August 1, 2007

2nd DNA Test for Guatemala Adoptions

[This post was updated August 2, 2007. The update appears at the end of the original text.]

The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City is introducing a second DNA test, this one to be done before a visa will be issued to the adopted child. This child's DNA sample will be sent to the U.S. lab that conducted the first DNA test (LabCorp for Carolina Hope clients), and the new sample will be matched against the DNA sample gathered from the child when the case first went to the U.S. Embassy for pre-visa approval. This extra matching will ensure that the child being issued the visa is the child whose case was originally pre-approved. According to what we've read, there will be no additional DNA testing of the birthmother. The process should be quick, because it will be a simple comparison of two samples taken from the same child: so this is much easier than doing a maternity test. You can read more from's post on the matter.

[08/02/07 Update: As of this afternoon, the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala has still not released to Adoption Service Providers - such as Carolina Hope - details of how this new test will be implemented. Some agencies report that the 2nd DNA is being required for families that had Pink Slips issued on Aug. 1. Other agencies report that their Pink Slips this week did not have the new requirement. It's possible that the Embassy rolled out the requirement and then immediately put it on hold until better procedures could be worked out. It's not clear why the Embassy is refusing to disclose details to agencies and adoptive families.

Today (Thursday) the Joint Council on International Children's Services is discussing the matter with the U.S. Department of State. Tomorrow (Friday) Laura Godwin and other agency directors will be participating in a conference call with JCICS to learn the outcome of that talk.]

[08/02/07, 2nd Update: The U.S. Department of State issued a notice about this matter today. I have placed the notice in a new post.]

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