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September 05, 2007

Plea for help from Casa Quivira families

Posted on behalf of Casa Quivira In-Process Families:

Help get all 42 Casa Quivira babies home now
Many of you have posted about the Casa Quivira situation and asked, "How can I help?" Regardless of why this may have happened, there are still 42 innocent babies caught in the middle. We need your help.

Why now? Congress has been on recess and begins session again at noon on Tuesday, September 4. The developments are increasingly disturbing each day. We need to rally together for the safety, well-being, and right to a permanent family home (today, not 15 years from now) for all 42 children caught in this political mess.

Approach
Please contact the Chief of Staff or the Legislative Director in your Senators’ and Congress members’ Washington DC offices, we cannot contact lower level staffers. Call and/or Fax –email as a follow-up.

1) Call and fax both state Senators and your Congressional rep (DC offices)
2) Call and fax U.S. Government reps on the subcommittee that funds Guatemala with our Federal Tax dollars (list to follow)
3) Call and fax Consul General, John Lowell in the US Embassy

For US reps contact information—including Chief of Staff and Legislative Director names, please go to www.visi.com/juan/congress/

US Embassy in Guatemala
* Ask for John Lowell Consular General
phone: 011-502-2326-4000

Here is a sample fax. Be sure to add your approriate information. IN addition, it always best to wrote one from scratch using the same points: Download file
fax: 011-502-2326-4654, or 011-502-2326-4674

List of Senate and Congressional members of the subcommittee that funds Guatemala programs

Senator Patrick Leahy (Chairman) (VT) Senator Daniel Inouye (HI)
Senator Tom Harkin (IA) Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Senator Richard Durbin (IL) Senator Tim Johnson (SD)
Senator Mary Landrieu (LA) Senator Jack Reed (RI)
Senator Judd Gregg (Ranking Member) (NH) Senator Mitch McConnell (KY)
Senator Arlen Specter (PA) Senator Robert Bennett (UT)
Senator Christopher Bond (MO) Senator Sam Brownback (KS)
Senator Lamar Alexander (TN) Chair: Nita M. Lowey (NY)
Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (IL) Adam Schiff (CA)
Steve Israel (NY) Ben Chandler (KY)
Steven R. Rothman (NJ) Barbara Lee (CA)
Betty McCollum (MN) Dave Obey (WI)
Ex Officio Frank R. Wolf (VA) Joe Knollenberg (MI)
Mark Steven Kirk (IL) Ander Crenshaw (FL)
Dave Weldon (FL) Jerry Lewis (CA), Ex Officio


*************************************************************************************

Message Points for phone calls

To Senators/Congress members:

As you may be aware, Guatemalan authorities raided the baby home of Casa Quivira, a licensed foster home in Antigua Guatemala, with 46 babies inside, on the night of August 11. These babies were all in process to be adopted by American citizens.

We are calling you because the 42 remaining babies are in jeopardy. It is still unknown to all families involved where their children are or the status of their babies’ health and well-being.

The affected families are American citizens who entered into the adoption process in “Good Faith” and should all be able to go through the established legal Guatemalan adoption process like ALL other 5,000 in-process adoption cases.

Requests:
1. That the families affected be made aware of the location of their children, the status of the health and well being of their children. Additionally, It is in the best interest of the children to be returned to the Casa Quivira facility.

2. That the Casa Quivira cases be allowed to proceed immediately and be processed in a timely manner just like all other 5,000+ in-process adoption cases that are working through the same notarial process which is specified under Guatemalan law.


I ask that you as my Senator/Congress member contact the Department of State Office of Children’s Issues with my requests.

Contact information:
Julie Furuta-Toy Director of Office of Children’s Issues
Phone: 202-736-9083

I also ask that you as my Senator/congress member contact Ambassador Castillo with my requests.
Phone: 202-745-4953

Here is a sample fax. If possible, write one from scratch as it is more effective: Download file

Posted by Kevin at September 5, 2007 10:32 PM
Comments

Hi Kevin,

I was just wondering how the Office of Children's Issues can help? I remember contacting them during our difficulties with Juan's case. They were sympathetic, in fact one of the few people/agencies to call me directly and discuss the issues, but they were not able to directly help.

Joan

Posted by: Joan at September 5, 2007 11:59 PM

Thank you Kevin. I am on it!!!!!!

Posted by: Nancy at September 6, 2007 07:01 AM

Kevin,

Thank you SO MUCH for posting this information and thank you to everyone who takes the time to help by making a phone call or sending a fax on behalf of these children and families.

