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Guatemala Adoption

[Guatemala Adoption]
Photos courtesy Adoptive Families readers  

An Overview

Stay up to date on the latest news about adopting from Guatemala

Endemic poverty, high fertility rates, and the stigma of unwed motherhood are the major reasons that children in Guatemala are available for adoption. Guatemalan children are generally well cared for by foster mothers during the wait for adoption. Adopting parents often receive extensive information about the birth family, including names and photos. Leceta Chisholm Guibault's daughter's birthmother "said she understood adoption and that her child would be adopted by a family that could give her everything she could not... and that she loved her child."

In 2007, U.S. families adopted 4,728 children from Guatemala, making it the second most popular sending country for the year. But as Guatemala takes steps to comply with the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, the adoption process remained in flux. Early in 2008, Guatemala established a central adoption authority, the National Adoption Council. As of early June 2008, however, regulations that would fully implement the Hague Convention remained in an early draft stage. While some pending cases have been released, having gone through Guatemala's current review process, many of the estimated 3,000 in-process cases remain in limbo, and many agencies had placed a temporary hold on their adoption programs. For more information, go to the JCICS Guatemala page.

Fast Facts:

Number of Adoptions from Guatemala:
2007: 4,728
2006: 4,135
2005: 3,783
2004: 3,252
2003: 2,328
2002: 2,219

Age/Gender of Children Adopted From Guatemala in 2006:
Source: INS Immigration Statistics
51% Female
80% under 1 year of age
16% 1 – 4 years of age

Estimated Cost: $25,000 to $30,000
Profile of Children: The majority of children are under 1 year old at the time of adoption.
Parent Ages: No age restrictions.
Family Status: Couples and singles may adopt.
Travel: One brief (2-3 days) trip required. Escort possible.
Timeline: Currently suspended.

Helpful articles from Adoptive Families Magazine:

A Complicated Privilege by Elizabeth Larsen

Connecting with a Culture by Paula Hajar

The Top 10 Secrets of Successful Adoption Travel by Carrie Howard

Adopting Internationally by Susan Freivalds

Looking for Answers by Patricia P. Suhody

Latina—and Loving It! by Mary Lynn Mitcham

To get started in Guatemala adoption:

Find an adoption agency with a Guatemala program through Adoptive Families' searchable database

Join a parent support group near you that includes families who've adopted in Guatemala: (NY), (NJ), or (DC) [Or search here].

Find a pre-adoption information meeting.

Visit Latin American Adoptive Families of Wisconsin.

Best online information sources for Guatemala preadopters:

Latin American Parents Association: (NY), (NJ), or (DC)

Guatemala Adoptive Families Network

Latin American Adoptive Families of Wisconsin

See also Adoptive Families picks for the best websites for preadopters.

Join one of these online communities:

Guatadopt's Guatemala Big List

Guatemala Adopt, for all interested in the Guatemalan adoption procedure, families who are currently adopting, and those who have adopted from Guatemala

Guatadopt, Guatemala adoption information and news

Guatemalan Adoptions, all aspects related to adopting from Guatemala

Older Kids Guatemala, a list for parents adopting children older than age one or whose children are now older, with at least one child, from Guatemala.

Wisconsin Latin American Adoptive Families, for families in Wisconsin who have adopted from Latin America.

Latin American Adoptive Families of Wisconsin, for families who are already members of LAAF-WI and are in the process of completing an adoption.

Consult these websites to stay up to date:

AF's Adoption News Ticker

US State Department: Adoption from Guatemala

AF's guide to the Hague Convention

US State Department: Guatemala, the Convention, and the United States

Guatemala Travel and Etiquette: A Guide for Adoptive Families (PDF)

© 2008 Adoptive Families. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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