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News- Yet more in the Guatemala saga

The AP has a new piece out today about the annulment of 15 (so far) of the 2286 adoptions under review, roughly 10% of the 160 that have been investigated to date.

Guatemala annulls 15 adoption cases

What I found most concerning was this-

The babies whose cases have been annulled will be put in foster homes until a judge locates their parents. If their parents aren’t found, they will be put up for adoption again.

in light of this

The irregularities were serious enough that the attorney general filed criminal complaints against lawyers, doctors, social workers and birth mothers involved in the 15 cases, Meng said.

Great ‘solution’, eh?

2 Responses to “News- Yet more in the Guatemala saga”

  1. Baby Love Child Says:

    Moving across to my blog my analysis that I wrote later in the day on;

    Well, independently, after I stumbled into the news this morning I did a brief blog entry on it as well, but I find the news not nearly so encouraging.

    15 out of the 160 that have been looked at so far, comes out to a roughly 10% annulment rate. The other 90% of those sailed through, and now have imprimatur of government sanctioned “legitimacy” after having undergone the scrutiny, as to how rigorous said investigation was? Hard to tell from where I sit. I’d be interested in seeing a break down of how much time was spent per case and exactly what criteria were used to stamp “ok” on the 90% pass rate.

    I mean, I continually see adopters pointing at the DNA tests, but all that does is prove relation to the child, not genuine consent. The mother may come in and say “Yes, I absolutely consented” but that says nothing about her having been paid or not, and whether or not she fears to come forward and tell the truth. There are just way too many variables here, out of view, most of which come down to under these conditions what does genuine consent entail?

    To date they’ve gotten through only 160 of the 2286 under investigation, but they project that 10% will remain relatively steady- which to me says they want to single out a few of the worst of the worst and be done with the rest of it.

    That “90% ok” assumption will be the legacy of this period of Guatemalan adoptions, and Adopters will be pointing at how ‘their agency’/’their adoption’ was one of the “ok” ones forever. (‘Evidence to that effect? Nah, we don’ need no stinkin’ evidence.’)

    Do I think 90% of Guatemalan adoptions are completely consensual, free from coercion and deceit, and “ok?”

    Hell no. Not by a long shot. Just my personal opinion, but with a fair amount of research into the ‘players’ in Guatemalan adoption to back it up.

    Unfortunately, even those few adoptions rejected, where criminal complaints are being filed, that does not necessarily mean the kids will not EVENTUALLY go on to be adopted when the glare of the media is off. See this from the AP story-

    “The babies whose cases have been annulled will be put in foster homes until a judge locates their parents. If their parents aren’t found, they will be put up for adoption again.”

    In a lot of ways, many people benefit by getting this ‘nasty little unfortunate’ behind them, and then in effect ‘starting over’ under the Hague regulations. (Not that the agencies etc will be new, just that everyone likes to pretend some kind of ‘fresh start’ would happen. It’s the kind of thing that helps people sleep at night.)

    So before everyone starts celebrating and declaring Guatemalan adoptions ‘90% then and 100% clean going forward’, it’s time to take a deep breath.

    A genuinely independent investigation would be the bare minimum starting place, but I won’t be holding my breath on that one.

    Particularly considering the amount of pressure the US alone is putting on the situation.

    Keep in mind, kids are the #2 export from Guatemala, right behind bananas (feel free to insert your own United Fruit/adoption neocolonialism jokes here.)

    And Guatemala is the #2 “sending country” where US buyers get their kids.

    If you think those two facts don’t bear any relationship to one another, think again- it’s a sick symbiotic relationship, one by which odds are, it’s the bastards, and original families who, same as always, are the least powerful people in that equation.

  2. Baby Love Child Says:

    By way of a second follow up on the thread at adult adoptees,

    Adopted Jane wrote a second post after her initial post on the 15 after seeing my comment above.

    This was my follow up to her, having to do with both the situation in Guatemala and the importance of reading a Bastard take on the news;

    First of all, feel free to use it. There are so few Bastard voices on the Guatemalan mess that if more of us want to write about what’s going on, I think that’s important. Besides, my stuff, being up on my blog etc is certainly all out in public- from there I don’t really have any say about how people use it.

    But secondly, don’t feel bad for as you put it “falling for it”. Most people aren’t following what’s happening in Guatemala closely, and considering there’s next to never a day when news like “15 adoptions annulled” comes across the “wires” it does at first glance sound pretty spectacular- but only until one looks at the broader picture and realizes that 10%, and then those same babies going on the resale market means piddly-squat in light of the situation there.

    Worse, before the investigations, you didn’t have official government sanction on that 90%, before now they were simply unknowns. Now after the investigations the adopters on these kids will proudly run about saying ‘kids may have been stolen in Guatemala, but not MINE, I can ‘prove’ it- see he/she passed government scrutiny in the investigation process’.

    Never mind the simple fact that the process may not be worth anything.

    It makes for good drama, it reassures people (‘See? 90% were fine all along’) and more importantly it keeps the product (aka babies) moving.

    Call me a cynical old Bastard, but I’m not the least surprised people are ‘falling for it’, certainly not bastards/adoptees, who are so screwed that we become grateful for table scraps wherever we can get them. As I said, when’s the last time you saw a headline screaming 15 adoptions nulled?

    But this is why it’s critically important to have a bedrock bastard perspective- a perspective rooted in a deep and historical understanding of what adoption is, how we got here, and who the ‘players’ are.

    Which in turn, is precisely why I’m so damn cynical.

    If 90% of adoptions coming out of Guatemala are clean, I’m the fricken Queen of England!

    But the headlines never blare ‘90% go through, the other 10% should become adoption available soon enough.’

    Which is why, voice in the wilderness or no, I continue to say ‘wait just one minute’.

    Not that ‘adoptee’ voices matter to anyone else, but none-the-less A (speaking only for myself here) Bastard perspective on ‘current events’ is clearly a pretty darn different take than the official version.

    Which is why Bastard blogs can be important.

    You probably won’t be getting a Bastard analysis from the AP any time soon. Bastard blogs are not only important adoption related news sources, they can be important to developing a Bastard perspective and analysis ON day to day adoption related news. In amongst the ability to read and hear our authentic voices about adoption, voices far too often dismissed or ignored when it comes to the public discourse of adoption, (certainly legislatively in all but a few exceptions.)

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