Comments: On Finding Fernanda and More

I am an adoptive parent that brought my child home in late 2008 as one of the grandfathered cases. I have read Finding Fernanda and found the book very enlightening. Painful on all fronts - definitely a painful read to an adoptive parent of a Guatemalan child. Kevin, as a Guatadopt reader I have much respect for you. I feel that you had absolutely no ill intent, and I did not feel that was implied in the book. I do think that we as parents should read it. Why? Because our children will. The thought of my child possibly being taken from his mother or family haunts me, and might possibly haunt my child in the future. If we are going to do right by our children we must prepare for what they will see and hear. I hired a SW to find my sons BM and I have made contact. I have received photos and contact information for her. It is important for me to know that my son has every avenue to have answers to his past no matter how painful they might be. Kevin, we miss Guatadopt. What has happened is tragic, but we are the parents of these children, who the majority were relinquished ethically. It is up to us to help guide our children and remove this dark cloud from their lives where possible.
Thank you for responding to the book. As tough as it has been to acknowledge the truth of what happened (even 1 kidnapped child is too many), I applaud you.

Comment by Scott at December 8, 2011 02:32 PM

Kevin: After many personal attacks on this forum, I appreciate your reflection. A small group of us asserted that something was terribly wrong and then received the wrath of those proceeding with their adoptions with absolute blinders on. Your reflection is one which I have wondered about and I appreciate your honesty. One thing that has always amazed me is the attack on the three mothers on hunger protest. Also, the attack on Norma Cruz--a woman who I stand in awe of. And, in ever interaction that I've had with her she has been nothing but consistent and unwaivering in her assertions and commitment. Now, we await to see if others have the integrity of treating these children as victims of abductions--not beneficiaries of adoption. And, EVERYONE NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND that IF these 3-cases are not treated with respect and resolved with return of children--you can count on the system NOT REOPENING as an adoption source to the USA. I say that with certainty as these children have become symbolic of a deeply shameful element of the system and truth and reconciliation requires justice for healing. You can argue about the 'best interests of the child' and make compelling arguments on either side, but ultimately righting a wrong is an absolute necessity to heal and move forward at the bigger systems level. As for what is right for Karen Abigail and the others--well, that is complicated.

Comment by karenms1 at December 8, 2011 07:12 PM

Believe it or not, I do check in somewhat. I am so far-removed from a few years back that I really cannot make an educated comment on the current issues. I have not read Finding Fernanda, so I cannot comment on that.

However, I can state with 100% assurance that you have NOTHING to be regretful for in any shape or form!! I will stand up and state very clearly that YOU did the absolute best for everyone that crossed paths with you. You did what we ALL believed to be the "right thing" for the situation presented. And, there were countless attempts to get foreign and domestic entities to rid the system of those we knew to be corrupt and we knew would eventually tear ICA down.

As I reflect back on my evening walking my two oldest around the neighborhood collecting can food for the needy, I can't help but think about how close we were to never bringing our oldest home!! And, I know how hard we both fought for the truth in her case so that we would NOT allow the system to taint our adoption. We fought so hard to remain on the 'right' side of the system that there was a real possibility that I would have had to hand her over(willingly) to her own family or to some who would have abused the system with her yet again. Fortunately for all, it worked out as it was meant to be.

So, avoiding the urge to ramble, I have to say that from all the people I have met(actually never met in person) that are/were associated with ICA, you stand above them all in your support for ALL sides of ICA. Not knowing, is NOT bias!!

And, I hope folks realize that you are/were just an everyday normal guy that was cast in scenarios that were unfathomable to most.

I only wish we would have had more support from those with the power to really make a difference before it snowballed out of control. Wow! What a joke that was trying to expose the criminals.

Sleep well buddy
Troy Webb

Comment by Troy at December 8, 2011 08:49 PM

Thanks, Kevin. You continue to have my respect.

When I went to the ICA summit, in Canada last year, my mantra at the end of each lecture and forum was "In a perfect world, there would be no international adoptions". Sadly, the UNICEF types continue to analyze adoptions as if there were a perfect alternative. And, just as sadly, many people were duped by thinking there was a perfect system for international adoptions. OK, a perfect system, with a few bad apples.

