Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Guatemala Warns Hague Conference about Phony Adoptions

The Consejo Nacional de Adopciones (CNA) de Guatemala in Guatemala has asked the Hague Conference to warn all the countries of the world not to be fooled by false promises of easy adoptions of Guatemalan children promoted by the mafias engaged in these practices.

Elizabeth de Larios, president of CNA, said that "in response to that request, the Hague Conference has already notified all the countries not to be fooled by the groups who engage in these activities."

According to De Larios, the request was made after several cases in which unidentified persons promoted in several countries "offers" to handle quickly the adoption of Guatemalan children to foreign families. "They say (to foreigners wishing to adopt) that they can easily obtain Guatemalan nationality and after that, a couple of months, they may adopt a child without any problem, which is not true," said the official.

Since the middle of last year, the CNA has suspended international adoptions while putting legal procedures in order to ensure compliance with the Adoption Act, which governs these proceedings. This law, which was approved by the Guatemalan congress in December 2007, aims at modernizing the processes of adoption of children of Guatemala, which was considered by the Hague Conference on Private International Law, as the number one country in the world of adoptions, in relation to its population.

Prior to this law taking effect, the "business" of illegal adoptions in Guatemala generated more than US $200 million a year and gave up for adoption more than 5,000, 90 percent to U.S. couples, according to reports from humanitarian organizations.

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