April 3, 2009
Please visit our new blog to hear the latest news and developments in international adoption and our Director’s thoughts and comments on the latest issues.
January 29, 2009
Notice: Liberia Suspends Adoptions. For further information, visit: http://adoption.state.gov/news/liberia.html
We will monitor the situation closely and provide updates as news develops.
May 24, 2008,
Hague Accreditation update
Hague Accreditation Update – Click here
October 4, 2007,
Guatemala Program Update
Most of you are probably keep abreast of the news via various internet news sources and lists. Rather than reiterate information that is available, I will post what I think are the best sites to keep checking and then a brief summary of the current situation below:
2. Summary. The Ortega Bill passed Congress yesterday. You can read about details of the bill and the problems with this bill at adaguatemala.org. It is our understanding that Congress will be reviewing and voting on on amendments on Tuesday, October 9, 2007 including a grandfathering amendment. The effective date of this legislation appears to be 30 days from passage yesterday but we don't have definite confirmation of this fact yet. For families who have just accepted referrals or are in the process of accepting referrals, please email Candace at firstname.lastname@example.org for the current status and strategy on handling these cases.
For those families already in process, please know that we will do everything in our power to fight for these kids. The US Department of State is now supporting grandfathering of all cases in process. I know this is so difficult for all of you. We are working around the clock now and we will get news to you regarding our internal strategies as quickly as we can.
Posted September 26, 2007, Hannah Wallace, President of Focus on Adoption responds to Department of State's "Warning"
Please read this and then write to your senators, congressmen and congresswoman, the President, everyone!
September 25, 2007
New DOS Statement - Brace Yourselves
The US Embassy has issued what I will deem a very frightening statement. I will say that I have herd rumors of cases getting streamlined to clear the pipes cleared before Jan 1. In addition, this is all quite iffy and subject to change.
But I would take this as a serious warning to anyone considering starting a process right now.
I take one more thing from this and that is the DOS is stating that it does not have plans to stand by its citizens who have entered into good faith, legal process. In short, I find this "hands off" statement appalling. I am sure there will be more on this in the weeks to come as we learn more and strategize on what may need to be done.
Here is the statement:
Added 9:52 pm Tues 9/25 - click on more formy commentary, a response from Focus on Adoption, and a translation of an article on the Ortega Law that appeared to day in the Prensa Libre. It is worth noting since Guatemala faces a presidential election in a couple weeks that The Patriot Party, whose cadidate is Otto Perez, is suporting this legislation. The UNE (National Unity of Hope) party of candidate Alvaro Colom is much more tentative. Colom already had my support for reasons unrelated to adoption, now he may have it for adoption related reasons as well (which is not to say he "supports" adoption). Thanks to Chris Huber of Families Thru International Adoption for translating it.
A response from ADA can be found here:
Today was a very hectic day of meetings for me in the office. As such, I apologize for the short original post and the fact that it took quite some time to clear comments. That's unfortunately the real world where Kelly and I both have real jobs that feed our families and have to take precendence.
First of all, I am nothing short of appalled at what the DOS has stated. As you will read below in the FOA response, it is not only inconsistent with the Hague, it is also pathetic, cowardly, and immensely insensative to the thousands of in-process families. Granted, as has been stated many times, Guatemala is a sovereign nation and can do as it pleases. But this is also a matter of international affairs and our US government has the duty to defend its citizens. Moreso, ours is a reprentative government and I dare someone to show me how this statement in any way shows an executive branch dedicated to the principle "of the people, by the people, for the people".
I believe VERY strongly that this is political pandering designed primarily to prevent new parents from entering the system. In the end, and this is solely my OPINION, I do not believe that our government will sit around and allow thousands of in process adoptions, entered into in good faith, be disrupted to the detriment of living children in need of permanency and the checkbooks of US citizens. You damn well better believe that if Guatemala or any other country attempted to end good faith contracts on any corporate interest in this manner, there would be hell to pay. I'll point to Cuba after Castro took power, Iran's nationalization of oil industries, and Guatemala's purchase of lands from United Fruit as examples. Except in this case there is zero doubt in my mind that the matter could be handled through simple diplomacy rather than a Bay of Pigs, overthrow of Moussadeq, or genocidal 36 year civil war.
