Sunday, October 7, 2007

Asking a favor - non-quilty post

If you've been reading my blog for some time you know that our daughter and son-in-law are in the process of adopting a baby from Guatemala. There is a recent development in Guatemala that could stop all adoptions currently in progress as well as adoptions in the future. This may or may not affect our kids and our grandson-to-be. It depends on whether or not their paperwork is processed quickly enough for them to pick up Joseph before the end of the year.

Even if it doesn't affect them, it affects over 5000 other babies and the families they have been placed with.

Please read the following facts. Then, if you would like to help changed this situation please read "Call to action" that follows.

The President of Guatemala (Berger) is scheduled to sign Guatemala’s accession into the Hague Treaty on December 31, 2007. According to the U.S. Department of State, during a meeting of the international community sponsored by the Hague Permanent Bureau, the Berger administration announced the following:

Announcement by Berger Administration:

As of January 1, 2008, (the date the Hague Convention goes into force in Guatemala), all adoption cases must meet Hague standards. This includes all pending (in-process) adoptions including those filed prior to January 1, 2008. As of January 1, 2008, Guatemala will not process adoptions for non-Hague countries, including the U.S.

(The US is scheduled to sign the Hauge Convention treaty in April.)

Today, Joint Council, one of the oldest and largest child welfare organizations and the lead voice on inter-country children’s services, provided a recommendation (attached) on the situation in Guatemala. Within this statement, the Joint Council strongly urged all adoption agencies to stop Guatemalan referrals effective October 1, 2007 due to the recent announcement by the Berger Administration.

Joint Council Call to Action Plan:

Dear Friends,

Guatemalan President Oscar Berger has announced plans to suspend all intercountry adoption with American families on January 1 2008. Joint Council strongly opposes such a suspension and asks for your support in our efforts to ensure that all children retain the right to permanency through Intercountry Adoption.

President Berger’s plans also call for the suspension of adoptions currently in-process. Such a suspension would be extremely detrimental to the children referred to adoptive parents. If President Berger’s plan is actually implemented, up to 5,000 will unnecessarily remain in foster care or orphanages indefinitely.

This situation represents a pending crisis for the adoptive families who have lovingly chosen to provide permanency, safety and love to a child in need and most importantly a crisis for 5,000 children of Guatemala.

What can you do? Make six simple phone calls and one email.

1. Call your U.S. Senator.
You can find your Senators’ phone numbers at
Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff

2. Call your second U.S. Senator.

3. Call your representative to the U.S. House of Representative.
You can find your representative at
Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff

4. Call or fax the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues
Their number is 202-736-9130
Their fax number is 202-736-9080

5. Call or fax UNICEF Headquarter
Ask to speak with Ann Veneman, Executive Director
Their number is 212-326-7000
Their fax number is 212-326-7758

6. Call or fax UNICEF Guatemala
Ask to speak with Manuel Manrique
Their number is 011-502-2327-6373
Their fax number is 011-502-2327.6366

7. Send and email supporting Intercountry Adoption to
Write briefly or at length
Joint Council will use the cumulative email petition in our advocacy for Intercountry Adoption

When should you call? Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday (October 8th, 9th 10th)

For maximum affect, we are asking you to make these calls within a 72 hour window!

What should you say? Speak from your heart and give them the following information.

·The Guatemalan government has announced that all adoptions with the U.S. will be suspended on January 1 2008.
· Their announcement also indicated that there will be no ‘grandfathering’ of adoptions already in process.
· If children referred to families are not allowed to be adopted, they will languish in institutions or foster care.
· Your office must get involved and sign the CCAI sponsored letters to the President of Guatemala and UNICEF. These letters ask that all adoptions in-process as of January 1 2008 be allowed to processed to completion under the existing notorial laws.
· Your office should contact the Office of Children’s Issues at the Department of State. Their number is 202-736-9130.

Can you explain the problem behind the pending crisis? Here is some additional information . . .
· Guatemalan President Oscar Berger has announced plans to effectively stop all adoptions into the United States including those children who have already been referred to adoptive parents
· Over 5,000 children have been referred
· The birthparents for these children have already relinquished their parental rights. As a result, they currently have no family and the Berger suspension will result in these children having no prospect for a permanent, safe and loving family
·The government of Guatemala currently does not have the finances or facilities to even provide housing for these 5,000 children
· The Berger plan is a crisis waiting to happen


Thank you so much for your willingness to help. We appreciate whatever you feel you are able to do. If you know of others who would be willing to help please pass along this information.

1 comment:

Erin said...

I am going to email today and copy everyone I know, will call also wish you and your family the best...

I have close friends who have adopted from other countries! Have faith it will work out!