Posted by: Sara at September 6, 2007 09:02 AM

AWESOME, thanks!!!! I just printed out all the faxes and am getting ready to send those now. So glad to have something I can do for the CQ folks. Thank you so much...been feelings so helpless. I pray our legislators will heed our requests! And praying for all the families and children...

Posted by: Melanie at September 6, 2007 10:34 AM

Senator Brownback (on the list of members of the subcommittee that funds Guatemala programs) adopted two of his children - one from Guatemala and one from China. Might be of interest in case anyone wants to target an additional letter to him.
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/070130/30brownbackfacts.htm

Posted by: JA at September 6, 2007 10:41 AM

Kevin, I'm on it too. Let's go peole, fire up those faxes. There are over 4,000 of us in process please won't you help? Don't wait until its your child or mine that is missing or stuck in the system, because CQ and Prima will not be the only targets. ~Melissa

Posted by: Melissa T. at September 6, 2007 11:01 AM

I emailed 2 senators and 1 congressman from Missouri. I selected IMMIGRATION as the issue and then called it "Legal" immigration. I do not see why people cannot tell the big difference. Glad to know about Brownback; he should help.

Posted by: Carol at September 6, 2007 12:28 PM

Thanks, Kevin. I just faxed my letters. Hopefully, my Cuban American Senator will be sympathetic to our plight. Our daughter is with Susana's hogar so I want to help in any way that I can. I appreciate your continued insights/commentary on this developing situation. It helps me keep a perspective on all of it...and maintain whatever sanity remains.

Posted by: lisa at September 6, 2007 12:48 PM

I am in too....this is going too far with innocent children getting caught up in UNICEF/DOS/GUAT-PGN politics. It's getting to a point that I am about to write to Michael Moore for the topic of his next film.

Posted by: Phil at September 6, 2007 01:02 PM

Thank you all!
CQ parent.

Posted by: Ellen at September 6, 2007 03:27 PM

Thank you for putting in so much work on this. I will definitely contact the indicated government officials.

Just one question, how do we find contact information for the person on the subcommittee that corresponds to the state we live in?

Posted by: cheryl at September 6, 2007 03:27 PM

Kevin - Can we cut and paste this message to other adoption yahoo groups for their support?

Posted by: Tonja at September 6, 2007 05:01 PM

as one of the CQ parents to be, i want to thank you all for getting involved. remember it is all about the children & that this can easily happen to any of your cases, if it happened to a place like CQ. so lets all try & stop the insanity in Guatemala now!!

thank-you again

Posted by: Randi at September 6, 2007 07:38 PM

Cheryl,
go to this link
www.visi.com/juan/congress/

his/her info is all there--even the Chief of Staff names etc.

FYI--the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute has a letter out for ALL CCAI MEMBERS to sign TOMORROW FRIDAY SEPT 7.

Please, if you contact a rep that is also a CCAI member REMIND them to sign that letter. If they need more information they can contact CCAI by emailing their request for the letter or further information to Nicole@ccainstitute.org or they can call at 202-544-8500.

By the way, I was so touched to see all your posts, I KNEW we could ALL come together to help the babies.

When you adopt, you instantly have a "huge family". Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

We are waiting on 2 babies who are in undisclosed locations.


Posted by: Ann at September 6, 2007 07:41 PM

I will also be sending faxes. We live in Vermont and our Senator Leahy is the chairman of the subcommittee. We are in the process of adopting our 5 year old Maria and we have been experiencing MANY paperwork delays, but thank goodness we have not had to experience what the CQ families have been going through. Our thoughts are with you and your children.

Posted by: Kristi at September 6, 2007 07:55 PM

I am sure it is fine to forward on this info.

Just to be clear... Where it says "Posted on behalf of CQ families" that is not just the obvious. That is stating that they came to Guatadopt, wrote it all up, and asked us to publish it - which we were happy to do. But this is not a Guatadopt organized campaign. We were merely helping the families out.

Kevin
Guatadopt.com

Posted by: Kevin at September 7, 2007 07:38 AM

To all CQ families,
I will be doing my part this weekend to help. Try and stay positive and pray this will be resolved quickly....

Posted by: shannon at September 7, 2007 12:16 PM

I just wanted to let the Casa Quivira families know that after sending the faxes as requested yesterday, I received an email from one of our Representatives. She stated that "there are efforts underway for the Members of Congress to raise this issue with the proper authorities."

Just thought you'd like to know about the positive response.

