Friday, September 07, 2007

Guatemala: Big Picture--The Need to Clean Up International Adoption

Time Online "in partnership with with CNN" recently published an article entitled "Cleaning Up International Adoption."

The recent raid of the Guatemalan orphanage Casa Quivera provides the context for a rare and thoughtful exploration of different perspectives on the problems current in Guatemalan adoption, and also, of some of these problems' "bigger picture" causes.

The article begins by describing the recent raid of a Guatemalan orphanage, Casa Quivera, in which the Guatemalan government took custody of 46 infants destined for international adoption in order to scrutinize their paperwork and determine if they had been legally relinquished. The article follows the different ways that this raid is perceived by different parties within Guatemala and the US.

For Carmen de Wenner, Guatemala's Secretary for Social Welfare, the essential thing is to determine if the children were trafficked and if therefore, they are legitimately available for adoption:

"'If these children were bought in the womb,' de Wenner says, 'that is a crime."
For Ana Escobar, a Guatemalan mother whose six month old was stolen from her at gunpoint and who believes that her child was likely conveyed into the thriving international adoption system where the infant could fetch a small fortune for Guatemalan middle men, the raid on Casa Quivera offered hope. At first that hope took the form of hoping that her own beloved Baby Esther was among the children of Casa Quivera; when that hope was dashed, it morphed into a more abstract, political one--a hope for the future safety of fellow Guatemalan families and children.

For Guatemalan citizens, the raid on Casa Quivera represents hope that the Guatemalan government might finally be starting to take serious measures to investigate and control an international adoption trade that many Guatemalan citizens have come to feel threatens in a very real way, their own families' and children's safety.

In Guatemala, where 1 of every 100 children born last year was sold in adoption to Americans, the threat can feel—and be—very real.

So real, in fact, that some Guatemalan citizens are beginning to fight back...

There have been an increasing number of cases, especially in small towns in Guatemala, where suspected child traffickers have been beaten or even killed--by lynching or being burned alive--by angry mobs seeking to protect themselves and their children from becoming victims of the child trade.

"We are not animals to be bought and sold," [Ana Escobar] says, clutching [her stolen baby] Esther's photo.
For American adoption agencies whose posture in this increasingly difficult situation seems to be to deny all wrongdoing and declare that reports of corruption are simply “political” and/or a figment of the imaginations of the ever-present forces of evil—those “anti-adoption” activists who would groundlessly, needlessly and coldly deny homes to worthy orphans around the world and a livelihood to themselves, the Casa Quivera situation has become yet another thorn in the side—a harbinger of the even more troubled days ahead for international adoption from Guatemala.

Although many agencies fear an eventual, serious country-wide Guatemalan slow-down or shut-down, the likes of which have taken place in countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, or Nepal, still, American adoption agencies plunge ahead, continuing to do business with Guatemalan adoption attorneys who can supply them with the ever-in-demand-healthy-young-paper-adoptable-infants ….and continuing to offer referrals to American adoptive parents--adoptive parents, who are assured of the fact that they are giving needed homes to the legitimate orphans of Guatemala. Parents who are assured that the reports of corruption are unfounded (and certainly don't involve their own agencies or its suppliers).

De ja vu... I seem to recall similar assurances from our agency before we adopted our stolen children.
"The activity is driven largely by surging US demand. With adoption in the U.S. still a bureaucratic nightmare and with few babies available in distant places like China and Eastern Europe, Guatemala has become an increasingly popular source for U.S. couples. Almost 5,000 babies were adopted last year from [Guatemala, a] nation of 13 million--the world's highest per capita adoption rate--and 95% of them went to the U.S. Since 1990, in fact, more than 25,000 Guatemalan children have been placed in American homes."
--from the Time Online article listed below
Despite agency reassurances, some adoptive parents have already been caught up in corruption related problems in Guatemala. Having already paid their money and accepted their Guatemalan referrals, many have experienced various administrative delays in "bringing their [Guatemalan] children 'home'," as the U.S. and Guatemalan governments have put additional checks and system-wide controls in place to try to stem fraud and corruption.

