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April 2007Vol. 8, No. 3New FAQs on Adopting From Guatemala

The U.S. Department of State has posted a number of news bulletins about adoptions from Guatemala on its Intercountry Adoption webpages. On March 14, the Department released a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for prospective adoptive parents. In answering the questions, the State Department noted that it could not recommend adoption from Guatemala at this time. While the Department will continue to process adoptions from Guatemala on a case-by-case basis, each case will be subjected to a detailed review.

The U.S. Government cites serious problems with the adoption process in Guatemala. These include conflict of interest, lack of government oversight, unregulated foster care, and a lack of progress in meeting the requirements of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption.

Guatemala acceded to the Convention in 2003 and is recognized as a party to the Convention under international law. However, Guatemala has not yet created the infrastructure and systems necessary to implement the Convention, and its current adoption procedures do not provide the protections for children, birth parents, and adoptive parents required under the Convention.

When the United States completes its ratification of the Convention in 2007, it will not be able to approve adoptions from Guatemala until that country takes the necessary steps to comply with the Convention.

The State Department information on Guatemala, as well as updates on many other countries, are available on the website: