May 10, 2007

1st Reading - Hague

The following article appeared in yesterday's (5/9/07) Prensa Libre:
Below is a brief translation. Marie, Guatadopt

Requirements in Adoptions
The Hague Convention over adoptions passed yesterday in its first
reading in the Congress. The treaty will put Guatemala to date with the
requirements to allow children to be adopted, and put a stop to the
illegal selling of babies.

For the Convenio to become a law, two other readings need to be done,
these are scheduled for later today and on Tuesday, before the
termination of the regular sessions period.

"With the ratification of this convenio we are going to leave behind
being first place in the world where adoptions of children are illegal",
explained Zury Rios, president of the Commission of Exterior Relations.

Posted by Kelly at May 10, 2007 08:59 AM

Now, Zury Rios is involved in the adoption arena? How did this happen, sorry anything involving her or her husband Congressman, Jerry Weller makes me very, very nervous. JMHO, Melissa

Posted by: Melissa at May 10, 2007 09:57 AM

What does this mean?? Someone mentioned that if you had a registered POA dated before May 15th you would be grandfathered into the "old" system, any truth to that? Thanks!!!

Posted by: Bibi at May 10, 2007 10:12 AM

Yes, Zury Rios certainly lends some reverse credibility to that statement doesn't she?

As an open supporter of her father, Efraín Ríos Montt, one must wonder if she has the same level of contempt for human life as her father did.

Posted by: Kelly (webmaster) at May 10, 2007 10:44 AM

Kelly, is this being looked at as a positive step? What does it mean exactly? CC

Posted by: CC at May 10, 2007 11:29 AM

A posting about this is now up on the JCICS website ( It says: "Joint Council has confirmed that the Guatemalan Congress passed the first reading of the reaffirmation of the Hague Convention and corresponding amendments on Tuesday, May 8th. On May 9th the Guatemalan Congress passed the second reading, with the third and final passage expected Tuesday, May 15th." There is a link from this page to Iniciativa 3339, the Guatemalan reaffirmation of the Hague, in Spanish.

I hope the "corresponding amendments" include the one saying that this does not go into effect until January 1!

Posted by: Gina at May 10, 2007 01:12 PM

What does this mean? We haven't signed POA yet and probably won't before May 15

Posted by: Nancy at May 10, 2007 01:58 PM

So, does this mean that after the final reading of the law that adoptions will cease? There will be no further adoptions other than those that are already in progress? We are beginning the paperchase again, watching VERY closely but I must say, this is SO confusing!!
Thanks for the information!

Posted by: maura at May 10, 2007 02:05 PM


Yes, the statement in and of itself, is okay, but being said by her, that could mean a multitude of adverse things. I've personally met her, and she scares me. The fact that she supports her father openly, should raise everyone's eyebrows.~Melissa T.

Posted by: Melissa at May 10, 2007 02:35 PM

So according to this person's statement, the adoption of my child in 2006 was illegal !?!

Posted by: Teri at May 10, 2007 03:37 PM

The only "positive" thing I can say about the Rios family (with my warped sense of humor)is that they've been good to the cause of adoption from Guatemala in the past, since they've made orphans of so many children.

Posted by: Gregg at May 10, 2007 04:37 PM

Can you clarify what this means, if anything, to those of use in process (POA already registered)? Thanks!

Posted by: Laurie at May 10, 2007 05:14 PM

That is warped. Disgraceful actually.

Posted by: GDSinPA at May 10, 2007 05:17 PM

Allowing anyone with this heritage to have anything to do with children sickens me.

Posted by: Lisa at May 10, 2007 06:00 PM

Teri - the translation is very rough. I think what they are trying to say is that currently Guatemala has the highest rate of illegal (probably more accurately illicit) adoptions and that the Hague is a way to address that. I don't think they are saying that all adoptions are shady.

Check out the article below the JCICS update and the link to Guatemala. JCICS has been expecting this and doesn't seem alarmed by it.

Posted by: Frank at May 10, 2007 06:49 PM

To Gregg who tried to say what Rios Mont did was a favor to Guatemalan adoptions....

