October 25, 2003

Update Oct. 24th, 2003

(Posted with permission from Susana Luarca, Attorney at Law).

Dear Friends,

We learned today that the Third Court of First Instance of the Criminal branch admitted the complaint filed by the director of an orphanage member of ADA, against Rudio Lecsan Merida and against one of the lawyers of the PGN, Hugo Enrique Mendoza Campos. The director of the hogar filed charges against them for delaying unnecessarily the adoption of a seven year old boy, who was ruled abandoned by the Fourth Court of Minors and was being adopted by an American couple. The felonies committed are five: neglect to perform their official duties, abuse of authority, disobedience, violation of the Constitution and usurpation of powers.

We still don’t know how Merida and Mendoza reacted to the lawsuit. Since Merida is still a congressman, it will be the Supreme Court of Justice who decides if there are merits to prosecute him. The charges against Mendoza will be investigated by the District Attorney.

We trust that the lawsuit will make them realize that they are accountable for their actions and that we are willing to hold them responsible for all their actions. The law applies to everybody and they are not above it.

Other complaints are being prepared. The reluctance of Mérida to sign off the cases is the common ground for them, but each case has to be analyzed individually, to accuse also the lawyer who reviews the case. Some of the lawyers are worse than others regarding the illegal requirement of unnecessary documents or the groundless objections. One of the most acerbic critic of adoptions is the PGN lawyer of the Adoptions Section, Ana Jesus Ayerdi Castillo. Today we learned that Ayerdi was transferred to another
section of the PGN in connection to the lawsuit filed against the head of the Procuraduría, in a last minute attempt to avoid the many lawsuits that Ayerdi could get. Another information that was obtained is the order that Merida gave to the lawyers of the adoption section, to work around the clock on the cases. Many files were passed to them and the place is a beehive of working people. We still don’t know if the order was to approve the cases that filled the legal requirements or to find reasons to object and reject the cases. Only time will tell if Merida is willing to open the door to new criminal accusations.

We never faced before a situation like the current one. The only explanation is the overwhelming pressure that UNICEF has been making over the Congress, the PGN and the PDH (Procuraduría de Derechos Humanos) to get the approval to the Valladares project of law. That project would close adoptions completely, as was shown by the implementation of the Hague Convention. We have reasons to believe that such law will not pass. But if it does, all processes already started will be finished according to the existing laws at the start of the process. Needless to say, we are prepared to file as many challenges against the law, as it would be necessary, to allow the children of Guatemala to find their way to loving homes. Besides, if adoptions are suspended again, we will hold responsible UNICEF and those public officers who sided with that organism, in what only can be judged as a crime against humanity.

Neither the authorities nor the private persons who make adoptions possible should be allowed to disregard the law. The strict scrutiny of the adoptions performed by the PGN lawyers in the review of the cases is the best safeguard of the legality of the process. However, the abuse of that power and the delay in the fulfillment of their duties is detrimental to the legal system. We cannot state that adoptions are processed according to the law, if the PGN is breaking it.

My colleagues and I want to tell those of you, who are waiting for a son or a daughter to come home, that we are committed to make that happen. The battle is not easy, but we never expected it to be. What we do not expect and will not accept, is a defeat. That is for sure.

Best regards,

Susana Luarca, Attorney at Law

Associación Defensores de la Adopción

Posted by Kelly at October 25, 2003 12:06 PM

Dear Susana, (& Kelly)
Thank you for all the information you provide. It helps to be kept up to date with what's going on in Guatemala. Unfortunately, we don't get much info from our agency, so I look forward to your posts.
It's also comforting to know there are many people who care and are fighting for us. Please let us know what else we can do, if anything. I'm currently sending emails to everyone I know explaining the UNICEF nonsense, and we're trying to write to their sponsors, but what else can we do? The waiting is horrible! My baby girl will turn one year old on Nov. 7, and it looks like we won't be celebrating together. I'd like to meet the people who are causing all the delays, and have them hold my baby girl and tell her what they're doing to her. When she grows up, they can again explain this mess to her - she'll have a right to know! Thank you for making them realize they are and will be accountable for their acts.
Sincerely, Peggy Rosamilia

Posted by: Peggy Roasamilia at October 25, 2003 02:01 PM

Thank you for the update Susana!! Hopefully the PGN will quit playing games with the lives of these innocent children. I am praying that all the cases in PGN will be released soon so that the children can be with their forever families!

Posted by: Laura at October 25, 2003 02:34 PM

Ayerdi was the attorney who initially reviewed my case and sent it back with 8 objections and requests for new documents. Where does that leave my case? Who will review it once it is resubmitted? It is my understanding that my case will be resubmitted on Tuesday with all of the documents requested. What should I expect? Is there anything I can do?

Posted by: jill polk at October 25, 2003 03:03 PM

Thank you for all you do and for your updates. I get little info from my agency and I feel comfort in knowing you and your good people are heading up the fight down there. My baby girl is in good hands in Guat but I long to hold her and to have my 3 children finally meet her. You are always in my prayers.

Posted by: April at October 25, 2003 03:23 PM

We can't thank you enough for all the work you do. You are truly the answer to our prayers!

Posted by: Rebecca Heikkila at October 25, 2003 03:31 PM

Thank you Susana for your post and your role in this noteworthy battle in favor of intercountry adoption as an option for the world's children who have been abandoned or voluntarily relinquished by a birthmother -- a birthmother whose pregnancy may have been unplanned/unwanted but who loves her child enough to make a life plan for him or her that may include intercountry adoption in that child's best interests. UNICEF has strayed from its mission and its mandate in sacrificing existing adoptive children to its policy goals. No policy is worth that price. There is only good to be gained by bringing adoptive parents and relinquished children together to form loving, nurturing multicultural families. UNICEF staff seem to have become jaded and cynical -- there is no place for that in a relief organization. UNICEF ought to clean house and regain its hope and faith in a better world.

Posted by: Lauren at October 25, 2003 08:08 PM

Thank you Susanna. I know that you are putting in numerous hours for the cause. I will be glad to do what is helpful here in the US. I am in frequent contact with three Senators who are looking for ways for the US to impress the importance of this on the Guatemalan gov't. You may email me if you have ideas of how I can help when I correspond with me.


Posted by: Pam at October 25, 2003 10:38 PM

OOPS! I meant, when I correspond with them. Too much stress on the heart:((


Posted by: Pam at October 25, 2003 10:40 PM

Why does UNICEF apparently have no problem with Angelina Jolie adopting a foreign child and "wrenching" it from it's "culture and heritage" but it's trying to block the rest of us from completing a legal adoption? I find it interesting that Cambodia's adoption program is open to anyone BUT americans. Isn't Jolie an American? Or does she just make movies and her millions here? UNICEF's spokesman Eric somebody wrote me an offensive email implying that Americans think that because we are affluent, or more affluent than the average guatemalan, we think we have a right to their children. These children have been legally relinquished by their birth mothers for whatever reason and we have all jumped through so many hoops and had our lives and privacy invaded to prove our worthiness to adopt, not because of immense wealth, but rather stability and an open heart. And maybe I shouldn't even mention the money but for some us, spending thousands for an adoption has been a hardship but it was spent willingly and promptly. Does UNICEF care at all that we stand to loose tens of thousands of dollars that we spent in good faith??? We have all done everything that has been asked of us but apparently UNICEF thinks we have no rights at all. If UNICEF truly wants to stop all foreign adoptions then they should help these countries fund and create programs to care for these abandoned children that are better than orphanages. It's somehow extremely inconsistent and disturbing that UNICEF thinks the only good family is one that all looks the same - I thought we were a little more enlightened than that these days. And I guess if you're a rich hollywood actress, UNICEF doesn't apply the same rules.

Posted by: elizabeth at October 26, 2003 01:57 AM

I just saw yesterday on the news that Shakira, the Columbian singer who has crossed over into the American market, was named the good will ambassador to UNICEF. I'm sure Ms. Shakira doesnt know everything UNICEF has been involved in, therefore she may be a good one to target for e-mails, letters etc on the adoption issue and UNICEF.

Posted by: ida at October 26, 2003 08:19 AM

Susana -

Thank you so much for your efforts on behalf ot the children and families who want them to come home. Hopefully, justice will

Is someone putting together a media package
that we can distribute? It should contain
five or six fact sheets one for each topic, and they should be presented with bullet points and a quick read.

We have to feed the media the facts, so they
can run stories that present the truth about
Unicef, Guatemalan Adoptions, and the
incidence of mal-nutrition and poverty.

To you knowledge- has anyone begun to compile this data? and a list of media to
recieve it?

All major newspapers, magazines, tv stations
and programs, and government officials should receive it.

Unicef has money and the press on their side
it's time we educate millions through the media.

Thank you for your long hours and dedication!


Posted by: grace at October 27, 2003 08:43 AM

I have recently learned that UNICEF, in addition to making international adoptions difficult also strongly support the legalization and widespread us of abortion in third world nations. I see the thinking of this organization as arrogant and elite. Instead of trying to focus on coming along side third world nations, they are imposing their values and dictating solutions based on their own prejudiced reasoning. As and adoptive parent I can say that have met no one from my son's country of origin who has been concerned with the fact that he will not grow up in the culture of his birth parents. Instead they are thankful for the life we have been able to give him. I believe that international adoption to the US has done a great deal of good in creating awareness and respect for racial differences. In response the the argument that wealthy Americans are adopting, my husband and I made just over 25,000 the year we adopted. We sold our home and lived in a tiny apartment that year in order to finance the adoption. Our papers have been in Guatemala since April, 2003. We have had to take a second mortgage on our home to finance the adoption of our daughter. UNICEF and other organizations that claim to help children need to step back and evaluate their own prejudices and assumptions about what is best for these nations.

Posted by: Carol at October 27, 2003 11:28 AM

I have heard some great suggestions on this website on how to approach the problem in Guatemala. I'm wondering if because the issue involves such a large group of people (in the U.S.) that maybe we should work together in smaller groups such as by state while still staying in contact with each other nationally. I'm in the Miami area and would love to network with others who are in the same boat. Maybe if we organize nationally but work separately in smaller groups we can accomplish some of the things we have been talking about. I just know that I need to put my frustration to work in ways other than writing letters (which are still good to do). Let me know what you think!

Posted by: Tonja at October 27, 2003 01:50 PM

I have noticed that the comments posted on this piece are all supportive of your views - I wonder whether you'll allow me to ask you some questions that go against the grain?
You say that, 'Needless to say, we are prepared to file as many challenges against the law, as it would be necessary, to allow the children of Guatemala to find their way to loving homes.' I am interested to know whether you believe that the only 'loving homes' available to these children are outside of Guatemala, and assuming that this is not your belief, whether you are an advocate of actively promoting domestic adoption in Guatemala, which presently constitutes a mere fraction of total adoptions? If, as I have been told on many occasions, you consider that there are few Guatemalans of economic means sufficient to adopt a child, I wonder whether you can quantify the poverty level at which it is preferable for a child to be adopted abroad rather than at home. Is it not the case that the majority of Guatemalans live below this level and yet the majority of Guatemalans do not give up their children in adoption? Should we not put all of our efforts into trying to find loving homes for abandoned Guatemalan children in their native country, providing their families with support, counselling and basic welfare if they are in a precarious economic position and feel unable to look after their child?
I very much look forward to hearing your views.

Posted by: Larissa Pople at October 28, 2003 10:33 AM

I recall that Susana stated that she and a few other adoption attorneys offered free assistance with domestic adoptions in the past. She stated that they rented an office and hired a secretary but ended up closing it down due to lack of response. Perhaps Susana could elaborate on this. Also, it is my understanding that Guatemala does not have any type of welfare system to help support poor families and their children. I am wondering Ms Pople if you are suggesting that Ms Luarca work towards getting her country to implement some type of welfare system or if you are suggesting that this support come from the United States?

Posted by: Laura at October 28, 2003 11:39 AM

In response to Larissa's post:

I wholeheartedly believe in adoption - both international and domestic - both in the U.S. and in other countries. I do not make a distinction between a U.S. family adopting a child and a Guatemalan family adopting a child. In both cases, the process should confirm that the child is entering a loving home and will receive appropriate care. (I'm NOT using a U.S. TV-in-every-room standard of "care". I would expect that many Guatemalan families would pass such a standard.)

I do NOT believe that a specific U.S. family that is "richer" than a specific Guatemalan family should receive preference in the adoption process.

