The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala reports numerous cases of Guatemalan children handed over to foreigners
who were then listed as their "foster parents" to circumvent a ban on international adoptions. The commission didn't say how many such cases occurred among the 393 children adopted since 2008, when Guatemala enacted a more stringent adoption law.
Why were Guatemalan adoptions suspended? We have previously reported on the wide spread corruption in Guatemala: A government report concluded that the Guatemalan army stole at least 333 children and sold them for adoption in other countries during the Central American nation's 36-year civil war. Many of those children ended up in the United States, as well as Sweden, Italy and France, said the report's author and lead investigator.
The number of corrupt adoptions during the period in the government report--333--involving stolen children came from examining a mere 672 adoptions between between 1977-89, the time of peak adoptions from that country. Those numbers mean that roughly half of all adoptions examined during that period involved stolen children sold through state-run agencies. So the 333 number has got to be the mere tip of the iceberg. The common way to fake a child's identity was with faked birth certificates. During the country's protracted civil war, about 45,000 people disappeared from 1960 to 1996, about 5,000 of which were children.
It makes me ill to know that I know two single women who adopted children from Guatemala during this period. Fortunately for me, they are distant acquaintances that I do not often have contact with because I don't know how I could refrain from asking if they were aware of the reports that mothers were killed so their children would be available to be adopted...how these children were turned over to government-sponsored agencies to be adopted abroad. I suppose conversation would come to an end. But why, I want to know, are people so stupidly "innocent" about how they children they get came to be available? Read over at Pound Pup Legacy about the corruption all over the world, if you have any doubts.
With the new law, the ban on foreign adoptions was lifted in June.
When will this end? --lorraine
For more information see: Guatemalan Army Stole Kids for Adoption
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