Oh, come on.....I have a warped sense of humor, a dark sense of humor, too....but that comment is so wrong and so cruel....that was an insult to all the families that were destroyed by that monster....

Posted by: Lisa at May 10, 2007 10:24 PM

Are they saying anything about how they will be conforming to the Hague? (Ortega? Protocol of Good PRactices?)

Posted by: sally at May 10, 2007 11:48 PM

Come on folks....Gregg's comment was *sarcastic* (angry sarcasm) so don't misread it. Knowing Gregg pretty well...I can tell you he is extremely sensitive and knowledgeable to the history and plight of children then and now. I also get rather sarcastic when I am angry and am trying not to *cuss* or implode ;-)

The disgraceful and cruel part is on Rios Montt's part for the many orphans he created AND for Zury's part for having the NERVE to comment on this subject at all (as she has been clear of her support for her father).

I think if I said "oooh, lets nominate Zury for a human rights award" guys would know pretty quickly that I was being VERY sarcastic.

Posted by: Kelly (guatadopt) at May 11, 2007 07:17 AM

It is estimated that during the brief 18 months or so of Efrain Rios Mont's stint as a bloody dictator of Guatemala, some 80,000 Guatemalans, mostly Mayans, were massacred by the army. That this terrorist is not imprisoned is an insult to the world. That he has served as the president of the Guatemalan Congress is outrageous. That his daughter Zury Rios (married to Republican Congressman Jerry Weller of the 11th District of Illinois), herself a ranking a member of the Guatemalan Congress, is involved in the regulation of adoption is what truly is CRUEL. My earlier remarks were meant only to point out the obvious. Over the years I have met probably hundreds of Guatemalan men, women, and children who lost spouses, parents, and other family members as the result of the genocide directed by Rios Mont. The US Government,so bent on conducting the "global war on terror", need only start in its own backyard. It is tragically ironic that the daughter of the terrorist despot --- who made orphans of so many Guatemalan children --- is now so intimately involved with the regulation of adoption.

Posted by: Gregg at May 11, 2007 07:58 AM

To Gregg, and Kelly,
I don't know either one of you, so I can't always tell where you are coming from. If I did, I probably would of known. I do know that many of us are on pins and needles right now. I do know that I received bad news yesterday about a little girl I HOPED was my adoptive daughter's sister, so maybe I was overly sensitive right last night when I read Gregg's comment. Please remember where some of us are at right now.
I knew it was sarcasm.... knew it when I read it....but I still feel in poor taste.
Just my opinion....take it or leave it.

Posted by: Lisa at May 11, 2007 12:40 PM

I find it even more than "tragically ironic" that Zury Rios Montt is taking this stance on adoptions - I find it downright suspicious. Does she have some ulterior motive? It presents an interesting situation in which the esteemed UNICEF shares the same goals as such a character. Hmmm.
Check out Jerry Weller's wikipedia entry:
Of particular interest are the sections on Properties in Nicaragua and Contributors.

Posted by: JA at May 11, 2007 02:30 PM

To Bibi,

You said you thought something was posted on guatadopt saying that adoptions in process before may 15 would be grandfathered in. No that was never said. There was a spanish translation of an article that said that adoptions in process before may 2 could continue in the process. There were questions as to what "in process" meant and what "continue in the process" meant. One possibility is that "continue in the process" means to continue or track or to be grandfather in. However, we do not know if this is a correct interpretation or not.

Posted by: cheryl at May 11, 2007 02:42 PM

(Off topic, I know) I trust you Kelly that Gregg's statement was not not intended to sound the way it did, but how can you expect us not to take offense to it (we don't know Gregg, just what he writes)? Genocide is no laughing matter and it should NEVER be depicted in a humorous (or sarcastic) way. JMHO

Posted by: Lea at May 11, 2007 02:55 PM

The dark humor was NOT the genocide. It *seemed* apparent to me (and yes, it is probably because I know Gregg) that the sarcasm was at Rios Montt or Zury Rios having any credibility on the subject of adoption (considering that Rios Montt did much to contribute to the current conditions of the Guatemalan people and the need for the statement made). We've tried to clarify that here since it was not "taken" that way. I'm certainly sorry if anyone was feeling that we were making light of the masacre.