I do NOT believe that any coercion should be used to push a birth mother into an adoption plan. (I DO believe that a birth mother can be reimbursed for expenses or lost wages that are result of the adoption process. [If she must take the bus to Guatemala City to be interviewed, etc., she can be reimbursed.])

I DO believe that a birth mother's wishes with regard to her adoption plan should be honored. If she wants the child to be adopted domestically, it should happen. If she wants the child to be adopted by a U.S. family, it should happen.

I DO believe that it is entirely appropriate for the government of a particular country to support the efforts of the citizens of that country to adopt. (For example, the U.S. tax system currently provides a tax credit that offsets SOME of the expenses of adoption.)

I DO believe that it is appropriate for charitable organizations to financially support adoption through mechanisms such as grants and low-cost loans.

I further believe that once a referral is made (a child is matched to a family) that the various governmental departments (U.S. and abroad) should process the adoption as quickly as possible so that the child will begin bonding as early as possible with his or her permanent family.

Finally, I believe it is entirely appropriate for the adoptive family to aggressively pursue the prompt completion of the adoption through any and all legal methods. Once the referral has been made, the child is (emotionally, if not legally) a member of the adoptive family. Completing the adoption is among the first acts of love that the family shows toward the child.

In summary, I STRONGLY support both adoptions of Guatemalan children by Guatemalan families AND adoptions of Guatemalan children by U.S. (and other nations) families. This is not an inconsistent position. One is not mutually exclusive of the other.

EVERY child deserves a loving family. My wife and I can not fill that need for all children who do not have homes...but we CAN do so for our hopefully-coming-home-soon son.

Posted by: David Prewitt at October 28, 2003 11:54 AM

David - I couldn't have said it better - thank you very much! Ms. Pople, I do believe that in your rush to promote the politics of "social justice" you have forgotten that at its roots, this is a very simple matter of a mother choosing a loving plan for her child. The factors that lead a woman to make such a choice vary from person to person and country to country, but as long as no coercion is involved it is still her choice. We need to stop speaking of Guatemalan women as if they are gullible and stupid just because they are poor. These women know their circumstances, know their own culture and lifestyle and choose this option for their child, as any American woman would. I am sure that there are some who have wished for their child to stay in Guatemala. Indeed in Latin cultures as in many places around the world there has always been a large amount of "informal adoption" where relatives simply help out to raise kids in need. I am sure that some birth mothers adamantly pursue a legal route within Guatemala to place their children domestically. But for many of them, adoption outside their country is a positive choice and one that they make freely. Furthermore, the vast majority of parents who adopt these children adopt the culture as well! Many of us contribute financially not only to the tourism of the country but to its charitable organizations as well... Let us not forget that it is 2003 we are a WORLD community. I am disgusted with the views of UNICEF and truly feel they have missed the forest for the trees.

Posted by: Colleen at October 28, 2003 01:11 PM

I believe David said it very well, but I had written my response already;-)

1st - Domestic adoptions are rare in Guatemala. Yes, there are families financially able to adopt. Unfortunately, there is not much desire to adopt domestically. In fact, an office was opened for 2 years offering FREE adoptions to fellow Guatemalans. Even with their advertising, not one Guatemalan stepped forward to adopt.

2nd - You might want to read about very recent history of Guatemala (the recent civil war, the massacres of Mayan villages, etc.). There is a drastic class structure. Mayans and other indigenous people are considered by the Guatemalan government and the upper class as being inferior. *WE* do not see these children as lower class citizens.

3rd - Yes, there is a large population that keep their children. There is also a staggering amount of malnutrition and infant death from treatable ailments. The Guatemalan government does NOT fund the orphanages, they do NOT provide adequate education and they certainly do NOT have any kind of welfare system. We do not believe that forced suffering in order to keep these children in their birth country supercedes survival in another country.

4th - I believe that woman of this country should have a choice. It makes more sense for organizations like UNICEF to concentrate their efforts on education and self-help programs rather than take away choices that the women have now. When these women are given the chance to support themselves, the adoption choice is less viable (as it should be). Treat the cause, not the effect.

5th - Many of us contribute financially to helping other charities that help these women gain some independence. It is ironic that we are unable to help our own birthmothers obtain a greater level of independence else our adoptions would be suspected of coercion. Adoptive parents do not gain anything by keeping these people below the poverty line.