Comment by Steve at December 8, 2011 09:49 PM

God bless. The work you have done has been A god send to so many. You helped me keep my sanity during an insane time.

Comment by Kathleen at December 9, 2011 01:09 PM

Wow, very powerful, Kevin. I hung on every word you wrote long after my boys were home (in 2007), and I DEFINITELY sensed the change in tone on Guateadopt. It was reading Guateadopt that encouraged us to hire someone to find my sons' birthfamilies--of course there was more than one reason, but the tipping point was that I felt we had to make every effort to know, for certain, that they had been intentionally relinquished. You were, and are, a trusted source, and I'm very grateful for you and this site.

Comment by Amy at December 9, 2011 01:43 PM

Kevin, I read the book and there were a lot of things that I learned about Guatemala and the existence of it's people. Our adoptions were completed with the agency that was featured in this book and that has given me a lot of stress.This agency was highly reccommended to our family and I pray that it was what it was represented to be. I thank you for your hard work and dedication to all Guatemalan adoptions and there was never any doubt in my mind that you believe in doing the right thing.

Comment by Mimi at December 9, 2011 05:41 PM

Thank you ALL! Sorry it took so long to get these comments posted. For some reason they aren't getting e-mailed to me anymore. Nice to know some folks are still checking the site.

Karen - I would be very curious to find out why it was that Norma never responded to our offers to help locate the children, post their pictures, etc. It can't change anything but on the hindsight, it would have made a big difference.

Troy - nice to know you're still kickin...


Comment by Kevin at December 12, 2011 12:49 PM


I believe that you made the best decisions possible given the information that you had on hand at the time. Thank you Troy for doing such a good job of putting it all into words.

I believe that a lot of people are for ethical adoptions. I get a little tired of people saying that many APs are not for legal adoptions simply because based on the information they had at the time they were not convinced that corruption was as extensive as some people were stating. Agreeing on the extent of corruption and being for legal adoptions are two different things and that needs to be kept in mind. Further, just because someone has a different idea on how to ensure legal adoptions than the proponents of Hague does not mean they are against legal adoptions.

It seems to me that many of the vocal Hague proponents are saying "If you are not for Hague, then you are not for legal adoptions." That is a gross mischaracterization of many people's stance.

Kindest Regards, Cheryl

Comment by cheryl at December 13, 2011 12:55 PM

I have said and I want to say again, my heart goes out to any one whose child has been kidnapped. I hope that we can all work together to prevent this kind of thing from happening again.

Best, Cheryl

Comment by cheryl at December 13, 2011 07:07 PM

Its a terrible situation but you should bear no guilt.

Both sides have liars, misleaders, and agendas which cloud things. As for the survivors group and some of our "regulars" there was attacks against adoption, prejudice against nationalities, cultures, and race, arguments of colonialism, allegations of corruption coupled with illogical arguments of let them handle it themselves, arguments of where there is smoke there is fire from persons unknown who claim to know people in high places and specific details they refuse to divulge, and repeat refusal of supposed groups fighting for children to share pictures or lists of information of missing children so families could help. The message was "everyone is a liar except for us and you need to accept our words on blind faith".

The burden does not rest on the families. Guatemala should have a process on handling missing children. The survivors group should have shared pictures or something other than just sitting around on the attack [which is what they did]. Children who were missing should have been compared to the children being processed for adoption by multiple authorities. Lets think about what makes sense. A real solution. Would you put the burden on people who do not have visibility or access to all these channels or those who had access to the information? To place the burden on families or use it to tell people not to adopt is nuts.

Comment by lisa at December 20, 2011 05:33 PM

Lisa (December 20, 2011),

Very well said.

And the children and the families involved on both sides (AP and bio) are the ones that suffer the most.

Best, Cheryl

Comment by cheryl at December 25, 2011 12:57 PM

Kevin - I will always believe that it was more "ethical" to SEARCH for the truth than to just take everything we heard for gospel. Especially, when we had so many inconsistencies in stories and certainly didn't have all the information. While it is painful to look back and think about the "what ifs", I can safely say that YOU/WE always acted in good conscious and went out of the way to help as if the child were your own. There was no way to remove the suffering or provide a quick, happy fix.

I don't think anyone could ask for more!