I do not believe this is all coming from the Guatemalan side with the US not raising a fuss. I believe that for some time our DOS, in what I consider its usual non-transparent, dishonest fashion, has not been upfront with the adoption community about its intentions. Instead of having some courage and acting on its own to just do what they ultimately want - to shut down Guatemalan adoptions - they have chosen to issue a series of prolific warnings and statements. Instead of actually prosecuting those who have broken laws, they have accepted plea bargains and not gone after others with vigor and determination. And now they issued a statement like this as yet another way to commit emotional terrorism on its own citizens. I don't think Guatemala on its volition plans to end in-process adoptions, I think the US is orchestrating this in its stereotypical fashion. And in addition, I don't think things will come down as described. I think in process cases will be completed and believe that the US would be better serving its citizens if it just issued a moratorium on new cases if that is what they ultimately want to happen.
I, of course, could be wrong. Moreso, it may take all of us to use our combined effort on an orchestrated campaign to prove me right. Formal plans are in the works for an official campaign and FOA has a call to action below. I did say not to freak out yet because as is being proved in Myanmar right now, as was proven by MLK and Gandhi before us, and as is chanted at many protests - "there ain't no power like the power of the people". We may need to fight. We may need to protest. We may need to threaten (non-violent of course!) all of our elected officials, many of whom are already in campaign mode . But IF somehow the DOS believes that they can just issue a "screw you" statement like this and get away with it, the solidarity of our adoptive community may need to bond together like never before to prove otherwise.
Lastly, since I know DOS reads this site - BUST THE SCUMBAGS, DEFEND CHILDREN, AND DON'T MAKE IT OUT AS IF YOU HAVE NO RESPONSIBILITY TO YOUR CITIZENS!
Statement from Focus on Adoption:
Focus On Adoption Deplores DOS's position on Guatemalan Adoptions
Today, September 25, 2007, DOS announced several reasons why prospective adoptive families should not commence an adoption from Guatemala. Not least among them was the purported intention by unnamed Guatemalan officials that the Guatemalan government intends to ignore the clear requirements of the Convention and intends to disallow in-process cases from proceeding under existing law.
Any first year law student can read the Convention and immediately grasp why this "information" is, at best, misguided and, more likely, part of the consistent pattern of the existing (and soon-to-depart) Guatemalan administration's open hostility to constitutionally protected notarial adoptions in Guatemala. DOS is keenly aware of the provisions of article 46 of the Convention and is therefore likewise fully aware that this so-called "plan" is fundamentally at odds with the processes required by the Convention for its applicability. Yet, rather than identify and challenge the patent inconsistency and illegality of the "plan," and in lieu of consulting with the agencies that are left to manage the panic the warning will inevitably produce, DOS instead chose to publish this "plan" as part of a "warning." Why?
In issuing this warning, DOS, the "Central Authority" of the United States, has acted wholly contrary to the interests of U.S. adopting families. DOS should not be "warning" of this plan; DOS should be resisting this plan.
American families who are already in process have the right to expect their government to do everything within its power to protect and preserve their rights as reflected in the Convention that the U.S. has been working toward implementing for over 15 years now. DOS's assertion that it is "working closely" with others "to support Guatemala's transition to meeting its obligations under the Hague Convention" is belied by the utter failure of its "warning" to announce U.S. resistance to a "plan" the implementation of which would be in clear violation of the Convention and would directly affect thousands of American families. Why?
Indeed there are changes happening in Guatemalan adoption. Currently, there are two bills pending in the Guatemalan Congress that would bring Hague compliance to Guatemalan adoptions. One, Bill 3635, would retain much of the current architecture, including many salutary features, of the Guatemalan adoption process, while bringing needed reform to parts of the process that all agree should be reformed. Another, the so-called "Ortega law," would render intercountry adoption theoretically possible but practically impossible. The mysterious "plan" that DOS warns of is fundamentally inconsistent with the Guatemalan Constitution, as it is only the Congress who can pass legislation and determine when and how this legislation will take effect. So far the Guatemalan Congress has NOT passed either proposal into law. However, it is a matter of interest to child advocates that DOS and the Hague are strongly promoting the Ortega Law, # 3217 and the Guatemalan congress is reporting on great international pressure to pass a law which includes no funding plan or possibility of practical implementation. Yet, DOS fails to so state. Why?
FOA challenges all adopting parents to flood the U.S. Government, in all its various forms, with questions for our "Central Authority" - Why? Why? Why?
