Guatemala Suspends Adoptions

Most babies going to US parents
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2008 10:38 AM CDT
Ann and David Roth stand in the nursery they readied for a baby girl and boy they hope to adopt from a Guatemalan adoption agency.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
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(Newser) – Guatemala has suspended roughly 2,300 adoptions in an effort to prevent fraud, the BBC reports. The hold-up, for at least a month, will allow authorities to verify—using DNA testing if necessary—that each child is a legitimate candidate. Charges of baby-snatching and other fraud have prompted a crackdown on the adoption system that channeled 4,700 children to American parents  last year.

Only China sends more babies to the US. The cases being held up were already in progress before Guatemala adopted more stringent regulations in January, allowing only accredited agencies to handle adoptions and making fees transparent. The US enacted its own safeguards in August, requiring two DNA tests on each inbound baby: one at the beginning of the process and one at the end to insure that babies have not been switched.