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Adopting From Guatemala
On Hold For Now

Adopting from Guatemala is currently not possible if you live in the United States, and I'm truly sorry about that, since Guatemala is the birth place of my beautiful daughter.

Guatemala has - in the past - been one of the most popular countries from which to build a family. In 2008 more than 4,000 children came into the United States from Guatemala, more than from any other country.

A Popular Program

People liked adopting from this country, because the process was fast, and most of the children were cared for in foster families rather than in an institutional setting. Plus, the children came home at a much younger age. This was because the process was handled by individual notaries rather than the government, which tends to be slow and cumbersome.

little girl In many ways, this method of adoption was a great idea, so long as the lawyers involved were ethical. In an ideal world, the lawyers - or notaries - would make certain they could find a local couple to adopt the child first. If no such couple could be found, then they would contact agencies in different countries to find a couple to adopt the child.


The problem is, there is no such thing as an ideal world, and there was inevitably some corruption involved in the process when adopting from Guatemala. With that much money floating around in a third world country, a place where there wasn't much money to begin with, there was bound to be some corruption. There were instances where children were abducted and birth mothers were pressured to give up their children or were paid off. And there were instances where papers had been forged. Unfortunately, it was bound to happen.

An Attempt to Change

After long campaigning by UNICEF, the Guatemalan government finally voted to become a member of the Hague Convention and to change its process of adopting from Guatemala. Unfortunately, workers in Guatemala involved in the adoption process are not yet in full compliance with the treaty's provisions.

Because of this, and because of the dishonesty and corruption by some of the notaries, the State Department is discouraging people from adopting from Guatemala and will no longer allow Americans to bring children back from Guatemala.

It's unfortunate, because in so doing, the State Department is punishing the honest notaries for the actions of the dishonest ones. It also means that children who would not be placed in their native countries anyway are likely to now languish in institutions.

Let's hope this issue will be resolved, and we will again be adopting from Guatemala soon.

Other Helpful Information

The high cost of international adoption is one reason many couples don't adopt. Don't let finances stand between you and your child. Learn more.

Would you like to adopt from China? Although the wait can be up to two years, the price is very reasonable and the adoption program is stable. Here are some tips for adopting from China

Many couples are now planning to adopt from Ethiopia because of the shorter wait and the reasonable costs. Learn more about adopting these beautiful children.

The children available from Kazakhstan are generally well cared for and the program usually takes less than a year. Learn more about adopting from Kazakhstan.

The Ukraine might be an excellent adoption country choice, especially if you are interested in an older child adoption. Click here to learn more.

Are you wondering what the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions is and how it might affect your international adoption? Learn more.

Adoptions are currently on hold from Guatemala. Learn why.

If you would like to adopt from Russia, it's a great choice if you are older or already have several children in your home. Here are some tips.

Are you thinking about adopting from Korea? You can adopt a baby from Korea, but there are age limits, and recently, the process has been extended to about three years. Learn more.

If Haiti is your adoption country choice, here are some things you should know.

A Jamaica international adoption is an affordable, yet relatively unknown way of building a family. Here's the scoop on adopting from Jamaica.

Unfortunately, if you hoped to adopt from Romania, you will have to look elsewhere. Here is a brief explanation of why international adoptions from Romania are not allowed.

A Russian international adoption can rescue a child from the stigma of being an orphan. Here's what it's like to grow up an orphan in Russia.

Do you have your heart set on adopting a child from Brazil? It is possible, but be prepared for a complicated and sometimes lengthy process. Read more about it here.

If you feel you can't afford the high agency fees, take heart. The Ukraine may be an excellent adoption country choice for you. You can pursue an independent adoption from the Ukraine. Learn more here.

Are you interested in pursuing an independent adoption from Kazakhstan? It is possible. Learn some of the steps you will have to take by clicking here.

Adoptions from Nepal are now once again possible. Learn more about it by clicking here.

A Taiwan adoption might not be something you considered when deciding on an international adoption, but adopting from this small island off the mainland coast of China can mean a far shorter wait. Here's what you need to know about adopting from Taiwan.

If you're looking for an international adoption choice that isn't as expensive, consider some of the low-cost alternatives by clicking here.

The devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010, opened the eyes of the world to the desperate plight of Haitians, including the countless orphans of Haiti. American citizens especially have been moved to open their homes to these children, but the U.S. State Department is urging these parents to slow down. Read more.

Corruption and greed brought an end to adoptions from Cambodia, but new laws and regulations are now being established that might one day allow American parents to again adopt from Cambodia. Learn more.

It is possible to adopt from Honduras without using an agency, but you will need to know the language and have contacts there. Learn more.

An update to pursuing a Haiti adoption: It is now not only once again possible, but necessary in light of the devastating earthquake in 2010. Learn more.

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