Why is DOS ignoring the clear requirements of the Convention? Why is DOS failing to protect the interests of Americans who have undertaken a process in good faith? Why is DOS failing its mandate under the Convention to ensure that adoptions proceed expeditiously and according to the terms of existing law? Why is DOS supporting passage of a law which will hinder adoptions and place children in jeopardy?
Please write to your two U.S. Senators, your U.S. Congressperson, the President of the United States, and directly to DOS. Hold DOS accountable.
You can find your US Senators and Representatives at http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/
You can write to DOS at: Main address:
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
TTY:1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay Service)
September 25, 2007
FROM CANDACE O'BRIEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Today, the US Department of State issued a warning to families
who have not yet begun their adoption process in Guatemala. The US Department of State
urged families not to begin the adoption process at this time.
Specifically, the US Department of State warning stated the following:
"Guatemala has stated that it will become a Hague Convention country on January 1, 2008.
Guatemalan officials have informed us that Guatemala plans to require cases pending or filed after
December 31, 2007 to meet Hague standards, even if the adoption procedures commenced before that date.
They have also informed us they will not process adoptions for non-Hague member countries after December 31.
We understand this to mean that Guatemala will stop processing adoptions to the United States beginning
January 1, 2008, until U.S. accession to the Hague Convention takes effect. Given the average time frame
for completing an adoption in Guatemala, cases started now cannot be completed before January 1, 2008."
The above statements contain inaccuracies, lack of knowledge and understanding of the Hague process of accession,
and lack of knowledge of Guatemalan constitutional and legal principles. The Guatemalan Congress passed
legislation in May of this year allowing for the President to accede to the Hague effective January 1, 2008.
This should not be confused with procedure that must be followed before a country is a member of the Hague under
rules of accession: namely, the filing of an instrument of accession with the Secretary of the Hague Conference which
then takes effect on the first day of the month following a 3 month waiting period. Further, the Guatemalan
Constitution does not allow for the retroactive application of law; therefore, any new legislation that the Guatemalan
Congress passes with respect to adoption would not be able to affect adoption cases begun prior to its passage.
Nevertheless, the US Department of State chooses to ignore these glaring inaccuracies. It is clear that this is a
political game. I believe the US Department of State is doing everything it can to cast a spin on Guatemalan
adoptions in an effort to halt the program.
For those families who have not yet accepted children, I will be considering the situation very carefully and
conferring with both Guatemalan and US colleagues over the next few days. I will also set up a time to speak
with each of our client families individually to discuss adoption options.
For those families who have accepted children and are in process, though this is indeed distressing news, I urge you to
try and stay calm, know that we are processing cases as quickly as we can and know that we will fight for you and
for these kids.
Though this is an extremely stressful and trying time in the history of Guatemalan adoptions, myself and many of my
collegues continue to be hopeful that a system will be implemented in Guatemala allowing adoptions to continue.
1. White Paper - Adoptions Without Borders recently issued a White Paper discussing the political situation in Guatemala and the US Department of State role in the current and future state of adoptions. This is a very well-written and well-researched paper and I highly recommend a review of this for any families thinking about adopting, currently in process or who have already adopted. The article can be found at www.guatadopt.com (scroll down to April 29, 2007)
2. For our New England Families, you may want to check out the following programs being sponsored by Adoption Community of New England: ACONE Programs in May
All of these programs take place at the new ACONE office in Westborough, MA.
Baby Care for Pre-Adoptive First-Time Parents, May 12, 2007, 9:00am – 1:00pm.
For details, go to http://www.adoptioncommunityofne.org/2_2_programs/classes/babycare.html
Triad Group, May 19, 2007, 10:00am – Noon
For details, go to http://www.adoptioncommunityofne.org/2_2_programs/classes/triad.html
A Look at Adoption, May 19, 2007, 2:00 - 5:30pm
A Support Group for Waiting Parents, May 20, 2007, 4:00 – 6:00pm
For details, go to http://www.adoptioncommunityofne.org/2_2_programs/classes/waiting.html
Adopted Persons Meet for Discussion, May 23, 2007, 7:00 – 9:00pm
For details, go to http://www.adoptioncommunityofne.org/2_2_programs/classes/adopted.html .
Birth Families Meet to Discuss Adoption, May 26, 2007, 10:00am - Noon
For details, go to http://www.adoptioncommunityofne.org/2_2_programs/classes/bf_group.html
2. Open House at the New Office – Sunday, June 10, 2007
You are cordially invited to drop in for a tour of the new office and presentation space, light refreshments and conversation with staff and Board members on Sunday, June 10, 2007 from 2:00 – 6:00pm.