6th - Countries that have used the argument that it is better for the children to stay in their birth-country than adopted by a foreigner have nearly eliminated adoptions. They have NOT eliminated the conditions that lead mothers to choosing adoption. In Costa Rica (a much less discriminating country), requires that the children must be over 4 before being adopted by a foreigner. How does that solve the problem? Now the children live in orphanages much longer (since domestic adoptions are not sufficient to give them homes). There is a fine line between encouraging domestic adoptions and keeping children from finding homes. In addition, why can't the birth mother make her OWN choice in the matter?

My child will be taught to read, go to school and probably college....which would have been unavailable to her in her birth country. I read the homestudy on our child's birthmother and I was humbled by the sheer determination to give this child a better life than she could provide. With luck, she will see her birth-daughter again and have an incredible sense of pride in what she has accomplished.

You mention counseling. While I believe it is important that these women have the opportunity to talk with someone about their choices (and many of us support a charity that does this and much more), their culture is different from ours. Counseling does not put food on the table, provide shelter, provide employment or medical attention. They cannot stop by the welfare office and pick up a check to support their children.

The plight of the poverty-stricken is not changed by oppressive adoption laws. Their plight will be changed when they are treated equally by their government and educated so that they can support themselves. We are fighting for the plight of the children CURRENTLY given up for adoption. I do NOT think it is best for them to grow up in a severely crowded, underfunded orphanage...nor do I think it is best that they starve while we wait for things to change.

Our goal is to keep the adoption choice open to women. Even if they are self-sufficient, they should have the right to choose what is best for their children.

In my opinion, UNICEF should be asked these questions. Why is it that they spend more time pushing for oppressive restrictions on women's choice than they do helping these women gain independence? UNICEF collects funds for these children, why aren't their primary efforts concentrated on funding the orphanages?

Posted by: Kelly (webmaster) at October 29, 2003 09:26 AM

The messages from David and Kelly sum the issue up beautifully. Bravo!

Posted by: Tonja at October 29, 2003 10:26 AM

Dear Susana:

Thank you so much for all that you do. I have a question. Attorney Castillo was reviewing my case as well and, I had 2 previos. We have been back in since Sept. 18th. Who will review my case now?
Lisa T.

Posted by: Lisa Tarala at October 29, 2003 01:52 PM

My husband and I are adopting. Our daughter was three weeks old at referral and is now 20 months old. We have had to deal with a incompetient attorney. We have also been kicked out of PGN at least three times, maybe four. Our PGN attorney was Ana Jesus Castillo too. What does this relocation mean for us. It could be good or it could be bad. This whole process has been very difficult but we love our daughter and we are not going to give up.

Posted by: G.H. at October 29, 2003 06:44 PM

Thank you so much for posting this information, and thank you to each and every one of you working to make a difference and bring about a change in all this mess!

I am not very politically 'aware', and tried not to delve too deeply into the details when we first began this process. Truth told, I wanted so badly to trust the people who would be responsible for bringing us together with our daughter, and desperately needed to have faith in their motives. However, as the ugly truth began to reveal itself, I knew I had to find out the whole truth, and face it...far too much at stake here to just blindly trust 'the powers that be'.

To say that I was dumbfounded when I began to learn about the horrific intentions of UNICEF and the abhorrent practices of PGN is an understatement. I was equally shocked (and disgusted) to find that the main motivator behind the morbidly inexcusable conduct of PGN and other Guatemalan adoption authorities is political, and yes (gasp) monetary. These people are being paid (in some as-of-yet indefinable or un-chargeable manner) to delay and reject adoption submittals, because UNICEF and their politically aligned goons have an ulterior motive... this process, somehow, is just a means to an end. And we, and our children, just happen to be in the way.