As for the perspective of adoptive parents caught in the midst of slow-downs---this is the favorite stuff of American media adoption coverage. Parents who have spent their life savings plus more, cast their lots with an agency that promised smooth sailing, became emotionally attached to referred children, and who are now left with empty wallets, empty cribs, empty promises, and broken dreams--the disappointment and heartache of these parents is real and understandable.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, [Ann]Roth had been waiting with her husband David to adopt a boy and a girl from Casa Quivera--but now, after having paid half the $30,000 fee, she finds everything in a precarious state of limbo. "I feel, says Ann, 37, "like someone has kicked me in the stomach ten times."
What has not been so prevalent in the American media and which makes the Time article stand out as different--perhaps a harbinger of change for the American media, in a way similar to the way that Casa Quivera is a harbinger of hope to Guatemalans citizens worried about losing their children--is its willingness to look at:
  • the perspective of other international adoption stakeholders, including the Guatemalan people and those who have been the victims of corruption

  • the "big picture" reasons for Guatemalan adoption problems
Of the "big picture" reasons, Time says this:

[The]feeling, which more and more Guatemalan mothers and adoptive mothers in the U.S., are experiencing these days, reflects the growing awareness that adoption Guatemala is all too often a multi-million-dollar underworld trade. The nation's ill-regulated adoption business, run by private lawyers and notaries, is rife with corruption, including forged paperwork, payoffs to women who agree to hand over their children and, in some cases, newborns stolen from hospitals or mothers' arms, according to the government human rights ombudsman's office. One U.S. couple spent almost two years and $50,000 to find out later that her biological mother "was essentially a baby factory" who had sold many of her eight children to a dealer, says the adoptive father. "It felt dirty, like we were involved in a child brokering deal."
From all accounts, including those of the American government, the Guatemalan adoption trade has indeed become a "dirty" one. Still, American agencies doggedly continue to convey children in adoption from Guatemala to the U.S. even amidst such overwhelming evidence of corruption.

Agencies don't seem to see--or rather, perhaps don't want to see--the bigger picture; remarkably they apparently see nothing but unfounded and irrational fear and anti-adoption hysteria.

"Florida resident Clifford Phillips, who runs Casa Quivera with his Guatemalan wife, insists they're victims of the spreading anti-adoption hysteria and persecution. 'This [this hysteria and persecution] is an injustice that needs to be stopped now.'"

Myopic American agencies apparently accept no responsibility for the climate they've created in Guatemala; for the fact that they and their Guatemalan agents have made Guatemalan children pricey commodities, the procurement of which can make Guatemalan middle men into rich men overnight. Agencies see only individual orphans whom they faithfully believe were legitimately relinquished and who are "in need" of homes. Publicly they "see" only their humanitarian good deeds in "finding" these children homes.

Calls from Guatemalan citizens and Guatemalan government officials for an end to their country, their citizens, and their children being ravaged by the international adoption trade fall on agency ears that hear only meaningless, unfounded "political motivations."

Things will certainly get worse in Guatemala before they get better--for everyone concerned. Already, the US and Guatemala are working on implementation of Hague regulation (due to go into effect on January 1, 2007).

Guatemalan press reports allege that child-traffickers are stepping up their efforts to procure children for international adoption and get them processed before the new regulations take effect.

This alleged step-up in the illegal acquisition of children will doubtless cause more suffering for Guatemalan mothers and families.

According to press reports, reports of the alleged step-up in illegal procurements has already caused Guatemalan citizens to be more aggressive in protecting themselves against child traffickers and has led to more mob violence.

It will doubtless also lead to American adoptive parents being further cautioned to be careful as they travel to and in Guatemala to claim their adoptive children. Already the press has reported that at least one traveling adoptive couple was attacked for their adoptive activities while in Guatemala.

As the governments of both countries clamp down in an effort to convince the citizens of Guatemala that someone is watching, that someone cares, and that it is not simply open season on Guatemalan children, there will doubtless be more orphanage raids and additional layers of administrative procedures to control corruption. It already seems that each new layer is simply another layer to be circumvented; every circumvention needs its own new layer of protection.

These added layers of safeguards will result in more children being caught up in investigations and in more delays in homecomings.

Some safeguards may even result in some children never being permitted to leave Guatemala.

According to some perspectives, this may be a good thing. According to these people, trade in children from Guatemala needs to slow or even come to a stop.

Certainly most would agree that some individual children should not be permitted to leave Guatemala--children like Ana Escobar's Esther.

