GUATEMALA CITY - Guatemalan officials yesterday announced the resumption of international adoptions after a nearly two-year suspension prompted by the discovery that some babies were being sold.
Legal reforms established during the suspension will prevent problems in the future, according to the National Adoption Council, which said in a statement on its Web page that it will start a pilot program involving four countries.
The council did not say when the program would start or which countries would be involved. Before the shutdown, Guatemala was the world’s second-largest source of babies to the United States after China because of its routinely quick adoption process.
But the door to adoptions closed in 2007 when authorities discovered evidence of fraud that has since been revealed to include false paperwork, fake birth certificates, women coerced into giving up their children, and even baby theft. At least 25 cases resulted in criminal charges against doctors, lawyers, mothers, and civil registrars.
As a result, thousands of adoptive parents, most from the United States, were forced to put their adoptions on hold.