countries, and those accrediting bodies are proceeding with their work. But there is much more to be done. As I said, the changes that need to be made, in general and in terms of the State Department, are huge. The U.S. cannot ratify until everything is done and there is reasonable certainty that a person can go through a Hague adoption with reasonable smoothness.

It is not clear when the U.S. will be ready to ratify. I have heard April, 2008 as a possible date, but I'm not sure that anything can be set in stone yet, since the U.S. government is still working to get all the systems in place. Although glitches are inevitable with any new program, I believe that the U.S. government wants to be very sure that they are kept to a reasonable level. The government knows that international adoption has enough uncertainties, and does not want to make things even worse due to inadequate preparation for ratification and implementation.

Sharon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,061 Posts
If your looking for daily accurate info I would check

www.guatadopt.com as well as read the Prensa Libre online (Guatemala City Newspaper)

I've honestly become somewhat numb at the situation. We were hoping to adopt from there in the future but we will have to see what the future holds.

The part that absolutely sickens me, and I wish I could remember where I read it, was an adoptive father was at an adoption ethics convention specifically for Guatemala. And he was talking/ debating with one of the main guys on the Guatemalan side and said that statisticly 1 in every 5 children born in Guatemala will die before their 5th Birthday due to malnourishment. Right now on average between 4,000 to 5,000 Guatemalan children are adopted every year. If they shut down close to 1,000 children will die. And the guy said yes probably and moved onto another topic. If nothing else I am hoping this shut down wether temporarily or permanent will force the country to look at how it runs its care for children and put an effective system in place. Because clearly the Hogars can not keep up and are worried as well.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top