For directions go to http://adoptioncommunityofne.org/pages/about-us/how-to-find-us.php .
3. June Programming
In addition to the usual monthly programs, the following will be offered in June:
Adjustment of Internationally Adopted Children, June 9, 2007, 2:30 – 4:30pm
Adoption and the Schools, June 11, 2007, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
4. End of School Year gift ideas
Here are two ideas for end-of-the school year gifts for teachers, coaches or other individuals you would like to recognize.
? ACONE Tote bags - For those who missed the special price at the conference, the sale price of $5 is being extended through this e-mail.
Go to http://adoptioncommunityofne.org/pages/about-us/ways-you-can-help/acone-tote-bags.php to see the picture and details for ordering.
? ACONE Note cards – In addition to end of the year recognition, these attractive cards are the perfect gift to keep on hand for when you need a “quick gift”.
For details on how to order, go to http://adoptioncommunityofne.org/pages/about-us/ways-you-can-help/purchase-note-cards.php .
5. Save the Date – ACONE’s 40th Anniversary Gala
? Plan now to attend the 40th Anniversary Gala, Saturday, November 10, 2007, 7:00pm – Midnight, at the Holiday Inn, Marlborough, MA. The evening will include dinner, entertainment, cash bar, DJ and dancing and a Silent Auction. Help is needed! To volunteer for the planning committee, or to donate or solicit items for the silent auction, please call the ACONE office at 508.366.6812.
Adoption Community of New England, Inc.
45 Lyman Street, #2 South Terrace
Westborough, MA 01581
March 19, 2007
I just got off the phone this morning with Miriam Monterroso who is one of our attorneys in Guatemala and who is very involved with Asociacion Defensores De La Adopcion (www.adaguatemala.org). She said that right now everything is moving in Guatemala and there they have not heard anything about an attempted issuance of the Protocol. She said the US State Department warning is of course ominous but the lawyers who are very involved in this and have contacts throughout government have not heard that they are attempting to issue the Protocol on a date certain at this point. She is making more calls this morning and is monitoring very carefully.
www.guatadopt.com is a very good source for current news and information at this point.
The bottom line is that we just don't know. We have had several such scares over the last years and then nothing came to fruition but that does not mean that it won't come to fruition.
The lawyers in Guatemala are a difficult force to reckon with on this issue but that is no guarantee that they can stop the President from attempting to implement the Protocol. They will take strong legal action if the government attempts to issue this Protocol without Congressional approval.
The bottom line is that we just don't know right now what might happen. If they try to place a moratorium on adoptions it could mean delays for the adoptions in process.
I wish I had a crystal ball for this situation but I don't. Most families right now who are at the beginning stages of completing home studies and obtaining government approval to adopt are continuing to move forward and will have to decide when they have their documents in order and are in a position to accept a referral. It is a decision that each family must make at this point because no one can answer what might happen. Families who feel very strongly about Guatemala are staying the course right now but may need to change if circumstances change.
We do have a good program in Kazakhstan so families most families will have an option.
March 1 2007 - Guatemala and the
Protocol of Good Standards
As many of you are aware, there has been much discussion recently concerning the possible implementation of a "Protocol of Good Standards" by the President's Office in Guatemala. Much of the discussion has centered around whether the President will try to implement this as law, the constitutionality and legality of such and enactment, and the specifics of the Protocol.
Miriam Monterroso, one of our attorneys in Guatemala, was able to attend the announcement today in Guatemala City.
Below is her summary of the "presentation" of the "Manual of Good Practices." The presentation and the Manual leave many questions. We will continue to monitor the situation and you will find updates at guatadopt.com as well.
Summary of Presentation of Protocol
Only four lawyers were able to enter the National Palace for the Presentation, I was one of them.
In the presentation table were:
Gert Rosenthal - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Eduardo Stein Barillas - Vice President of Guatemala
Wendy de Berger - First Lady
Mario Gordillo - Head of PGN
Judith de Sosa- Office of the President´s Wife -
Santos Cuc Morales - Immigration Director
Rubén Higueros Girón - President of the Supreme Court
The presentation started one hour and fifteen minutes late, and Lic. Gordillo from PGN opened, explaining the actual process and some deficiencies and he says that while Guatemala can implement La Hague and the Congress approves a new adoption law, this Protocol of Good Practices is a good way to do adoptions with transparency.
