Tuesday, December 8, 2009
UPDATE: Guatemala Pilot Program
Over the past few days both JCICS and Ethica came out with statements confirming that the U.S. Department of State submitted a letter of interest to the Guatemalan government regarding participation in the pilot program announced by the Central Authority of Guatemala. This morning, PEAR received an adoption alert from the DOS confirming that the DOS submitted a letter of interest. We are concerned that the US Department of State, as our Central Authority under the Hague, did not release this information to the public prior to disclosing it to non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
We have read both the JCICS' and Ethica's statements and agree that prospective adoptive parents should not attempt to file an I800a for Guatemala at this time. In light of the reported program condition of having only one adoption service provider selected per participating country, we also call on Hague ASPs to curb their enthusiasm over the potential reopening of Guatemala and refrain from encouraging or assisting prospective adoptive parents in filing I800as, beginning paperwork leading to a Guatemalan adoption, and/or entering into new contracts with prospective adoptive parents for adoption services under this pilot program.
In addition, we are respectfully requesting that in the future the DOS to make timely announcements to the entire international adoption community and the public at large, not just a select few supposed "stakeholders". We would like to remind the DOS that the true stakeholders in international adoption are not ASPs and organizations that represent ASP interests. The true stakeholders are members of the adoption triad: adoptees/prospective adoptees, families of origin, and adoptive parents/prospective adoptive parents. The Hague Convention requires transparency and we are calling on the DOS to honor that by publishing timely information concerning all Hague country programs, processes, and developments on their adoption website and USCA email notices before making these announcements privately to non-governmental, non-accredited organizations.
Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.