"I won't give up until I find my daughter, says Escobar. "There are a lot of people who adopt children without really knowing if the mother wanted to give them up or if they were stolen. Without knowing if the mother is suffering."
The real question is, does anyone--adoptive parents looking at their referral photos, adoptive parents gazing on the longed-for child sleeping in their arms, the American agency who has stayed in business another year and been honored for their humanitarian work, the US government that has responded to the demands of a vocal voters that demand that adoption remain open despite problems--ANYONE--care about the grief of a Guatemalan mother?

And if they do care, what are they willing to do about it?

As a mother who has indeed cradled in her arms children stolen from a Third World mother, I say, you'd better hope that you care.

Care or not care, eventually there *will* be a day of reckoning. Guatemalan adoptive children will someday no longer be cuddly infants and toddlers, but a new, very large generation of adult adoptees, full of questions about the reported injustices that brought them to their families. You have but a few years to come up with your answers, for children grow quickly into independent adults.

I hope that your answers are good ones.

There is, in the end, nothing more awful than looking your adoptive son or daughter in the eye and having to give them an accounting for their adoption. (except maybe having to do that with their birthmother from whom they were stolen and who has mourned long years for them)

There are no adequate excuses.

Only apologies and guilt and sorrow for the pain that you, in your ignorance and gullibility, caused another human being.


Cleaning Up International Adoption, Time online, 29 Aug 2007

and its reprint at Yahoo
Cleaning Up International Adoptions, Yahoo! News, 31 Aug 2007

To read fleasbiting blogposts about Guatemalan adoption: Fleasbiting Blogposts about Guatemalan Adoption


  1. First I must comment on this quote from your article: "In Guatemala, where 1 of every 100 children born last year was sold in adoption to Americans, the threat can feel—and be—very real." One out of every 100 Guatemalan children were adopted into US families last year, this is true. But they were not SOLD. How insulting!

    I adopted my son from Casa Quivira 4 years ago. I paid US government fees. I paid Guatmelan government fees. I paid fees to have my documents translated. I paid a lawyer to represent us. I paid fees for travel. I paid fees for foster care. I did not buy my son. If you're interested in educating yourself about adoption from Guatemala and the current process that adopting parents must follow, go here:

    I have direct experience with the individuals involved. CQ is not an illegal adoption home. Do a little research on CQ and you will find that they are one of the "good guys" who according to both the US Embassy and the PGN (the Guatemalan governmental authority that approves adoptions), CQ has a spottless record, meaning no irregularities have ever been found in 13 years of them placing children for adoption.

    Yes, there is corruption in the ICA system in Guatemala and safeguards are needed to stop unethical behavior. But the vast majority of adoptions from Guatemala are completed in an ethical and legal manner. But, of course, that isn't the kind of news that grabs headlines, is it?

    Finally, back to your quote: "In Guatemala, where 1 of every 100 children born last year was sold in adoption to Americans, the threat can feel—and be—very real." In Guatemala 5 out of every 100 children DIE before their fifth birthday. Would you rather it be 6 out of every 100?

  2. There are many, many areas in which I could comment on this post. I will restrict myself to one, that "stolen" babies are a common problem in Guatemala. The VAST majority of adoptions in Guatemala are when a mother relinquishes her child. To do this she has to (among several other things) have a DNA sample taken by a US approved physician (this is typically done within a couple weeks of relinquishment). This sample, along with one from the child she relinquished, are sent to US labs to check that the woman is indeed the mother of the child relinquished. At the very end of the process (after two Guatemalan courts have approved the adoption and the US Embassy has given preapproval, but not final approval) a second DNA test is done on the child. This second test is to verify that the child that has finished the process is the same child that started the process (prevents "baby swapping").

    Now, tell me PLEASE, how under this system a baby could be stolen and still be adopted.

  3. Desiree,
    First, my heart goes out to you for the pain you endured and must continue to endure knowing your adopted daughters were not relinquished willingly. I can't imagine how horrible this is for all parties involved.
    As an adoptive parent of a son from Guatemala, I think of this scenario and shudder.
    I realize you must have a bone to pick with all ICA after your experiences. But, rest assured, all babies adopted from Guatemala to the United States have maternity confirmed by DNA twice and birthmothers are interviewed by a social worker who validates that relinquishment is made willingly. I have not doubt that Guatemala IS a corrupt country and children are kidnapped. But, I met my son's birthmother, and she was not coerced or paid. I look forward to sharing my son's story with him when the questions come. Please do not project your naivete on other adotpive parents or the situation surrounding Casa Quivira. I encourage you to read the Guatadopt posts and not limit your research to the inaccurate Time online article.