Afterward Mr. Gert Rosenthal, spoke about the conflict of the adhesion to La Hague, but ultimately is the Guatemalan Congress who would decide on La Hague.
Then Doctora Roxana de Gonzalez presented the Manual of Good Practices. She really didn´t present anything, just talk generalities of it, but nothing specific. Her presentation was very poor (not a power point presentation), so the public was not aware what she was talking about.
Then Vice President Stein talked about the Manual, but he said that it would take some weeks to implement it, that he is requesting to the Ministry of Finances to allocate some money for this implementation.
We were not allowed to ask questions.
So at the end, on our way out, we were given a copy of the Manual, that it is not signed, it is not dated, only says March of 2007. It doesn´t have anybody responsible.
The USA CONSUL AND EMBASSADOR were present, and a total of about 70 people attended.
So we all left the room, without knowing the document, when is going to be implemented, etc. I am including a report I made in spanish to all the attorneys.
It is important to mention that this Manual is not superior to the Law, and that we have all the legal recourses in case they start implementing it.
February 4, 2007
Effective February 1, 2007, US Embassies worldwide will no longer require notarized copies of passports to be submitted with final package for visa.
Liberia Program Update
February 4, 2007
AdoptInternational's Liberian program is progressing well and we expect to begin accepting applications Spring 2007. If you are interested in further information about the program, please feel free to contact us and we can put you on our mailing list for updates on our program.
Recent US Embassy, Guatemala Changes in Procedure
October 27, 2006
Effective October 5, 2006, a fully completed, signed, and dated I-600 must be submitted by the Guatemalan attorneys when they present the adoption file for the pink slip at the end of the process. We are asking that once you are notified by our office that we are out of PGN and have your final decree, you complete Block 1 of the I-600 (we will complete block 11), sign the I-600 and also date the I-600. Forward the I-600 to AdoptInternational along with photocopies of every page in your passport that contains information/stamps. Effective November 28, 2006, the copies of your passport pages must be notarized.
Single Mom's Teleseminar— Steps for Success with Less Stress!
October 24, 2006
Thursday, October 26th, 9:00 PM - 10:30 PM
ENROLL Online: www.wholeheartedparenting.com/Teleseminar.html or by Phone: 954-483-8021
Whole Hearted Parenting presents a teleseminar packed with strategies for single moms. In a conference call format with a colorful slide show that participants can keep, this workshop provides proven, positive and practical tips that you can use immediately at home. No need for babysitters or driving, because you dial in from home. There is time for discussion, so bring questions.
Taught by Maggie Macaulay, MS Ed, Certified Parenting Educator
October 21, 2006
Could there be a movement afoot in the world today to try to make a difference, to understand that all of us are in this together? An evolution of sorts?
I don't know about you but every time I turn on the television and flip through channels recently, I see more and more programs on mainstream television about those less fortunate than we are in the developed world. Look at Gap's Red Program—I tried to buy the "Inspi(red)" t-shirt and it is sold out ALL OVER, including Gap online. That is great news! Look at U2's Bono and the work he is doing through organizations such as one.org. I walked into our local book store tonight (on my way to the Gap to purchase my "Inspi(red)" t-shirt) and the front table was full of books about people who are changing the world: John Wood's book, "Why I left Microsoft to Change the World, An Entrepreneur's Odyssey to Educate the Worlds' Children;" and "Unbowed" by Wangari Maathi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize of 2004 which is a recounting of this extraordinary woman's life in Kenya—a life dedicated to political activism, environmental issues and women's empowerment. I decided to buy this book and I will report on it later.
Why do I bring up the subject of extraordinary people who change the world? Because I think that each of us are capable of the extraordinary. The very fact that you are visiting this site means that you are blessed or about to be blessed by the extraordinary experience of international adoption. Any of us who work in adoption come to know very well the plight of orphaned children. Any of us who adopt know very well the plight of our beloved children whom we adopted. For any of us who have been touched by adoption, we have a special connection with the lives of those much less fortunate than us. For me, it was an awakening to the tragedy that exists for many human beings: the tragedy of being a helpless child lying in an orphanage; the tragedy of a little girl who grew up living in a box in a junk yard with her starving mother and who, at 2 years of age, could hardly crawl much less walk; the tragedy of a helpless mother watching her starving child's pleading eyes; the plight of an HIV+ child whose future would be so different if he was fortunate enough to be born in the developed world. These stories are real. These children were brought into a world where there is no hope—a world of hunger, sickness, pain, and suffering.
