Guatemalan Adoptions Could Be Mixed Blessings

Brief Encounter of Cultures

People are strange when you’re a stranger,
Faces look ugly when you’re alone.

There are many complications when you take an adopted child from Guatemala to a foreign land and to a foreign culture. One complication could be that he or she will be marked as strange because of her Mayan traits and the dark color of the skin.

Streets are uneven when you’re down.
When you’re strange

Hispanic and Indigenous children might be walking on uneven streets if they are taken to mostly white neighborhoods where racism and discrimination could part of their daily bread.

When you’re strange
No one remembers your name

How much can the love of the adopting parents shelter the adopted Guatemalan child from discrimination, racism, abusive comments and evil teasing from other children and adults in the community. Racial catcalling, sneers, violence and exclusion could be part of the daily encounters. It is not ease to live under such circumstances.

Faces come out of the rain
When you’re strange.
(lyrics from the song People are Strange from The Doors.

It was not even easy for the King Kong fictional character to adapt to a foreign land, away from his natural surroundings and peers. So it does come as a surprise to learn about Rosie who lives as a stranger in England (Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire). Rosie has managed to cope with, so her mother says, her daily encounters with racism, discrimination, physical violence, racial catcalling, sneers, abusive comments, evil teasing and a King Kong chant.

There could be complications and contradictions when you take an adopted child away from his birth country, culture and society. Guatemalan adoptions are not as easy as you might have been inclined to believe.

Mayan children could suffer all of the above even here in Guatemala, but they are protected and sheltered, in part, by their parents, community and friends which are not strange to them. Guatemalan children do not look strange in Guatemala; at least I hope not.

I want to thank Kyle from Immigration Orange for bringing Rosie’s case to light in his entry The Contradictions of a Parent Who Adopted a Guatemalan based on the Guardian news article Mixed blessings. Like Kyle, I want to extend the invitation to Rosa where she can have a place to stay in La Antigua Guatemala.

Other entries related to Guatemalan Adoptions:

© 2007 – 2016, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Lisa

    This posting reminded me of my visit to Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos orphanage near Antigua. The children are not available for adoption. They are all taught to view each other as brothers and sisters and the adults who care for them are their aunts and uncles. The philosophy of this organization is: “The boys and girls are raised in a loving environment, secure in the knowledge they will never be forced to leave the home. They are promised they will never be separated from their siblings, nor given up for adoption. In addition to a good education, their spiritual and emotional needs are nourished, preparing them for adulthood with tools to break the cycle of poverty that once was their destiny.” Imagine how much could be accomplished by addressing these fundamental issues rather than removing children from Guatemala…

  • Wow! The story by Rosie’s mother is horrible. Living in a more integrated area, I just can’t imagine such things happening. Those boys, if behaving that way here, would be beaten within an inch of their lives. As a result, racist epithets here are murmured by whites only to those who think alike, instead of shouted at the object of one’s hatred. I can’t say it’s a much better situation over all though.

    I am very happy my niece and nephew live safely in an Atlanta suburb, where diversity of race is common. Though I can’t imagine the horrible things in Rosie’s story happening in my community, I wouldn’t want my precious niece and nephew to live in this smaller, more provincial area. Even in Atlanta, they will encounter racism and question their identity, being the product of two distinct cultures: southern white and African Congolese. However, I believe embracing and exalting differences in love is our salvation and our great joy. My sister just started braiding Lyddie’s hair. I asked her why so soon. “My mother-in-law told me to,” she said with a shrug. And I’m so glad Lydia has two grandmothers to love her and guide her, however different. Rosie’s mother’s love is equally strong and will prepare Rosie for her future, which will be richer for her multi-ethnic heritage.

  • Anon

    Yeah, uh… I agree? White people should stick with white people, brown with brown and black with black – the world would be much cleaner, safer and easier if we all stayed with our own “kind” right? Ummmm, did you seriously just imply this with your post? Or were you just saying it’s hard and that’s all? Either way, this is such an ignorant post and is sad because it is such a backwards way of looking at life. You want to know why it’s so hard on children of any minority race anywhere… it’s because we allow it to be. It’s not the childs fault, nor the parents who adopt, it’s anyone’s fault who allows this defeatist attitude into reality.

  • David D.

    I agree with Anon – take adoption out of this equation and apply it to everything multicultural. Would we say things are less hard for a bi-racial couple so they shouldn’t get married and have children because it’s hard? I don’t understand this or accept this line of thinking.

    I have 2 nieces adopted from China, I have a biological bi-racial (Pilipino/American) niece and nephew, I have a biological blond haired/blue eyed niece and nephew, I also have a Guatemalan son and daughter… strange (for me) is when everything is the same. Hard is hearing there are still people who don’t get it and stand up for what is right regardless of how hard it might be.

  • Jerry T

    My experience with racism is that a serious racist is going to find something to be prejudicial about regardless of skin color or ethnicity. It could be race, weight, neighborhood, style of dress, part of the country (or world) of one’s birth, one’s job, lifestyle, etc. All children at one time or another will be targeted by a person who thinks differently. Our responsibility as adults is to equip them to be able to deal with this. I will take anyone out over my favorite child (or any) of Guatemalan heritage who lives in my neighborhood. I have seen bad prejudicial behaviour in Guatemala toward women and the indigenous people with the “class” system”. I also live in a very culturally diverse area. I have encountered lots of people whom I expected to NOT be culturally sensitive that been very loving and accepting of Carolina. Regretably, North Americans do not have the corner on the prejudice market. If you want a battle with me or her mother, just glance negetively in Carolina’s direction and we will get really defensive very quickly. Jerry

  • Lisa, thanks for the information regarding Nuestros Pequños Hermanos Orphanage.

    Lessie, I was touched very deeply by Rosie’s story. I was also moved by her mother resilient love and her courage to come out and tell their story.

    Anon, I am sorry you have to hide your identity. At this web site everyone is respected and allow to voice their opinion. I guess I did not make the entry as clear as I had wished. My point is to take Rosie’s story as one more consideration when adopting a child from Guatemala. This could happen and so take all the precautions necessary.

    David, I can not take adoption out of this equation because close to 6,000 children are taken out of Guatemala every year. Surely, many of them will end up living under the circumstances described above. If one is take a Guatemalan child into this kind of situation, please take all the precautions to shelter, protect and equip the child to deal with it.

    Jerry T, thanks for sharing your personal experience and position regarding the prejudice, discrimination and racism and how you deal with it.

    Everyone, I can not believe how sensitive and intolerable some members of the adoption community could be. Everything is fine and dandy so long I don’t discuss adoptions, even if it is to highlight the pitfalls and to warn against of the possible prejudice, discrimination and racism a child can suffer. Some of these people unsubscribe immediately from email delivery system. I am sorry they feel this is the only way to deal with the other aspects of adopting a child from Guatemala. I am sorry if the content and point of view of yours truly offends you. I try to voice my opinion the way I see fit, always with respect to everyone.

    I have said it before too: this site is not for one particular group. Interesting enough the Guatemalan adoption community has found a great resource in this web site since many of the customs, traditions and culture are explained (to the best of my abilities) and to keep a photographic link to the country of their adopted children. I am happy to know this web site serves this purpose too. But, only a few of them are willing to support this site through donations or to be open minded about the other issues that intercountry adoptions caused. So be it. I will continue my work here if only my Guatemalan-Korean niece reads it. Also, let it be known, I am not against any particular group either.

  • Phil

    Rudy, thanks so much for your wonderful fotos, and for fostering this recurring discussion about the many facets of adoption.

    My wife and I recently spent a week in Guatemala City serving in orphanages,with an all-too-brief visit to the lovely Antigua, and came home even more in love with Guatemala and her people. The children we served eagerly took in all the love and attention we could share with them.

    It was our experience in the catholic hogars in Guate and Cuilapa that adoptive homes are not sought for the children because of a widely held belief that Americans come for the children to kill them and sell their organs. It sounds ridiculous, but we heard it from the nuns themselves. But thanks to our work with one such all-girls orphanage, the nuns are now considering allowing their girls to be adopted.

    One orphanage so poor as to not be able to afford to turn their lights on graciously asked us to give the relief we brought for them to the street children of the community they fed daily, because, in their words, they needed it more.

    Yet these children cannot stay in the hogars after they turn 15, with very little hope to break the cycle of poverty and teenage pregnancy in a predominantly catholic country with a massive inequality of wealth / lack of middle class.

