Posted by: ourwildride | August 20, 2007

The Hague

Let me start by saying I wrote this post last week.  Then DSL went out and we were out of town for the weekend.  And now here we are…  Monday again.   

—– 

The ‘Hague Adoption Convention’ is a multilateral treaty approved by 66 nations way back in 1993.   It sets about certain agreed upon norms and procedures that are supposed to govern international adoption.  The goal of the treaty is to protect children, birth families, and adoptive families from potential abuse. 

Guatemala has seen it’s share of adoption abuse issues.  Some of those cases have been very high profile and sickening.  The Hague is supposed to centralize control and give governmental oversight to the adoption process.  This is a good thing.  Unfortunately, Guatemala does not have a Hague compliant system in place.  This is tied to the lack of public social services.  They are working (although it is sometimes hard to read between the lines of political posturing) to become Hague compliant.  They aren’t there yet. 

 What does that mean process-wise for us?

  1. DNA testing at the beginning of the process to ensure the person relinquishing the child is the birthmother.
  2. DNA testing at the end of the process to ensure the child leaving the country is actually the child relinquished at the beginning of the process.
  3. Opportunity for the birthmother to change her mind at any point up until she signs final papers just prior to the child being issued a new birth certificate and US Passport at the very end of the process.

Let me be perfectly clear in saying that we want no part in an adoption involving a child who was not properly relinquished, whose birthmother was coerced, or who has family willing and able to care for them.  And as difficult as it would be for me to lose Toby’s referral at this point, I have to admit that it most likely would not be the worst thing that could happen for Toby. 

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