I do not believe for *one moment* that their true desire is to facilitate 'domestic' adoption within Guatemala, or to help control their population issues (as has been suggested)... not for one instant. There are much more sane and reasonable ways to encourage that. Nope, I'm not buying it so don't try to sell me any. I don't buy any of this nonsense about trying to empower Guatemalan women with the ability to place their child with a family inside their own culture, either. That has *always* been available - cutting off Americans or any other nationality won't change the level of demand within Guatemala for Guatemalan children. There was even a program that was offered for 2 years *for free domestic Guatemalan adoption*, and no takers. It's not just offensive, it's insulting that they actually expect us to believe their motives are altruistic. Not only that, but to suggest that Americans are all rich and amoral, seeking the 'perfect children' and 'stealing' children from poor Guatemalan mothers... HOGWASH. I am not naïve enough to believe it has *never* happened, but I KNOW that is not what we are all doing. ALL children are perfect, not just Guatemalan children. ALL are deserving of a loving, nurturing home in a good environment with the opportunities to accomplish whatever they want to achieve in life. Nothing positive could be gained by what UNICEF and similarly minded power figures are trying to accomplish... nothing positive for the children, anyway. Leaving these innocent children by the wayside, when there are so many of us who want to provide loving homes - it defies logic, and it breaks my heart.

How can a person capable of participating in such a thing be allowed to control the fate of our children? How can the individuals, the attorneys and politicians, participate in such a disgusting process? It is an aberration of power, the corruption that has been allowed to infect the adoption process for Guatemalan children. I realize these people are not trying to do anything *to* me personally - but I can't be expected to believe they are unaware of the ramifications of their actions - of how this is all affecting these children and all of our families. Yet still they persist.

I hope God has mercy on the people who are creating/perpetuating this vile situation, because as ashamed as I am to admit it, at this particular moment I feel none whatsoever for them.

My thoughts and prayers are with each and every one of you, we are all in this together and somehow we *will* prevail, and bring our children home.


Posted by: Trish at October 29, 2003 08:57 PM

I found Carol's statement regarding UNICEF's support of abortion in third world countries very interesting. If this is the truth, I think the Catholic Church should be made aware of this. Does anyone have any evidence of the abortion issue??

Posted by: Tonja at October 30, 2003 04:14 PM

Carol, and Tonja,

I think it's better for all concerned if we keep "abortion politics" out of this discussion, and out of our efforts. Likewise "UN bashing," or even "UNICEF bashing" not tied to their specific activities regarding international adoption. I'm sure that our views, and those of the people we are trying to influence, are "all over the map" with regard to these issues, and none of them is really relevant to our real concern, which is ensuring loving homes for children whose birthparents make the painful choice to give them up. It can only hurt our cause, and the children, if we appear to be "taking sides" on other issues. And it leaves us open to the same charges we're leveling against UNICEF: that we're using the children as pawns in some larger "agenda."

jay banks

Posted by: jay at October 30, 2003 04:57 PM

I would like to begin by saying that I appreciate your message and your point, Jay - even if I can't say that I agree with every aspect of it. I may be reading more into it than was actually intended, or I could just be offbase altogether. I do respect your views, and I'm certainly not suggesting that you are 'wrong'... not at all. You are as entitled to your views and your truths as any one else. However, I can't help but think it's UNICEF, PGN and the UN who have overstepped the boundaries, and done the bashing, not us. For instance, I refer to Elizabeth's post..."UNICEF's spokesman Eric somebody wrote me an offensive email implying that Americans think that because we are affluent, or more affluent than the average guatemalan, we think we have a right to their children. " That's a pretty harsh, and downright rude message coming from someone who claims to be an advocate for goodwill. We are not 'buying' babies here, and anyone with the sense God gave a goldfish should know that. And I certainly don't agree that by voicing our outrage at the situation they have put our families in, that we are committing the same folly as UNICEF and the UN in 'using the children as pawns. At least, I haven't read any posts that have given me that impression. Good heavens, we just want these children to be safe and happy, why are we the 'bad guys'? I'm grateful we have this forum to express ourselves. I recognize it is not a free-for-all, and that our energies are best put to positive use. I also agree that we must stay level-headed to handle these challenges properly. But the feelings of these families, yours and mine, are valid and we have as much of a right to feel them, and speak out about them, as anyone. The pain and frustration we all feel are just as much a part of the process as the patience and resolve are, ultimately - in my humble opine. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who would love for us to be mild and even silent about these issues - but the truth is these issues *are* relevant, when they are part of the larger agenda of these organizations that hold the fate of these children in their hands. We aren't required to turn a blind eye to their practices just because it may not immediately, directly affect our situation. In fact I think it would be opportunistic and hypocritical if we did. As if to say, 'whatever else you do is fine, as long as we get our sons and daughters'. Again, I could be way off base but that is my humble opinion. Once again, please let me say I respect your views and your points, and your right to express them.