    But, in the face of the stunning poverty and inescapable class divide of Guatemalan culture, the poor and orphaned of Guatemala radiated nothing but love and hope — one gang member in the Limonada area of Guatemala City told us that the mere act of us warmly saying “buenas tardes” as though we were equals was a great gift to him.

    One eleven year old girl, put in an orphanage two years ago because of abuse, was placed on our hearts and we have since begun the overwhelmingly bureaucratic and expensive process to bring her home. All, of course, dependent on the pending mess of the U.S.’s ratification of the Hague treaty on international adoption on January 1.

    So far both our adoption agency and our home study agency have gone out of their way to prepare us for the challenges we, and our daughter, will face though adoption and post-adoption. I don’t believe families who look to adopt do so lightly or blind to the hardships of balancing heritage and life in a new country.

  • Monica

    Just for the record,

    I met a couple of beautiful “Mayan” girls that were adopted by “white americans” and taken to the United States… I am not sure if they suffered of any racist experiences as they never mentioned it. but let me tell you, the look they had was the most amazing trendy and exotic I’ve ever seen. The “Mayan” features and the western look gave them a very beautiful touch and if they didn’t suffer from racist comments i am sure they had a lot of male followers…

    I think when foreigners come and adopt Guatemalan babies they have many reasons to do it, one might be a very important one which is giving them a better life than the one they would have if they stay with their 10 brothers and sisters in their own country and no opportunities. In my opinion racism should’t stop people from adopting. Instead adopting parents should teach their adopted children to grow strong and proud of who they are and where they come from. That way any racism around them won’t affect them.

    Rudy, I am sure you didn’t mean bad with your posting. I think it is good to show there can be bad sides even to a good cause…

    Cheers! I enjoy all of your daily photos!

  • Chris


    This is a beautiful and thoughtful post. Some of the adopters that I have talked to are cognizant of the environment they are bringing their adopted into and seem to express the right values. I certainly hope there are many places in the US where Guatemalan children will be accepted.

    My main concern is that I am not necessarily proud of the values that they may adopt in the US. But for them it is probably better than extreme poverty.

    Thanks for your site.


  • Jerry T

    Good point Chris. Most of the children I saw in Guatemala were very well-behaved. I wish I could say the same for the over-indulged North American kids. The adopted kids will be well-fed, clothed, educated, and over-indulged, since their parents waited so long for a child and usually only will have one or 2 kids. OK, I am not going to be a blog hog today, this discussion is very interesting.

  • ale

    Whether you like it or not, the post from Rudy brings a interesting point of view which is real and possible, I know that many people come to Guatemala looking for kids to adopt for X number of reasons, and hopefully, to take them into a caring home and better life, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t experience different issues and complex circumstances in a way different environment.
    Having a discussion with both arguments I think is fresh and fair, mostly considering the complexity of our country and the legal system, and the underlaying reasons and causes for the conditions of poverty and misery in Guatemala.

  • Actually the 2006 numbers for adoptions out of Guatemala were 4,496 according to the Guatemalan Attorney General’s Office (PGN). Of that number, 4,135 adopted children went to the United States. The only country with more adoptions to the USA was China at 6,493, with Guatemala next, and then Russia at 3,706 adoptions. Thought these statistics might help the conversation. BTW…I’m one of those many adoptive parents who is awaiting (and waiting) paperwork to make its way through the Guatemalan courts. It is not an easy wait. Also, it is not easy to read about pay-offs, child trafficking, illegal activities and such when I know that I have done everything above board, legally, working within the system and still am ridiculed for what?…wanting to provide a better way of life for a child growing up in a country of 12.7 million where more than 50% of the population lives below the poverty line and where many will never receive an adequate education. Yes, challenges are inevitable in raising any child, but I am certainly not going to give up simply because “racism” may be one of them. Rudy, you know how I feel about your site…it is informative and genuine. I also feel that you are open to airing your own views and I appreciate that you allow others to air theirs too. I’ll still keep on checking in. Gracias amigo!

  • Emily

    Dear La Antigua Daily Photo:

    I too very much enjoy your site, and, ironically, have your site posted on my adoption blog. And yes, I am a white American adopting a Guatemalan child. While I appreciate your concern for the children of Guatemala and the issues surrounding adoption– I think you are misguided in several areas. It doesn’t sound as though you have ever been to the US?! Are you aware it is very diverse and considered a “melting pot”. For instance, I am a minority in the city I live in– but I don’t feel picked on or different b/c of that. I believe that goes hand in hand with the values my parents taught me. My husband and I plan to raise our son with those same values in a very diverse environment while also maintaining his cultural roots. We will often visit Guatemala and travel to Central America to revisit his heritage. I never want him to forget that or think that I was taking him “somewhere” better. I simply am a woman who wants the opportunity to give a child wonderful opportunities and I am not referring to materials. I am sorry that you feel so disheartened by adoptions. I hope you at least understand that most Americans have wonderful intentions in adopting children from Guatemala and want nothing more than the opportunity to raise a child in a loving environment. Of course our adopted children will face injustices and discrimination- but that will make them stronger with who they are. I will do nothing but teach my child to respect his country and never forget where he came from.

    I do appreciate your open feelings on the subject but would encourage you to do some more research on the cultural diversity here in the states. I live in an area where sometimes all I hear is spanish….. should I feel upset or disheartened by this? Or strange? No, I am afraid I have to disagree with your assumption that my son will look “strange” here. In fact, it’s quite the opposite- many times I am the one who looks strange in my own community. How ironic is that??

  • Rudy,

    Appreciate this site and opinions by all folks. Complex issue here and I don’t mean to oversimplify but here it is. We all have to confront demons when growing up. Being poor, being skinny, being black, being brown, being white, being uneducated, being handicapped, having parents of a different color, not having a mom, not having a dad, having an alcholic parent, having a parent that is unemployed, blah, blah, blah.

    99.9 percent of all adoptions in this world are simply about adults who love their children (oh yeah, the children just so happen not to be biogically related to them).

    Which is worse Rudy? For a child to grow up without a loving parent? For a child to grow up with a parent that does not love them – doesn’t want them? Or is it worse that a child encounter an ignorant racist fool or two during a lifetime that might happen to mutter a stupid comment or two?

    Adoption is all about love. Racism is what it is – stupidity. I disagree with your comments and am disappointed in the direction that you decided to slant this tread.

  • I notice some one said black people should stick with black people, etc. that is what cause racial discrimation and the dividing of the races.
    on a happy note people have done studies and they say in 50 years the US will be brown.
    why i object to the adoption thing, if you were qualified you could adopt here right, so how many people are going to other countries to get children for God know what?
    I also object to finding poor young girls and having them give birth for a few dollars.
    I know a couple who were not qualified to adopt because of the mothers health and they got a brown baby now the mother is unable to care for the child and the grandmother who is in her 70’s goes and cares for the child while the father works.
    The child is very lucky because this is a large well to do family and they will care for the baby.

  • This is indeed a sad situation. I do, however, like your photograph.

  • Gail

    While I understand what you are saying about adoption, life isn’t always that simple. We had birthmother contact with my daughter’s birthmother. She made an adoption plan for her daughter because she wanted different opportunities for her than she had for herself and the 2 boys she was raising. I know it was one of the hardest things she had to do in her life. I say “had” contact because she was killed back in May outside of the apartment she lived in in GC….one of the thousands of murders and crimes against women in Guatemala that will probably never be solved. I know there are no guarantees that living in the US will mean that my/our daughter will have a wonderful life but the odds are better that it will at least be easier — and her birthmother knew it.

  • ale

    Hey Rudy, you´re brave from bringing up this topic. I have kind of given up discussing the international adoption subject. As a Guatemalan, I’ve found that in many cases, my opinions are not welcome if they include the slightest bit of a doubt or concern about the process. I limit my exchanges to the few parents I’ve come across that are interested in engaging in meaningful and serious talk about race, identity, etc. without feeling threatened by the subject. It’s a topic that interests me and I think it is very relevant when it comes to interracial and/or international adoptions.

    I think most Guatemalans are in favor of international adoptions, really, but like you, I wonder about racism, and hope that parents prepare their children to deal with it. I don’t think love is enough in this case, children cannot be forever sheltered from racism or discrimination, they need to be prepared to deal with it. Fortunately, there are many resources out there for parents. Some of the best sources come from (American) multi- and biracial writers, international adoptees, etc. I wonder if race and identity questions elicit the same reactions when they come from fellow Americans, as opposed to Guatemalans. Just wondering 🙂


  • ale

    I think you are lucky to live in a city that doesn’t know discrimination. It must be a great place to grow up, indeed. I lived in the U.S. for three years and unfortunately did not get to enjoy the “melting pot” experience. I worked with Latino youth in Washigton DC and with adolescents of different races in Baltimore and I could cite numerous examples of racism and discrimination. From the African American kids that get longer sentences than whites from drug possession, to Latinas harassed because of their color, all white and all black churches, etc. Like everywhere else, Guate included, there are tolerant and anti-racist people and people that discriminate others because of class, color, origin, etc. You’re lucky to be in a place that is free of this.

  • Claudia

    touche people . . .

    I think Rudy wasn’t making a point to say what isn’t and isn’t better – just to take into consideration that other people spread hate and just to factor that into your equation – not that it would encourage/discourage or prevent anyone from adopting . . .

    I have to side w/ Ale on this.

  • vero

    I agre with Claudia. Facing racism is a huge factor to consider. I came to the US from Guatemala when I was six and even among other Latinos I was the “weird” kid. I mostly grew up in a Puerto Rican community, which meant I had to learn how they spoke Spanish fast. Facing racism is no easy task, but I think it is better to have to deal with racism on your way up to the top than to never experienc racism in the US and have little to no opportunities to higher education and prestigious jobs. My mom made a difficult decision bringing us here but it has certainly paid off. It is much easier to do something about racism when you have power (education and one day money). It’s true these children do not have the comfort of seeing someone that looks like them necessarily but they find comfort in their adopted parents. The adopted children do not struggle alone they have their parents and now the internet.

    I’m about to become an attorney. It’s a double win for me as a Guatemalan and a woman! Racism is an ugly phenomenon that exists where ever there are people. If the adopted Guatemalan children have to face racism let them face it in a warm bed every night with an abundance of food and access to education.

    Racism is a factor to consider but more importantly is knowing where your next meal is coming with a roof over your head every night.

    Rudy, just so you know, I didn’t consider your post racist at all. I interpreted your post as an attempt to highlight yet another issue with Guatemalan adoptions. Thanks again for this site–it and you ROCK!!!!

  • Susan

    Wow. Such a dire picture you paint!

    Maybe that happens on occassion, but it certainly is NOT common where I live in the U.S.!

    I have several latino and latina friends who moved here as children (initially not able to speak English even) but were not hassled at all!

    Also, I remember when a brother and sister from Venezuela came to my school (in 1981) and they were INSTANTLY POPULAR because they were different. All the girls followed the guy around all the time and had crushes on him and the girl was popular with the boys. That was 1981 in a small southern town where (at the time) there were few latin americans. Now there are lots.

  • Thanks for bringing up the discrimination/racism issue Rudy. Even though we don’t think along the same lines all the time, I enjoy the debate!!! I think if folks who adopt internationally, particularly those that adopt a child of a different race, don’t think of things like discrimination/racism before they adopt, they probably aren’t ready to adopt.

    Racism needs to die. I believe that if you don’t confront it, challenge it, fight it….it will always plague our world. I applaud all folks who have adopted children of a different race. It tells me that they too want to conquer racism, rather than run from it.

    This thread strikes me as very ironic because those that adopt children of a different race are probably doing more to make racism a thing of the past, than anyone else on this post. My hat is off to all adoptive parents!!!!

  • Emily, dear Emily, I must’ve been in a comatose state for the duration of the 15 years I lived there. Read the About the author page.

    Muchá, parece ser que casi sólo los guatemaltecos piensan que puede existir algún lado negativo acerca de las adopciones internacionales. Sin duda, debemos tener un tornillo medio flojo en nuestro campo de percepción. O como dijo Ale: Si ni los mismos guatemaltecos logramos entender la complejidad cultural en la que vivimos… Qué me quede de lección para nunca jamas de los jamases tocar este tema ya que la razón nunca estará de este lado del Río Bravo. Me pregunto que rumbo tomaran las cosas ahora que Guatemala ratificó el Convenio de La Haya. Bueno, no entiendo tampoco por qué si no hay nada malo con tanta adopción en Guate, entonces por qué los expertos de La Haya critican las adopciones en Guatemala. Más gente que tiene tornillos flojos, claro está.

  • ale

    Sí Rudy, y otros chapines. Desde el comentario en donde asume que nadie más hace nada contra el racismo (claro, como chapines todos estamos con los brazos cruzados, ¿no?) hasta los que creen que encontrar a alguien “exótico” es sinónimo de tolerancia, lo que leo es un poco de arrogancia gringa, que no me extraña. Es peligroso generalizar, SIEMPRE. Entiendo que ante un tema tan delicado y personal la gente se lo tome como si se está hablando de su caso particular, pero tienen que entender que si adoptan en Guate habrá que aceptar que los chapines tengan también opiniones al respecto. Puedo predecir la respuesta: “pero Uds. no están haciendo nada.” Respondo con una pregunta “¿qué están haciendo Uds. en su país?” y así podríamos jugar ping pong acusatorio, pero no vale la pena, nadie gana nada.

    En fin, valiente fuiste por haber tocado el tema, y finalmente, ellos se lo pierden. Un día esos niños van a querer saber más sobre su país. Algunos se contentarán con lo que sus padres les digan. Otros vendrán para descubrir que es más complejo, tal vez más bello y más trágico, que lo que se habían imaginado y habían escuchado. Va a ser interesante en unos 15-20 años cuando esos miles de niños estén en edad para explorar sus raíces.

    Un abrazo desde Kin

  • ale

    Amen de los ultimos dos comentarios, Ya decia antes, si los gringos supieran o quisieran aceptar que muchas de las causas de la situaciones de pobreza y atrazo en que nuestro pais a caido, recae, con bastante frecuencia en los hombros de su gobierno (y en los de ellos, pero sin restar nuestras responsabilidades desde luego), basta con revisar la historia reciente de las relaciones entre ambos paises, entonces reconocerian cuales son las causas de tanto niño huerfano en Guatemala y tantas familias con necesidades. Pero bueno, no hay peor ciego que el que no quiere ver. Y por favor no dejes de tocar estos temas, ahi si me opongo rotundamente.
    otro abrazo desde San Francis
    El otro ale

  • Rudy y Ale, ¡Respete todas las opiniones por favor!

    Mateo 7:5

  • ale

    Scott, de acuerdo contigo, igualmente 🙂 Si hay algo particularmente ofensivo o irrespetuoso en los comentarios, me gustaría saberlo. Respeto tu opinión, pero creo que tengo el derecho a responder a generalizaciones como esta: “This thread strikes me as very ironic because those that adopt children of a different race are probably doing more to make racism a thing of the past, than anyone else on this post.”

    Al igual que tú fuiste libre de expresar tu opinión sobre lo que interpretás como combatir el racismo, creo que no tiene nada de malo que yo responda que me parece que hay algo de arrogancia en el comentario. Soy la primera en reconocer las fallas de mi país y los guatemaltecos, al mismo tiempo, creo que generalizar es siempre peligroso porque te pasás llevando de corbata a mucha gente .


  • Ale,

    Primero debo disculparme. Mi Español es muy malo.

    Soy culpable de hacer generalizaciones. Seré el tiempo próximo más cuidadoso. Rudy es valiente. Espero que él traiga para arriba el asunto de la adopción otra vez. Necesita ser discutido más o nunca comprenderemos todas las ediciones. Gracias otra vez Rudy. La opinión fuerte se puede interpretar como arrogancia. Pero es también un rasgo desafortunado de la mayoría de las culturas de Anglo/European (especialmente Americanos).

    Mencioné Mateo 7:5 para mi ventaja también porque soy un hipócrita también.

    La vez próxima visito Guatemala, espero que pueda sentar abajo y beber una cerveza con usted y Rudy.

  • ale

    De acuerdo con que vale la pena seguir hablándolo. Creo que es un tema que nos ha hecho reflexionar a muchos sobre la discriminación, la identidad, etc. Yo espero siempre que las personas no se lo tomen personal, pero no soy tampoco muy buena de mi lado, porque me tomo muy a pecho todas las críticas sobre Guate. A ver si coincidimos en Guate pues! Saludos

  • Vero

    Este articulo salio ayer. Nosotros no somos los unicos con dudas si no los estado unidenses en cargo de regular adopciones en Guatemala recomendarian las adopciones de ninos Guatemaltecos.

    No es por gusto que Rudy a traido este tema a la atencion de los que subscriben a este sitio.

  • Jennifer

    Dear Rudy,
    I appreciated your commentary regarding TransNational Adoption. I also enjoyed the photo because I passed this beautiful mother and her son often while fostering my adopted daughter in Antigua. I have written you before and wanted to post again. Please continue to post Adoption threads interwoven with your other posts.
    Opinion, conversation and discussion are all we have as humans (other than love, acceptance, patiences, empathy and the ability to look at a situation from more than just one opinion.)
    Living in Guatemala for 1/2 year as a Grande Gringa. Gratefully imposing on patient Panza Verdes (yes, I learned the story of the delicious avocado) who helped me with anything from directions to how to pick a muy fresca pina…I felt weird.
    I feel what you said in your post.
    I feel like I have stolen something from my daughter. And I feel like I have stolen something from Guatemala. But, I feel like Guatemala Stole something from me too.
    I miss Guatemala every day. I lovingly admire and touch all the beautiful weavings, I obsess on Guatemalteca websites. There is an essence of Guatemala that can not be bottled and it can not be verbalized. It is too special to have a name.
    And that is why I feel sad. Because I know that my daughter will only be able to appreciate that *essence* as a turista. Not because she is part of the essence.
    I am sure that makes no sense. But, I hope it makes sense to those who carry mixed feelings about people who adopt their population of children from Guatemala.
    Know that I comprehend magnitude of this adoption and that there is a pleathora of challenges that awaits my daughter, husband and I. I will not simplify it or say it shouldn’t be discussed just because I participated in the process and was an end receiver of the greatest gift.
    Our adoption was completed with the upmost honest and was a completely legal process. I have the ability for our daughter to contact her first mother and her siblings. Perhaps there will be an enlargement of this multicultural family in some interesting way in the future. Two mothers, Two colors, Two languages, Two hearts, One Love.
    Sincerely, Jennifer

  • Well said Jennifer!

  • ale

    I’m a big fan of this website and thought that their latest article addressed many of the issues discussed on this entry and comments…

  • “… I’ve seen small children who play with marbles in dusty streets and are happier than any children I have ever seen playing games on the computer. There are lessons to be learnt here. Big ones… Life. It sure makes you wonder what is really important and what we should be making our priorities are… ” (source:

  • Dr. Karen Smith Rotabi, a frequent reader of LAGDP, has new article regarding transnational adoptions under the following title:

    Adoption of Guatemalan Children: Impending Changes Under the Hague Convention for Intercountry Adoption

    I believe it is a good read for those interested in the process of adopting a child from Guatemala.

  • Guy from Inner Diablog, a Guatemalan blog published from the U.K., reports that Ireland has suspended Guatemalan adoptions altogether. He points out some misinformation about Guatemala and its children population:

    Earlier in the week adoptive parent Katherine from Michigan told the BBC that “one of the reasons we picked Guatemala specifically is that the country has no social welfare system, there are no public orphanages, there is no other place for these babies to go.” I wonder where she picked up that particular bit of misinformation? We have seen how the good folk behind Casa Quivira are pushing the ludicrous statistic that 1 in 3 Guatemalan kids die in early infancy. Katherine and her like should remind themslves that most of these little ‘orphans’ have parents.

    Well, elPeriódico, one of Guatemalan best newspapers, put out a special supplement under the name of Diagnóstico de país (The country’s diagnosis) and in their there is a page full of statistics. The numbers are NOT something to brag about, but for sure are far better than those pushed by Casa Quivira; 40 children died for every one (1) thousand born.

  • kate

    I am Rosie’s mother and interested in all your comments about Rosie’s difficulties.
    She is not finding the otherness easy and it gets more difficult as she gets older..
    I need to find some other children in same circumstances. Does anyone have any information on this? Kate.

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  • norm kwallek

    Life is hard where ever one lives. It comes in different forms of hard. Is it better to not have enough to eat, no dry roof over your head, no shoes on your feet, or than to be given a hard time by some block head. Myself, I think if I had a choice, I would rather deal with a few block heads than be stunted for life from lack of food. When a child has lost his/her home world for what ever reason than Its time for good people to find that child a new home. The street is no place to grow up for most people so foreign adoption has to be the better path for the child who has no one.