September 22, 2005

The second reading of the UNICEF/BERGER/ORTEGA proposal

{Posted on behalf of Susana Luarca}

Dear Friends,
Today was the second reading of the proposed adoption law. But there is still time to defeat it. There is a motion to send the proposal to the Commission of Legislation and Constitutional Issues, where it will be declawed.

Oscar Berger is pushing a proposal to approve again the Hague Convention. Since the Constitutional Court is still formed by the same people, in the remote case that the Hague Convention is approved by Congress, we only would have to file again a constitutional challenge. We are in a much stronger position this time, because we already have the ruling saying that the accession is unconstitutional, six months of failure to prove how ineffective the Hague Convention is and a ruling of the courts saying that the notarial process cannot be affected by the Hague Convention.

I can imagine the anxiety that my words are bringing to those of you who are about to start the journey of adoption. Somebody said that only China is predicable. It is still to be seen if it continues to be predictable, now that China ratified the Hague Convention this past week. In Guatemala,you can trust that we will fight day and day out to keep UNICEF at bay, educating people about the goodness of adoption and how it not only helps those children who are adopted, but the whole country, because with each adopted child, Guatemala gets a new goodwill little ambassador and loses one potential gang member.

Help us with your support, your prayers and your faith. We will not let you down.

Best regards,
Susana Luarca
Asociacion Defensores de la AdopciĆ³n

Note: The Suspension of the 3rd reading is discussed in Prensa Libre:

Posted by Kelly at September 22, 2005 08:47 PM

Is this saying that the second reading did pass? What happens now?

Posted by: Melodee at September 22, 2005 08:57 PM

Does anyone know when the third reading will be?

Posted by: nancy at September 22, 2005 09:13 PM

I'm not sure that I understand what is happening now. Will there be a 3rd reading and then a vote the same day? Thanks for the updates!

Posted by: Regina at September 22, 2005 09:13 PM

Thank you Susana for the update. Do you know when the third and final reading/vote will be? Please let us know so this agony can end.

Posted by: Lynn at September 22, 2005 09:23 PM

I do not know if this is true, but on the "big list," someone posted that they have heard that the third reading has been postponed because of the request for an opinion by the constitutional court. I know, this is not reliable information exactly, but I'll take any glimmer of hope I can right now! :)

Posted by: Anne at September 22, 2005 09:30 PM

what is the "big list"?

Posted by: mary at September 22, 2005 09:45 PM

Susanna~ Thank you for the update. I pray that the voting will favor the children and the parents who are anxiously waiting. Please let us know when the 3rd reading will take place. Thank you again for all that you do. I will try to remain positive and focused.


Posted by: Michelle H at September 22, 2005 09:50 PM

Does anyone know if approval of the Hague Convention again will mean those of us in "in process" with notarized POA's, referrals, or in PGN would be affected? Susana - Your thoughts on this?

Posted by: teri at September 22, 2005 10:31 PM

I noticed in looking at other materials on this site that during the Hague debacle there was a very organized letter-writing campaign, etc. Are any plans to do something similar in the works?? Is there anything that those of us who are State-side, so to speak, can do now, in addition to supporting the ADA's initiatives monetarily?????

Posted by: Anne at September 22, 2005 11:12 PM

There is no way to know at this moment, when the third reading will take place. Or, if it actually will take place. There have been many proposals that have been abandoned before going to the next reading. The proposal that UNICEF is pushing this time is by far the worst of all, which makes it easier to convince the undecided congressmen and women that it would be a serious mistake to support it. The Constitutional Court has already ruled on the same matters that we would challenge if the law passes, which makes it very easy to predict that if the law passes, it would be short lived.
The Hague Convention cannot be approved by the congress again, even if the president himself has committed personally to Hans van Loon, the director of The Hague Conference for International Private Law. Berger should have thought first that his commitment is to his people, and especially to the needy children of Guatemala, not to some director of an entity of which, Guatemala is not even a member.
The second reading is meaningless. It is just one step in the process.

Susana Luarca

Posted by: Susana Luarca at September 23, 2005 12:21 AM

Thank you for helping us to better understand this situation. It looks to me like you work around the clock...kind of like me worrying around the clock. I will hang my worries on your
last post and pray for Guatemala and its children!
Thank you for all you do!


Posted by: Julie at September 23, 2005 01:41 AM

According to Prensa Libre, a major Guatemalan newspaper, "the third reading and final writing of the adoption law has been suspended" because, as stated by the newspaper, those that "supported it initially now believe that it must be reformed."

Hope this is true. But as the saying goes, "the battle may be won, but the war is not over."

Neil in MD
Papi de Isabella

Posted by: Neil at September 23, 2005 02:18 AM

my thanks and prayers are sent to you Susana (and your co-workers) How long might the process take of 'declawing'? and what might be removed? even though i am a single - the aspect that worries me the most about this law is putting PGN in charge of practically everything ... and what that might mean to ICA in Guatemala

Posted by: mary-kate at September 23, 2005 05:36 AM

So this morning's Guatemala Newspaper says that the 3rd reading has been postponed because the people who originally supported the proposal now know that it must be reformed. Is it possible that the paper has it right for once??? We can only hope.

Posted by: Becky at September 23, 2005 08:05 AM

I'm sorry I think the actual wording in the article is that the 3rd and final reading has been 'suspended', not 'postponed'.

Again...I don't know if this paper is accurate...a lot of times they aren't...but in this instance I sure hope they are!

Posted by: becky at September 23, 2005 08:09 AM

Dear Susana,

As many have already said, thank you for keeping the hopes of adoption in Guatemala alive and especially for keeping the best interest of the children of Guatemala front and center. Thanks

Bradley (father of Gabriel and on the waiting list for a referral for child number 2).

Posted by: Bradley at September 23, 2005 08:17 AM

Yes, I also ready the excerpt in Prensa Libra, but was wondering if the wording was 100% accurate.

If the law would be sent to the Commission of Legislation and Constitutional Issues, the third 3rd reading could certainly be postponed or "suspended" until further notice.

I will put a link to the article below Susana's post. As Susana mentioned, the 2nd reading has no real meaning. It is the 3rd reading when the details of the law are discussed.

Posted by: Kelly (webmaster) at September 23, 2005 08:26 AM

Just out of curiousity, did the Congress sneek this second reading in. I thought there was going to be another demonstration and more people organized before the next reading and it seems like the Congress slipped it in before anyone knew what was happening. Is this how they operate? I give all of you a ton of credit for your determination and patience in fighting this cause. Thank you and we wish everyone luck in the next endeavor! Just finishing up our HS and praying all works out.

Posted by: K&D at September 23, 2005 09:20 AM

While I support the attempts to stop the Ortega proposal I am very uncomfortable with the terminology used by Susana Luarca in her posting:

"because with each adopted child, Guatemala gets a new goodwill little ambassador and loses one potential gang member."

I don't believe it is a constructive way to describe the children of Guatemala as a "potential gang member." I'm sure opponents of international adoption would jump all over this description.


Posted by: Michael Levy at September 23, 2005 11:47 AM

I am very much interested in the fight to keep
adoption alive in Guatemala. My son and his wife
have come to a referral in their process. The
more I learn, the more I believe that they would
give their "Walter Ivan" an exceptional home.

Posted by: mary DiFranco at September 23, 2005 07:33 PM