  4. Do any of these commenters defending their adoptions realize who Desiree is? Or who her husband is? Probably not. Trust me, neither Desiree or her husband or naive or uneducated about adoption ethics or the Guatemalan adoption process.

    Perhaps the majority of adoptions are completed ethically. But what constitutes a majority? 51% or 99%? As long as there is even a small percentage of adoptions involving baby farming, kidnapping and bribes to birth parents, problems exist. Yes, there is DNA testing and other safeguards but they are not foolproof.

  5. Please tell me how two DNA tests can be falsified. There may be payments made to birth mothers, birth mothers may feel pressured by poverty and attorneys to relinquish, I don't know how often that happens. We met our children's birth mother and are in touch with her and that did not happen in our case. Our children know thier birth family and we are very proud to share that story with them.

    So, there may be problems, but I have never heard of an effective way to cheat on a DNA test. So I don't think there are any kidnapped children coming to the US via the adoption process. I think the OP is very irresponsible not to even aknowledge the DNA test and address how she believes someone could get around that test.

  6. Thanks for the comments and for the opportunity to dialogue. I will try to answer each comment in turn, though it may take me a few days.

    SM wrote:
    "Finally, back to your quote: "In Guatemala, where 1 of every 100 children born last year was sold in adoption to Americans, the threat can feel—and be—very real." In Guatemala 5 out of every 100 children DIE before their fifth birthday. Would you rather it be 6 out of every 100?"

    So, let’s be clear now. Right now, with unreformed IA as it is practiced today, you say 5 out of every 100 Guatemalan children die.

    If you want to talk about Guatemalan child welfare and mortality and making a difference in these, here's math I like better.

    It wouldn’t cost you any more than it costs now, but it would result in fewer adoptions.

    What if everyone who has so much concern for Guatemalan children, everyone who intended to adopt from Guatemala in order to “save” a Guatemalan child, instead of taking their thousands of $$$$ and using it to adopt one child, instead used the same amount of money—spaced out in monthly installments over the next eighteen years, to sponsor children through a reputable, community based child sponsorship, community development program?

    $25 a month child sponsorship

    Child sponsorship generally costs about $25 a month these days.
    $25 a month x 12 months is $300 a year. $300 a year to not just “rescue” a child, but also her family and her community—to help with community welfare projects, community development, economic development, community based education, etc.
    $300 a year for 18 years (infancy to adulthood) = $5400 per child. $5400 to ensure that a child can stay with her family, that the family has access to basic necessities, that there are economic development projects to give the community hope and self-sufficiency, that the child and other children in the community get an education—to “rescue” to get the child to adulthood, in her own family, with an education, in a community that has been given hope and a future.

    According to my calculations, ONE upper end Guatemalan adoption costs about the same amount of money as sponsoring FIVE Guatemalan children in a community development based program from infancy to adulthood.

    In other words, you can save one Guatemalan child through adoption or five through sponsorship. This does not count the costs of raising the adopted child. Throw that in, and you could visit your sponsored families once a year, finance higher education for the family's children, and be a real part of their extended families.

    Of course, it wouldn't get you that cute baby in your bassinet, but it would much, much, much, much, much more effectively address the child welfare and child mortality issues that SM raises.

    It would literally transform Guatemala as a country. And since birth rates normally go down as economic well-being goes up (see my blog post
    Debunking Myths About the Third World,26 Aug 2007 and the link therein), likely the one remaining child in the mortality stats would never be born in the first place.

    International adoption is not a cost effective way to solve child welfare problems within a country.

    Right now IA is about getting children for families, it is not about getting families for children.

    I believe that with real and effective adoption reform and effective education of the public about related subjects, several things would happen:

    1) the costs of adoption would plummet dramatically.

    2) the numbers of people seeking to adopt would go down dramatically. Since the numbers of people adopting are inflated by the perception that adoptive parents are needed for voluminous numbers of orphans, once the truth is known that there aren't huge numbers of orphans out there, many people (those who already have children for example)wouldn't venture into IA.

    3) The numbers of adoptable children would drop dramatically since many children are orphanized by middle men seeking to fill Western demand for children.