Comment by Kelly at January 18, 2012 12:54 PM

Kevin, as your belated admission to the reality of child kidnapping and trafficking, dressed up as "adoption" demonstrates, the "perpetrators" were not only those in poor and war-impoverished countries where the children were sold, but they are here living among us. So-call good people, with so-called good feelings, and genuinely caring are now appropriately in jail in Guatemala, while the payers and importers say "you/we acted in good conscious".

The pretended naivety about Guatemala and the illicit trafficking of children by adoptive parents is no less than bizarre. It is even overwhelmingly apparent to any judicious reader of this website who genuinely caress for "informed and ethical adoption". For my part the illicit trade in children is worse than any other illicit trade, including drugs and weapons.

Still the good Dr. Timothy and Jennifer Monahan have their bought and paid for "Karen Abagail", and even a television show to go along with it (aired the same day two of their accomplices in Guatemala were sentenced to prison for the kidnapping of the child they keep - without a single word of mention by CBS). And what of Anyelí and her mother, Loyda, now? Will you continue to say that the laws where a child was adopted do not apply to US citizens? Will you continue to pretend there are not enough facts known? Will any parent of an adopted child have the courage to stand up for Anyelí?

The continued denial and whitewashing of kidnapped and internationally trafficked children by adoptive parents brings shame on our country and on adoption. More importantly, the self-serving and ultimately self-congratulatory attitude of adoptive parents with regard to kidnapping and child trafficking (view again the CBS Early Show of October 24, 2011) hurts all adopted children.

It is time we think of the children and what is right to do. Send Anyelí home.

Comment by LauraLyn at February 7, 2012 12:52 PM

Once again, a broad brush indictment of all adoptive parents, as if we are all one person, with a trafficked child in our home. MANY APs agree with your position of returning Anyeli home. MANY are concerned with ethics in adoption. MANY have spoken out. Not all, not even the majority. But to paint everyone as complicit in the trafficking of children is not only inaccurate, it is a big reason why more APs don't support your position. Expect me to support your position as you call me a trafficker. Really?

Comment by anon at February 13, 2012 12:40 PM


You said in the post dated February 7, 2012 to Kevin, "Will you continue to say that the laws where a child was adopted do not apply to US citizens?" This is not what Kevin said. And I don't htink any one said it this way.

What has been said is that this is a sovereign country with its own laws. It is a different jurisdiction that Guatemala. Therefore, a ruling in Guatemala would not automatically take effect in the US. The case would have to be tried in the US according to US laws and standards. That is a fact. This isn't something that Kevin or any one else posting here invented. None of us have **control** over this. We didn't make it this way.

Comment by anonymous at February 13, 2012 12:40 PM

My husband and I are cunetrrly living in Guatemala overseeing our adoptions and the extreme illegal and Human Rights Violations occurring daily in order to unveil corruption, much of where it does not exist. Hundreds of women, mostly poor and uneducated are being forced into frightening coercive interviews with government officials and denied the presence of their attorneys. Many women emerge confused and brow-beaten and some without child. The PGN is seizing some children for reasons as flimsy as typographical errors in their paperwork. When are we going to open our eyes and see this for the witch-hunt and quota filling agenda that it is. After interviewing only 150 mothers, the PGN had the audacity to state it expects to find 10% of the cases to be corrupt or suspect. They also stated that they will put these children (against the will of their birth mothers) into a state home and at some point make them eligible for adoptions through the new Guatemalan adoption system (CNA) The original adoptive parents who have loved, fought, and financed this child for the last 6 months to 2 years will not be given priority. These U.S. cases signed before January 1, 2008 are supposed to be protected under the old grandfathered laws. These women are supposed to be protected under basic human rights. When is someone going to print this side of the story and come to our aid. If you want to seek out corruption, then seek out corruption! Allow the legal, consensual adoptions to proceed and finalize as promised harassment and bribery and coercion in the 11th hour was not part of the deal! There are hundreds of children who have been abandoned since January 1 who are suffering and need assistance from the CNA. Why is there so much focus to scrutinize legal cases when their resources could be used to start a new system to serve the children of Guatemala who do not have families to care for them. This is a political agenda and nothing more! The welfare of the children and the birth mothers does not even make the list!

Comment by Arturo at June 1, 2012 03:06 AM