Guatemala to require DNA tests prior to adoption

Since I first heard about the Guatemalan infant market here on YAR (thank you Tom Dunn), it only makes sense to post a link to this news story. It looks like the Guatemalan government is trying to crack down on the human rights abuses.

New York Times article

This one is a straightforward hard news story:

Guatemala’s attorney general on Monday said 2,286 pending foreign adoptions have been placed on hold for at least a month while officials review related paperwork.

The decision was prompted by a request from lawmakers to review adoptions on a case-by-case basis, top prosecutor Baudilio Portillo said.

Additional DNA testing could be required to ensure that babies are being given up by their birthmothers and not handed over by intermediaries, said adoptions council chief Elizabeth de Larios. Her council was created in January to overhaul an adoptions system plagued by fraud and corruption. […]

MSNBC article
But this one tries to personalize it a bit and doesn’t do so hot, in my opinion.

Jeff and Diana Kerr fell in love with the Guatemalan baby girl the moment they saw her photograph. The Minnesota couple decorated her pink and white nursery with pictures of flowers and butterflies, but now they don’t know if the 8-month-old will ever become their daughter.

The Kerrs are among thousands of Americans trying to adopt 3,700 babies who are caught in limbo as Guatemala’s lawmakers debate new rules that could all but shut down a largely unregulated system that has become the speediest place in the world to finalize an adoption.

“It’s an emotionally taxing process,” said Jeff Kerr, a 44-year-old financial adviser from Lino Lakes, Minn. “Every day you look at her picture and wonder if you’re going to bring her home.” […]

The reporter picked the right people to highlight in the opening vignette if s/he wants to create sympathy for the people trying to adopt, but not for the children and birth parents caught in the middle of all of this. Other things in the story, like emphasizing how fast adoptions get done in Guatemala, and quotes from the parents about how they wouldn’t want to try to adopt after this, make me think this reporter is downplaying the potential benefits to ordinary Guatemalans.

Thoughts? Since I’m not as informed about the entire situation as some are, I can’t really comment on the actual information contained in these two stories on the same event.

Comment (1)

  1. joe

    wow. i haven’t been here in ages.

    my wife and i brought our son home from guatemala on thanksgiving. what was an 8 month process turned into a 15 month process. the government is cracking down hard. it is a good thing. it is just hard on the families. we got caught in the crackdown half way through. it slowed our adoption way down. we were upset for a while. but we are grateful for a better checks and balances for the sake of the children and families. and we are also just glad to have our son home. he is beautiful.

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