    4) Those children who really are orphans and who really, truly are in need of homes, would be much more likely to find them. The adoption process could be streamlined and speeded up and care taken with the few children who were in the system.

    5) If the do-good impetus of many of those seeking adoption these days were harnessed to things like child sponsorship, the world would be an infinitely better place for children, adults, and everyone but the adoption middlemen.


  7. If you would take the time to do unbiased research you might understand the desperation left in countries where adoption has slowed down by these well meaning/misguided efforts. Numbers of children in orphanages have doubled and tripled. Also you need to be aware of the DNA testing procedures and birthmother interviews that help to prevent the "purchase" of wanted children.

  8. Yes, Desiree, sponsorship programs are a wonderful way to support and help children living in impoverished areas. Are all PAPs going to stop adopting children and use the money to sponsor children and families in the third world instead? No, that notion is noble and grand, but unrealistic. I will admit that I adopted my son for purely selfish reasons. I wanted another little boy to raise. It never crossed my mind that I was rescuing him, or saving him from anything.

    I now realize, after visiting Guatemala a few times during the adoption process, that my son’s life there would certainly be different if he had stayed with his first mom. Perhaps he would be learning how to shine tourists’ shoes to help support his mother and sister, instead of going to school.

    A funny thing happened to me when I adopted my son, and I’ve seen it happen with many of my adoptive parent friends. After I adopted my son, I began to see all children of the world as potentially being my children. Not in the literal sense that I am going to adopt them all, but in a spiritual way. I see all people as being related to me – as a member of the human race.

    I know adoptive parents that have started missions in or created charitable organizations that feed, clothe and educate kids in their child’s birth country. I know adoptive parents that have built homes for their children’s first families, or who pay for birth siblings’ educations. I know adoptive parents who support fair trade co-ops so women can support their children at home. And yes, I know adoptive parents who sponsor children who remain in their birth countries. Would this increased amount of social support happen without adoption? No, it would not. International adoption opens eyes and hearts that otherwise would have remained closed.

  9. Several of the comments miss the point, or else attribute a point of view to Desiree that is not stated.

    Desiree does not come out against intercountry adoption itself, but rather against corrupted systems where children are wrongfully taken from their families.

    Her viewpoint that Guatemala is such a system is not unusual, but is reflected in the repeated warnings from the United States State Department. For example, the State Department web site states:

    "The U.S. Government’s ongoing concern with the adoption process in Guatemala results from the lack of government oversight necessary to protect children and families. The USCIS field office in Guatemala has denied orphan petitions due to unlawful practices in Guatemala. These include cases where an imposter purports to be the biological mother of the child and where the biological parent(s) have been deceived and there has been no true relinquishment of parental rights. Several adoption service providers are under investigation in the United States."

    The State Department further states:

    "Although we understand many U.S. families have adopted children from Guatemala in the past, we cannot recommend adoption from Guatemala at this time."

    The DNA testing requirement instituted by the US government was itself a response to wrongdoing. The second DNA requirement, instituted only in August 2007, is itself an admission that one DNA test did not prove adequate.

    To the degree that birth families are being persuaded to "consent" through money, lies, etc., then no number of DNA tests will stop the illegal activity. Beyond that, ways around one DNA test were found---despite some claims that this made adoptions safe. We'll have to see what happens with two.

    Adoptive parents who defend Guatemala as a system, as it has been operating, are not defending adoption, but rather a corrupted system of adoption. In the longer term, defending corrupted systems of adoption help bring down adoption itself.

    A key component of what is wrong with Guatemala is the money: the $15,000 USD that go to the Guatemalan attorneys, who hire further intermediaries to go find children.

    So my question is this: why are adoptive parents arguing against Desiree and people like her who merely document the well-known problems in the system? Why don't you turn your attention to those who operate a corrupted system that ultimately will destroy itself, unless it is reformed????

    David S.

  10. Desiree--I am new to this thread but wonder where do I find this "reputable, community based child sponsorship, community development program" to sponsor a child in Guatemala??? WHO monitors such a program? Is there already a successful one in place? WHO will care for the abandoned children if and when Guatemala ends adoptions?? I would love some answers.