Stephanie

Posted by: Stephanie at September 7, 2007 02:01 PM

On the discussion boards, there was a great article about femicide in Guatemala. Here's the link:

http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/879/1/

The most important paragraph (in my opinion) was towards the end of it:

"... thanks in part to a timely New York Times editorial, Guatemalan lawmakers felt the eyes of the world on them, and on August 1, the CICIG [International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala] passed against all odds. However, it remains to be seen how effectively it will be implemented within Guatemala. At the most, it could be a meaningful step toward ending impunity in Guatemala and toward creating a safer, more just home for Guatemalan women. At the least, it represents the power of the United States and other governments to sway the politics of Guatemala through international pressure."

Read the last sentence again - in case the bold part doesn't show up.

We lament about what's happening in Guatemala. We worry ourselves sick with what is happening and what could happen.

In addition to finding support on these forums, we can do something. We can contact every government representative and voice our strong opinions to take care of the children.

For those of you who haven't yet contacted your representatives as Kevin suggested, please do so!!

I'll get off my soapbox now!

Lu
PAP and only God & Universe know when/how

Posted by: Lu at September 7, 2007 02:12 PM

Thank you to all who helped out this week on this campaign.

We have moved a lot. The CCAI letter still has signatures to get on Monday, but they plan on over 20... which is great!

Please, if you didn't have time this week, still call and send your faxes and emails.

I heard today that we made such a noise that the State department put their head bilateral adoption guy on the case.

This is a fantastic way to have our government know that if Guatemala actually decides to close or not allow the "pipeline" to finish they will be SORRY. All I can say is,they are getting a feeling of what could happen if ALL 4500 families were suddenly halted.

Adoptive families are really LOUD, and I for one can say--I am proud to be a part of your family.

please do not stop getting the word out. Thank you.

Posted by: Ann at September 7, 2007 10:12 PM

Ann and other CQ Families,
Stay strong for those children for when they come home. Yes, we are all part of a larger family, in my opinion as well. Our hearts are with you.

Everyone, please post responses that you receive.

Thanks,
Lizzie
Proud Mama to Anarosa since 5-26-04
Waiting for Migdalia

Posted by: EB at September 8, 2007 05:58 PM

Also on the list of members of the subcommittee that funds Guatemala programs is Sen. Tim Johnson (SD) His son and daughter-in-law recently adopted two children from Ethiopia, so ICA is a familiar and personal issue for him.

Posted by: Jetty at September 9, 2007 12:57 AM

Hey Everyone,
Anyone getting any positive responses? Please post.

Has everyone faxed or called? Lets send out a second wave from those that did not call/fax the first time around!

Lizzie
Proud Mama to Anarosa
Waiting for Migdalia
(whose judicial case is being challenged by PGN right now)

Posted by: eb at September 11, 2007 12:09 PM

Yes, there has been a positive response. The following members of congress are showing support for Casa Quivira. Thank you to all who have called, faxed and emailed your Senators and Representatives regarding CQ.

Colorado
Sen. Wayne Allard (R)
Sen. Ken Salazar (D)
Rep Marilyn Musgrave (R)
Rep Diana Degette (D)

Delaware
Sen. Joe Biden (D)

Georgia
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R)
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R)
Rep. John Lewis (D)

Illinois
Sen. Barack Obama (D)
Sen. Dick Durbin (D)
Rep. Dan Lipinski (D)

Iowa
Sen. Tom Harkin (D)

Kentucky
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R)
Rep. Ben Chandler (D)

Massachusetts
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D)
Sen. John Kerry (D)
Rep. Barney Frank (D)
Rep. Bill Delahunt (D)

Michigan
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D)
Sen. Carl Levin (D)
Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R)
Rep. Dave Camp (R)
Rep. Tim Walberg (R)

Missouri
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D)
Sen. Christopher (Kit) Bond (R)

New Hampshire
Sen. Judd Gregg (R)
Sen. John Sununu (R)
Rep. Paul Hodes (D)
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D)

New Jersey
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D)
Rep. Rob Andrews (D)
Rep. Mike Ferguson (R)
Rep. Steve Rothman (D)
Rep Christopher Smith (R)
Rep Donald Payne (D)

New York
Rep Carolyn Maloney (D)

Ohio
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D)
Rep Deb Pryce (R)
Rep Zack Space (D)

Pennsylvania
Sen. Arlen Specter (R)
Rep Joe Sestak (D)

Tennessee
Sen. Bob Corker (R)
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R)

Texas
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R)

Posted by: Sara at September 12, 2007 01:14 PM

Update:
28 members signed the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) letter that was overnighted to President Berger today!

some congressional signatures were from people who are not even a part of CCAI. This success is due to all of our efforts.

