Guatemalan Adoption

19 01 2008

Posted by: Chris

While in Antigua, we´ve noticed a lot of Western women with Central American babies.  A lot.  We also read a post on a travel forum from someone who was joking about the same thing (yes we read other peoples blogs too).  On top of this, there is very real paranoia about Westerners stealing Guatemalan children for all sorts of crazy reasons: abuse, to harvest their organs, and just to kidnap.  In 2000, a Japanese tourist tried to help a crying child by picking it up and comforting it.  There have been several accounts on what exactly happened, and this is considered the most accurate we´ve found.  A mob became enraged and murdered the tourist and the taxi driver–stories range from beating with sticks and rocks to lynching.  There are other similar accounts, and virtually every guide warns not to even take pictures of local children.

So, there´s a genuine fear of foreigners stealing children and inordinate amount of Blonde haired women carrying dark haired local kids.  I´m no genius, but something seemed wrong.  We were riding in a shuttle with a German family; 3 kids, only one was white.  Didn´t have any real reason to feel strange but I did.  Something wasn´t adding up.  So, we came to the internet place and I searched about Guatemalan adoption, and what do you know–there´s a Dateline special tomorrow night, Sunday Jan 20th at 6pm Central, about Guatemalan adoption.  It seems the demand for children has grown with wealthy families waiting only months or weeks instead of years.  The result is kidnapping and dirty business to meet the demand.  Now this post isn´t condemning Guatemala or adoption here.  Antigua is one of the coolest places I´ve been to and the people have been extremely kind.  Many abused or abandoned children go to caring families and everyone lives happily ever after.  But not always.  Business, it seems, is going well.  A little too well.

The point of this post?  I want to know what is going on.  Except I don´t have a TV.  So I need someone in the US to watch the show and please report back to me.

 

Sunday Jan 20th at 6pm Central

 

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2 responses

30 01 2008
nobody

It can’t be explained in 5 seconds. There are multiple angles to the story, multiple views, and multiple slants or sensational articles in the media fueled by real world scenarios and urban legends. I.e. you have to research what you can and draw your own conclusions. Read the human rights reports on our government website. Read up on Romania before and after adoption was closed down and all the allegations made there with tons of children still abandoned today except at least now any victim of trafficking they can’t blame adoption anymore. Go to Guatadopt and the DOS and read up on Guatemala. Read the Unicef innocenti reports. Read all the newspaper stories in spanish and english and the blogs of various individuals who have comments about this. Then draw your own conclusions.

30 01 2008
nobody

I don’t believe our children were kidnapped nor made for us. We asked for a child who needed a family. I think people who have their own children in a world with so many who need homes are selfish. Unfortunately, its not that simple to find a child that needs a family without nasty people somehow trying to corrupt everything and ruin the best intentions of others. The dateline show exposed a kidnapping ring the authorities in Guatemala have known about for years. The unethical agencies and facilitators brought up are also known by both governments and nothing done to them. Since the authorities cannot do anything or wont about the criminals the easiest solution is to shut it down so legal adoptions could not be completed. The world sucks. Most families pursuing adoption do care about the childs best interests. But they care about *this child* to which they are accused of being selfish and not seeing the big picture. The UN and Unicef and other groups care about the future children with children of today sadly sacrificed to make way for a better tomorrow. That is what the two groups are mainly fighting about. There may be some people having children just for the money which would be sad but possible but does not account for all the children born who cannot be cared for or are unwanted. Lack of contraception and abortion does that. The women you are seeing know you are staring at them and are being brave for their families and children and trying to reassure the gawkers who wonder as you do that they mean no ill will and are truly there to unite a family.

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