  11. Kathy J wrote:
    "Desiree--I am new to this thread but wonder where do I find this "reputable, community based child sponsorship, community development program" to sponsor a child in Guatemala??? WHO monitors such a program? Is there already a successful one in place? WHO will care for the abandoned children if and when Guatemala ends adoptions?? I would love some answers."

    A good place to start might be World Vision.

    World Vision's Fact Sheet on Guatemala

    At the bottom of that page you will find a description of World Vision's work in Guatemala. I reprint it here:

    "World Vision first began child sponsorship in Guatemala in 1975. Its projects focused mostly on agriculture, health, and development in sponsored communities. One of these, the Mam Agricultural Project, worked with a Mayan community in the hills to help find ways of increasing the fertility of their heavily degraded land. The project established new techniques such as terracing and fertilizing to increase the farmers' yields.

    Following the 1976 earthquake, which killed more than 22,000 people, World Vision responded with immediate relief to the victims and their communities, dispensing food and clothing. As the cleanup began, World Vision helped with rebuilding schools and villages that had been destroyed - providing help and materials to rebuild more than 1,400 homes in the village San Juan Sacatepequez.

    By 1989, World Vision was sponsoring more than 23,000 children in 199 projects. Relief was provided to families affected by floods in 1981 and 1982, and those suffering through the drought in 1986.

    During the 1990s, the organization's sponsorship program grew even further, encompassing more than 35,000 children in 77 projects. Activities focused more on health care, diet and disease prevention amongst children, while more emphasis was placed on providing financial training and holistic development within projects.

    World Vision now sponsors more than 49,000 children in Guatemala. There are 32 ADPs, encompassing more than 400 communities. Funding for the projects comes from the United States, Canada, Taiwan, New Zealand, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, Netherlands and Finland."

    Follow the links on the top of the page to find out about child sponsorship. I followed the links to child sponsorship from the US and using the "choose a location" button, chose Guatemala. Child sponsorship in Guatemala came up as $30 a month.

    World Vision is a very old, very well respected, very responsible, broadly ecumenical Christian organization with a good track record for accountability that respects the religion of those people with whom they work.

    Personally, my husband have sponsored children from various countries around the world with World Vision for more than 25 years. I would recommend them to anyone without reservation.

    It is late at night and I don't have time to search out other sponsorship programs that are not Christian based right now, but I'm sure they are out there for anyone who has the will to find them.

    Of course, again, that leaves your bassinet empty.

    But if Guatemalan child welfare is what is at issue, there are definitely ways to make a huge difference in the lives of Guatemalan families and their children.

    More later, about the children "left behind" but I've gotta get to bed right now.


  12. My husband & I are in the process of adopting 2 older girls from an orphanage. We feel very sure of this orphanage and the director with whom we have been in touch. Our girls, who are definitely orphans due to loss of families, thought they would be coming home early last spring - as did we.
    Then PGN required of us and several other families a bulk of additional information plus another significant fee.
    We have visited our girls and were even interviewed by and approved by the attorney. The girls were interviewed by a government social worker and everything else was okeyed. We were waiting for our 'pink slip' to travel when all the new requirements were requested. We have been in PGN since the 3rd week in Jan '07.
    Yes, we want to give these girls a family in the US along with all else they need. We also have donated to the orphanage and also plan on sponsoring other children.
    Of course, we are in touch with the girls, but how much more time must they wonder if we have changed our minds.
    We pray for all who are waiting and know how they are feeling.

  13. I really want to congratulate you on your blog, and I'm sorry I only found it now. I live in Guatemala and have been perturbed by my visits to the U.S. Embassy for years--so many babies and children leaving Guatemala. I have several good-hearted friends who have adopted internationally but I am so disappointed in how little they educate themselves before adopting. They don't speak the language, don't understand the culture, the politics or how much money flows to adopt these children. I can understand, to a point, the defensiveness of these adoptive parents--they want to believe they've done the right thing--but there is also a lot of arrogance. And justification. How does the fact that there is so much poverty somehow make it ethically correct to buy a baby? Since the Hague convention was actually enforced in Guatemala there have been no international adoptions (and for the poster wondering about how to fake a DNA test, well, it's pretty easy when a country only uses one lab). Not surprisingly, the "casa cunas" like Casa Quivira no longer want to take babies and Guatemalan agencies are struggling to compensate. And in all these investigations I have to wonder: what is the role of the U.S. embassies in all of this? So many babies, so many green card fees...