Adoption saves these lives, it fulfills the dreams of mothers who bear children whose seeds they cannot nurture. Adoption gives hope for the children and for the women who bore them. The blessing of adoption touches our lives in many different ways. There are so many children left behind and for these children we must all work for a better world, for the mothers who had no choice but to give up their children whom we now love and cherish, for all of these people we must seek to make this a better world.
I am going to make the coming year a year of exploration—an exploration of what is good in this world, of people who are changing lives, of programs that are making a difference; and I invite all of our families and future families to partake in this project. We will be launching our blog in the coming months and I hope to spend much more time discussing these topics, sharing with each other our thoughts, our hopes, and to be INSPIRED to make a difference for the children we love and the people who brought our children into this world.
Join us in Celebrating National Adoption Awareness Month
October 11, 2006
Jeannette Cohen, Director of Programs, is planning a get-together at the Miami Beach Children's Museum in November for families in the South Florida area. We are tentatively scheduling this for November 11th but stay tuned for further updates and confirmation of the date.
Guatemala Adoptions Not Halted
September 29, 2006
Tom, DiFilipo, Director of International Affairs for the Joint Council on International Children's Services in a letter to Guatemala Caucus and members that the JCICS Office has confirmed with U.S. government officials that the First Lady's Protocol of Good Practices will go into effect as an Executive Order on October 1, 2006. Contrary to what the thread of emails on the caucus and members lists have stated, the Executive Order has NO LEGAL effect and cannot be substituted for current law. U.S. Department of State has confirmed that adoptions were not halted with the Executive Order. Even if that were the case, the Executive Order would have been refuted by the attorneys, since an Executive Order is not legislation.
Guatemala Adoptions and the Hague Convention
September 27, 2006
The US Embassy invited all adoption lawyers to attend a seminar at the embassy in Guatemala City to explain the way the Hague Convention is being implemented in the United States and the effect that this will have on US adoptions in Guatemala. Embassy representatives explained that US ratification of the Hague will take place sometime next year once the process of agency accreditation is complete. At such time if Guatemala is not in compliance with the Hague Treaty, then the US will no longer allow its citizens to adopt from Guatemala. The accreditation process is expected to take the greater part of 2007.
Announcing our Newest Program In Liberia
AdoptInternational has just opened its newest program in Liberia. Liberia is a country that was in civil war for over 14 years and its people continue to suffer greatly from socioeconomic issues. There is a tremendous need to find homes for children who have been abandoned or whose parents cannot provide the most basic necessities. We have posted just a few of the children we have available. Every day we receive referrals of children who need homes.
AdoptInternational's Guatemalan program is running quite well. Our waiting list is very small (usually 2-3 families waiting for referral at a time) for girls and immediate for boys.
Azerbaijan suspended adoptions in April 2004. Azerbaijan ratified the Hague Treaty in 2005 and as of August 4, 2005 has announced the resumption of adoptions. Currently, the Azerbaijan Embassy in Washington, D.C. is accepting dossiers and applications for adoption.
Due to internal issues in Bulgaria, we have decided to close our Bulgarian program until further notice. Our legal representatives in Bulgaria have informed us that referrals are not being made with any regularity.
Announcing the Opening of Bulgaria!
We are pleased to announce the opening of our newest program in Bulgaria. Our Executive Director launched a program in Bulgaria several years ago. Bulgaria has recently joined the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and has enacted law and regulation allowing for foreign adoptions to begin once again. AdoptInternational has entered into a cooperative agreement with an accredited Bulgarian organization and we are currently in search of families wishing to apply for this program. Please visit our Programs Galleries for further information on this program.
Update on Azerbaijan
The Azeri Parliament has passed the Hague Treaty for the Protection of Children. The President is expected to sign the Treaty in the next several weeks. Azerbaijan currently has a centralized system of adoption administration; therefore, the ramifications of ratification may not be dramatic.
Our Guatemalan program continues to grow and cases are processing very well. We do not have waiting lists of families for children. Our Director, Candace O'Brien, made a trip to Guatemala in April to meet with our kids who are waiting to come home and to pick up a very special little girl, Patty, and take her home to her mom in New York. Here are some snapshots from her visit: