Recently the Guatemalan Congress approved sweeping changes to the international adoption system in their country. The bill – as passed – had no provision for grandfathering current cases, and (without such a grandfather clause) would certainly interfere with many adoptions that have already begun. The bill is now in committee, and amendments are being proposed, with another vote expected in November. A grandfather amendment has reportedly been approved by the committee.
However, there is on-going need for grassroots-level advocacy, in particular to the U.S. Congress and to UNICEF. The Joint Council on International Children’s Services, along with CCAI and NCFA, has created (and subsequently modified) a call to action for all those with a concern about Guatemala Adoptions.
Participating will take some time: you’ll need to have a basic understanding of the issues and then actually contact the relevant offices and voice your concerns. If you would like to help, go to JCICS’s Guatemala 5000 Initiate page. There you will find a summary of the issues, several updates, and (towards the bottom) detailed instructions for the Call to Action. If you plan to participate, please read the entire Guatemala 5000 Initiative page at JCICS so that you when you call and write your congressman, your Senators, and UNICEF, you can make an independent, well-informed case to them.
Please contact UNICEF and your representatives sometime today, tomorrow, or Wednesday (Oct. 9 – 11).