Godspeed, everyone.

I have seen a number of posts where people ask what will happen to their cases, now that the attorney who originally reviewed it has been removed or reassigned. My adoption liason has advised me that when a case is bounced out of PGN due to a previo, when it is resubmitted it just goes to a different attorney if the original attorney is not available. It is hoped this will not result in any more delays than we would expect otherwise.

Posted by: Trish at October 30, 2003 08:35 PM

Hi Trish --

I think you did read things into my post that I
did not intend. Of course we have a right, and a
duty if we perceive it so, to fight the policies
of UNICEF and its allies on the international
adoption issue, and to spread the word about the
harm we believe they are doing. I just think that
as a group, we shouldn't introduce issues *other*
than international adoption into the discussion,
even if some of us think they're "related."

We're not by any means fighting "just to get our
children," but we are fighting to achieve or
maintain what we believe to be fair and humane
procedures for international adoption. If we want
to convince others of our view on that issue, I
believe we have to keep talking about that issue
and not others.

Carol and Tonja of course have the right to be
concerned, and to speak out, about UNICEF's
alleged support of abortion. (Though I question
the efficacy of "informing" the Catholic Church
about it -- do you really think they don't know?)
But that's not my fight, and it's not a fight that
a lot of people who might otherwise support and
help us are going to want to join. Yes, this is a
"dirty practicality" rather than an idealist view
that "We have to change the whole culture," or the
supposed "larger agenda" of the organizations. But
like it or not, we're not going to change the
whole culture, and the organizations probably
don't all *have* the same "larger agenda," nor do
all of us. If we are going to take effective
common action, we have to act on the things we
have in common.

Posted by: jay at October 31, 2003 10:28 AM

Just a note on the Catholic Church issue - my hope was to find an additional "voice" besides the waiting parents. I just don't want to see myself down the road without my son and wishing I had tried everything in my power to do what is right for the abandoned children of Guatamala.

Posted by: Tonja at October 31, 2003 01:13 PM

Here is a source for the information concerning UNICEFS advocacy of abortion in Guatemala and in other nations. (click on unicef) . This source specifically mentions the Catholic Church's response to UNICEF's stance on abortion. Regardless of how we may feel about abortion, I feel that an organization like UNICEF has no business pressuring other emerging nations with their agenda, based on their (usually western) values and dangling big bucks before their governments in exchange for complicance with the solutions they prescribe.

Posted by: Carol at November 6, 2003 06:41 PM

Carol --

Like it or not, most "humanitarian"organizations,
and all "human rights" organizations, and many
goverments, most assuredly including our own,
"pressure" governments in countries where they
have interests. Nothing we say or do is going to
stop them from doing that in general, so I really
think it's best if we stick to our specific
issues, and try to counterbalance the specific
"pressures" and "agendas" we object to. For the
readers of Guatadopt, there's really only one
agenda of UNICEF that we all object to, so we
should stick to that.


Posted by: jay at November 7, 2003 05:46 PM

I for one appreciate the information on UNICEF. I believe it gives us the edge if we know as much as we can about this so called humanitarian organization. Thank you.

Posted by: Kristi at November 10, 2003 05:06 PM

I second what Kristi said. The more information the better. We are all adults and can filter what we do and don't believe (or believe *in* as the case may be) as we choose.... While it is clearly a pro-life platform, the site Carol refers to gives a bunch of links with information on UNICEF and they cover a broad range of issues. There is also a link to UNICEF's site itself...

Thank you once again Kelly for Guatadopt!!!

Posted by: Colleen at November 11, 2003 09:10 PM

This was the first time I have read your web page. Thank you so much for taking time to inform those of us who do not really understand the PGN process. I have a beautiful 8 month old daughter waiting for me and we have been kicked out of PGN twice for stupid things. Everything has been fixed to their satisfaction, and now all I can do is hurry up and WAIT. In the mean time, I am missing valuable time with my child. It's nice to get truthful info for a change. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Shonda at February 12, 2004 04:01 PM