This year has been another difficult one for the more than 300 children who are still trapped in the broken system that has halted intercountry adoptions in Guatemala. Only 32 adoptions of Guatemalan children by families in the United States were completed in the past year. Only 32 more children are now spending their holidays in the arms of their new loving family. Clearly, our work in Guatemala is far from done.
But the year has had some bright spots. This year Sen. Landrieu made two trips to Guatemala to advocate for children and potential adoptive families, and she continues to champion orphans across the globe. In October, reason.tv released a documentary that focused on elimination of intercountry adoption in Guatemala in a way not often discussed in the media. The documentary can be viewed on our website.
Much like the scrutiny and attention by the international community exposed the corruption of the prior system, this same community must now refocus their attention to bring to light Guatemala’s ineffective implementation of the Hague Convention and its subsequent impact on institutionalized children and Guatemalan families. Adoption reform in Guatemala has not resulted in the prosecution of criminals, nor has it served the best interest of children. What it has done is force thousands of children into orphanages, onto the streets, or even worse.
Joint Council needs your help to continue advocating for the ethical and legal finalization of all adoptions initiated prior to the closure of intercountry adoption in Guatemala, and for the formation of services that are desperately needed to ensure that children retain their right to a family. Please help us in our efforts to call on all stakeholders who previously asked for reforms to move with speed in order to provide these much needed services.