3,700 Adoptions in Limbo

System is so speedy it's wide open to abuse, critics say
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2007 5:38 PM CST
US citizens Emily Baures, 27, back, and Stephanie Rimmer, 41, play with the babies they plan to adopt at a hotel in Guatemala City, Saturday, Nov 3, 2007. Thousands of U.S. parents are trying to adopt...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Thousands of Americans are caught in heartbreaking limbo as Guatemala debates new rules for its adoption system, the AP reports. US families await 3,700 kids, but Guatemala wants to regulate what many call a crime-ridden $100 million business that includes coercion and kidnapping. The US has asked for current adoptions to be okayed, but Guatemala claims that 1,000 cases already show problems.

Pending cases will advance after each child is confirmed to be willingly given, Guatemala says. One lawmaker adds that future adoptions must be processed through government orphanages. "The business of Guatemalan children has been very profitable for notaries, but the money will no longer go to them," he said. Guatemala, which sent 4,135 kids to the US last year, is the biggest source of US adoptions after China.