Thursday, August 02, 2007

US DOS: U.S. Embassy in Guatemala Uses DNA Testing to Protect it's Adopted Children

As long as there is a literal fortune to be made supplying the developed world's growing demand for adoptable children, all the safeguards in the world will not stop the criminals.

The more hurdles in place to prevent corruption, the more hurdles jumped....


Time to take away the money incentive...

And time to consider trimming down the demand for adoptable children by making the myth--that there are an almost endless supply of young healthy infants out there needing to be adopted--reflect the reality--that there isn't.

But anyway, that is my thought this day....and below is the US DOS document.

Some of you may remember my recent post about the kidnapped Guatemalan baby. I wondered how those who kidnapped him were going to get around the DNA requirement. The answer must lie in switching one child for another part way through the process. At least, the following announcement from the US DOS would lead one to believe so...


U.S. Embassy in Guatemala Uses DNA Testing to Protect it's Adopted Children
August 2, 2007

Effective August 6, 2007, the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala will require a second DNA test, to verify that the adopted child for whom an immigrant visa is being requested is the same child matched at the beginning of the adoption process with the birth parent. The Embassy is taking this step in response to concerns about the unregulated adoption process in that country. The Embassy already requires one DNA match between a relinquishing parent and prospective adoptive child as part of the immigrant visa process for Guatemalan children adopted by American citizens. This new procedure will apply to adoption cases finalized by Guatemalan authorities and submitted to the Embassy on or after August 6th.

The United States supports the highest standards of practice in international adoption. Due to concerns about the Guatemalan adoption process, the U.S. government must apply an extraordinary level of scrutiny to adoption cases there. This second DNA test will confirm that the child applying for the visa is the same child originally matched with the birth mother who voluntarily consented to the adoption. The first DNA matching test typically occurs a number of months before the adoption process is completed and the visa is issued.

We support the efforts of the Government of Guatemala to reform its adoption process to meet its obligations as a member of the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention. The Hague Permanent Bureau’s international advisory group of experts, including U.S. representatives, are providing technical assistance to the Government of Guatemala as it works toward implementation of a Hague Convention-compliant adoption process.

U.S. Embassy in Guatemala Uses DNA Testing to Protect it's Adopted Children, August 2, 2007


  1. Something has to be done. I read your story in your profile - it is simply terrible that someone could do that to children. Well done for starting this much needed site! We all have a responsibility to make sure adoptions are ethical!

  2. Let me begin by saying thank you for calling attention to this intricate system of exploiting children and families. I am also very sorry for the trauma your children have suffered and pray for their healing. But I feel I must ask for clarification on a statement you wrote: "And time to consider trimming down the demand for adoptable children by making the myth--that there are an almost endless supply of young healthy infants out there needing to be adopted--reflect the reality--that there isn't." Maybe "endless" implies more than realistically exist, but there are certainly more children needing homes than there are willing adoptive parents. In Guatemala, for example, where my son was born, there are children living in the city dump because their parents cannot afford to support them. Certainly, adoption has become a lucrative exploit and is in dire need of reform, but there are still countless in need of adoption.

    Thank you,
    Sabrina Hill

  3. Sabrina,

    I appreciate your thoughtful comment and the chamce to dialogue.

    Are the children living at the city dump in need of adoption, or are their families in dire need of aid so that they can keep their children?

    Why do we take the children instead of helping their families?

    It's because of our desires, not their "needs" that we see the solutions to these problems as being adoption.

    If you and your children were in a leaky row boat adrift at sea and a luxury liner pulled up alongside would you rather that they helped you repair your boat and gave you a set of oars, a map, and enough supplies to get to a better place as a family or would you rather that they took your children and left you alone, oarless, mapless, and supplyless, to continue to drift in your leaky boat?

    I know which I think is kinder and more humane.

    Scout boats from luxury liners prowl the seas looking for those in leaky boats. They rake in large finders fees for every child they find so that they "find" many boats (families) whose children are in "need" of rescue.

    Is that the help you'd want if you fell on hard times?

    It's not the help I'd want. Nor is it the help my children would want.

    Adoptees when they are adults will have to judge their individual cases....$20,000 plus to remove them from their families or $20 a month sponsorship (plus the costs of education) to help theur families so that they could have remained with them?

    Who is really being helped here?

    I honestly believe that the numbers of children truly in need of adoption--whose families are unwilling or truly unable (because of death or severe illness) to parent them is small. In countries like India these children can often be accomodated by the domestic adoption system.

    The children of at-risk families are being swept into the international adoption system instead.

    IA skews the child and family welfare systems of a country by incentivizing the separation of children from their families.

    IA is an expensive market-driven solution to a problem that could have been solved many other ways had the hunger for adoptable children not forced the framing of the problem in adoption terms.


  4. Your argument is not without merit, Desiree, and I can see that you have given this issue much consideration. I understand that, in the overall scheme, aiding the country so as to elevate the economic status of its individuals bears much greater weight than satisfying ones personal desire to expand the family; however, one must also consider that adoption (and I mean only in cases where children have been voluntarily relinquished by their biological parents), often becomes a way of helping a people who do not receive the aid or protection of their country. Again, I speak of Guatemala and our situation in particular. As one of the "poorest countries in Latin America" (, the country struggles to maintain its ever rising population. Adoption brings with it a host of economic opportunities that would not otherwise present themselves, including tourism and humanitarian projects. Adoptive families often travel once (if not more) to Guatemala, and if you have ever visited the marketplace, you have seen individuals selling their goods to an audience that otherwise would not be present. Additionally, these families recognize various needs in the country and seek to aid through charitable works.

    Adoption has helped bring the country’s issues to light for us, and we have committed ourselves to supporting building projects and education. In particular, we believe providing educational support for a child our own son’s age will be an important way we can show our love for the country of our son’s birth. As you mentioned in your argument, it is quite affordable to sponsor a child’s education in the hopes of assisting in future success.

    I do not propose that the system is equitable, nor do I see adoption as a means of ending the country's problems, but I believe that it is unfair to criticize families for choosing to adopt rather than donate the money to individuals or organizations in the country of need. Would you suggest to a couple considering pregnancy that they forego their plans for a family and donate to charity instead? The funds spent for adoption parallel the cost for pre-natal, delivery and post-natal care of biological children. One cannot presume that it is selfish to choose family.

    I feel that dire reforms must be made in the area of adoption, but in the meantime, there are children whose very existence depends on it, and families who open their hearts to the prospect.

    Mother to a beautiful Guatemalan-born son