The letter's wording (which I do not have the exact text) is helpful to all families in process of adopting in Guatemala.

Continue to contact your reps (we plan to do this weekly) to keep contacting the State department and Ambassador Castillo. Both governments need to know how important it is to keep the "pipeline" open for all 4500 in-process families.

PS still no news on CQ babies and their status. We do not even know if they have a procedure in place for our cases. Our babies have literally been in limbo for a month. If you pray, please pray!

Posted by: Ann at September 14, 2007 12:21 PM

below is the response from our senator in MN:

To follow is the response that Senator Coleman received regarding the Casa Quivira situation:

Dear Senator Coleman :

I am writing in response to your e-mail of September 10 concerning your constituents in the Denton/Nugent family and their concern about the welfare of the children at Casa Quivira in Guatemala . U.S. diplomats in Washington and at our Embassy in Guatemala have been following developments at Casa Quivira closely.

We have on several occasions communicated to Guatemalan officials our view that the well-being of the children should be the paramount concern while the legal status of Casa Quivira, as well as each child’s relinquishment/adoption process, is being resolved by Guatemalan authorities. We believe that the Government of Guatemala, which carries the sole responsibility for monitoring, licensing, and regulating child care facilities in that country, shares our view. Without exception, representatives of the Guatemalan government have assured us of their determination to ensure the children’s safety and well-being. Currently, each of the children has been moved to one of five private foster care facilities. We understand there is much concern about the welfare of the children following this move.

The Embassy maintains regular contact with Guatemalan authorities concerning the children who were living at Casa Quivira. The judge in charge of the investigation has ordered that no specific information be released about the individual children or the status of their individual cases. We have noted to Guatemalan officials that adoptive parents have a legitimate and emotional need to know that these adoptive children are receiving proper care. We have been assured that all of the foster care facilities are staffed by properly-trained and accredited personnel and that all of the children have prompt access to medical care, should it be needed. Staff in the Department’s Office of Children’s Issues have reached out to prospective adoptive parents who have been matched with children from Casa Quivira, as we have been able to identify those parents.

Guatemala is a signatory to the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. The Department of State has been engaged at many levels over the past year with the Government of Guatemala and other partners in the Hague Adoption Convention in efforts to develop a transparent intercountry adoption system in Guatemala which will safeguard the rights of all parties to an intercountry adoption: the birth parents, the prospective adoptive parents and, most importantly, the children. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has approved a $110,000 grant to the Oregon-based Holt International Children’s Services for a project to begin to build a child welfare infrastructure in Guatemala to meet the international standard of best practices established by the 70 member countries of the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention. We are committed to continued close cooperation with the Guatemala Government as they reform their adoption procedures.

We encourage families involved in Guatemalan adoptions to communicate directly with the Office of Children’s Issues office at AdoptionUSCA @state.gov. We are attempting to provide them with regular updates on developments in Guatemala .

Sincerely,

Dorene Larson

Constituent Services

US Senator Norm Coleman

2550 University Avenue West, Suite 100N

St Paul MN 55114

661.645.0323 (Ph)


Posted by: chris denton at September 14, 2007 06:44 PM

Der Friends,

There is a news in one of the local newpapers, stating that the First Court of the Childhood and Adolescence has set a date for the hearing of the Casa Quivira case on October 10th. All interested parties will be heard then with regard to the 42 children taken away from Casa Quivira.

The law says that the children must be brought to such hearings, so it will be the opportunity to see if all of them are fine.

I am very confident that the children will be given back to Casa Quivira and all these days of grief will go away like a bad dream.

Susana Luarca

Posted by: Susana Luarca at September 15, 2007 03:28 PM

Thank you for posting this Susana. (about the court hearing on 10/10) Could you post which newspaper this is reported in?

Sara, a CQ mom

Posted by: Sara at September 15, 2007 09:17 PM

The newspaper is Siglo Veintiuno, September 15, 2007, page 8.
Susana Luarca

Posted by: Susana Luarca at September 16, 2007 01:57 AM

I was surprised to see that The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute posted a .pdf link of their letter to Pres. Berger on their website. You will find it here:
www.ccainstitute.org/detail.php?id=161

Posted by: sara at September 26, 2007 06:19 PM
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