Special Advisor for Children’s Issues Ambassador Susan Jacobs will visit Guatemala today, December 7 through the 11th, for meetings on intercountry adoption. She will meet with government officials and nongovernmental adoption stakeholders to discuss the status of U.S. citizen adoption cases that have been pending since the suspension of new adoptions by Guatemala in 2007.
She will also discuss Guatemala’s efforts to implement new intercountry adoption safeguards that would provide a path toward future adoption processing.
The Guatemalan National Council on Adoption (CNA) announced in September 2008 that the country would not accept any new adoption cases at this time. The halt was in response to allegation of corrupt and fraudulent adoption practices. Adoptions ceased in order to enable CNA to work on establishing guidelines to use in accrediting adoption agencies and to focus on completing transition cases. In 2008 4,122 Guatemalan babies were adopted in the U.S. and in 2009 only 756 were adopted out.
The United States remains open to resumption of intercountry adoption placements from Guatemala, but will consider such a resumption only when it is confident that strong safeguards against abuses and resolution of the issues that led to corrupt and fraudulent practices prior to the halt in new adoptions.