Adoptions from Guatemala on Hold

The Department of State recently issued a notice updating the status of intercountry adoptions from Guatemala.

According to the notice, the Government of Guatemala is not processing intercountry adoptions with any country at this time. The U.S. Department of State continues to engage the Guatemalan government with the goal of resuming intercountry adoptions.

Resolution of Pending Cases

In 2007, Guatemala passed new legislation to regulate intercountry adoption and implemented the Hague Adoption Convention. The law created the Guatemalan National Adoption Council (CNA) and allowed for about 3,000 adoptions initiated before December 31, 2007, to proceed. New adoption applications were then suspended until the Guatemalan government could create a new adoption process.

Since the United States joined the Hague Convention in 2008, Guatemala has not had an intercountry adoption process in place. Resolution of the 3,000 pending adoption cases initiated prior to 2008 has remained a key objective of the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, the U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Thanks to exhaustive efforts by high-level U.S. officials, the CNA has completed its processing of the cases that were pending when the new law went into effect. Four remaining cases are all pending in various judicial processes.

Future Intercountry Adoptions

In May 2016, representatives of the Office of Children’s Issues traveled to Guatemala to assess the government’s progress toward creating a new intercountry adoption process. Guatemalan representatives stated their priority is to continue strengthening their domestic adoption processes and institutions before they will consider reopening intercountry adoptions.

The Office of Children’s Issues is committed to supporting Guatemala in these efforts, and to continue to advocate for developing intercountry adoption procedures.

To learn more about adoptions from Guatemala, visit adoption.state.gov.

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