But lets not waste anymore energy on a misunderstanding...I am certainly MORE offended that the newspaper would lend Zury's opinion any credibility. To me, that is the ultimate insult to every adoptive parent, every Guatemalan child and those who lost loved ones and friends during Montt's reign of terror!

Posted by: Kelly (webmaster) at May 11, 2007 06:10 PM

Lets understand the meduim we are using--keyboard and mouse, we have know faces to see and we sometimes forget that there are feelings connected and reading our comments. Lets please try to be considerate of others feelings, forgive and move on with sharing our information.

I do believe that the Guatemalan Congress will try to coincide with the March ? 2008 date that looks to be on the horizon since that is when the State Dept. has given as a deadline for agencies to be fully accredited. Change is going to happen in both the US and Guatemala since both sides are caving into the U.N.( the US has been preparing since early 2000 )and I think that is why the amendment to the propasal now being read in Guatemala indicates a January date. This date would allow for the US and Guatemala to go into force and be fully implemented 3 months later. The US has laws on the books that protects it's citizens from treaties and does not allow them to be retroactive. The State Dept. in DC has confirmed this to me ( International Children's Affairs )earlier this year.

The one and true way that we can affect change is through prayer and supplication to the one that is the creator of us all.

My FAITH is greater than my obstacles


Paul C.

Posted by: Paul C. at May 11, 2007 06:44 PM

Hi, I am new to all of this. I am hoping to adopt a little girl from that country and I am just starting the process. Is the adoption of the Hague treaty a good thing or bad? I guess I am not sure what the implications are.

Posted by: Cindder at May 11, 2007 07:37 PM

Unfortunately, this is not a private forum, and most of us don't know enough about the key players to know their entire POV.
So, while the comments were in unfortunate, it's clear now that they do not reflect on Gregg's true character.

Additionally, it is valuable to learn a little more about the plight of the people living in the country we have come to love. It's critical that once we bring our little one's home, we continue to advocate and work to make Guatemala a better, free-er, and more peaceful place.

Posted by: GDSinPA at May 11, 2007 10:23 PM

I completely got the sarcasm. I find it funny what people get all upset over.

I thought in order for Guatemala adoptions to continue we'd want them to pass Hague legislation. Am I missing something?? I think I must be.

Ani~ Hoping to adopt again from Guatemala in a year or so :)

Posted by: ani at May 12, 2007 01:14 AM

I don't know Greg and it was obvious to me that he wasn't making light of the massacre. I am definitely surprised to see that there are people who interpreted his statement otherwise.

Posted by: cheryl at May 12, 2007 02:28 AM

We are just finishing our home study obviously new to the adoption process. Can anyone tell me what the Hague treaty means to those us who are in the early stages of adopting?

Posted by: Todd at May 12, 2007 08:26 AM

Perhaps I should add that I also appreciated the sarcasm (and the truth behind it!) in Gregg's post - hopefully no one interpreted my own post to be critical of him (I quoted his phrase "tragically ironic" to express agreement and then add to it).

Back on topic, it seems to me (like Ani above) that passage of the Hague is our only hope at this point, in order for adoptions to continue in the long-term. Hopefully the Hague requirements will also achieve positive reform in the adoption system.

Posted by: JA at May 12, 2007 05:17 PM

The Hague Convention has been signed by the US and is expected to be ratified by the end of 07--late december. Once it is ratified, there will be a 3-month grace period and then the US will no longer accept adoptions from countries that have also signed the Hague (i.e. Guatemala) yet are incompliant. Other countries like Canada have ratified and refuse non-relative adoptions from Guate because of non-compliance. Currently Guate is not compliant and there is a GREAT DEAL of work to be done in order to become compliant. So, I'd suggest that you think long and hard about the 7-10 month window that you have right now. There is a reason why the Dept of State has urged caution.

Posted by: karenms1 at May 12, 2007 11:18 PM
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