College of Arts and Sciences; Helms School of Government
Government: International Studies; Spanish
Guatemala, the United States, adoption, perception, the Hague Convention, the CNA
International adoptions between Guatemala and the United States were discontinued after the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Hague Convention) went into effect in the United States on April 1, 2008. The Guatemalan international adoption system had been considered faster and easier than that of many other countries due to the nature of its private system. As the system expanded, ethical concerns were raised regarding how the adoptions were managed including the manner in which the system was a lucrative business. To the public, it appeared that corruption was pervasive within the system because of the media attention given to certain atypical cases. As a result of the ratification of the Hague Convention, Guatemala is being forced to face the issues within the system as well as the public perception. The Consejo Nacional de Adopciones (CNA) was created in December 2007 to be the central authority over adoptions in Guatemala, as required by the Hague Convention. It now has the challenge of addressing all of these roadblocks to international adoption from Guatemala. Without reforming the system and its perception, maintaining an efficient, ethical, and beneficial Guatemalan international adoption system will be impossible. It is likely that the Guatemalan system will never completely recover from the current shutdown because of the necessity of changing the perception.