Thursday, July 24, 2008


I think this was the first article out. I am however seeing it everywhere on google alerts. I feel for all of those involved. Hopefully they will pop not just the "mafia" but also the agency involved.

Here is the story. Here is the link.

Evidence of Guatemalan baby trade

Officials in Guatemala say they have the first irrefutable evidence that a child was stolen and put up for adoption in the state system.

The National Adoption Council used genetic evidence to confirm the account of a mother who recognised her baby in the company of an American woman.

The baby was abducted by armed men last year but tracked down by her mother.

A false birth certificate and a bogus DNA test were used to indicate that the baby was born to another woman.

Toddler Esther Sulamita was reported stolen on 26 March, 2007.

She was in the process of being adopted by an unidentified US couple when her mother, Ana Escobar, recognised her in the National Adoption Council's offices.

Widespread abuse

Jaime Tecu, director of a team of experts reviewing all pending Guatemalan adoptions, said the DNA test results represent the first time officials have been able to link a baby reported stolen by its mother to the adoption system.

"This is the first time that we've been able to show, with irrefutable evidence, that a stolen child was put up for adoption," Mr Tecu said.

Ana Escobar said armed men had locked her in a storage closet at the family's shoe shop north of Guatemala City and abducted six-month-old Esther.

Mr Tecu said officials will investigate the lawyers who handled the adoption, the doctor who signed the falsified DNA tests, and anyone else associated with the process.

"This was run by a mafia, and we are going after them," he said.

The Guatemalan congress tightened laws on adoption in December, to try to prevent abuse of the adoption system.

In May the authorities suspended the adoption of some 2,300 children by foreigners and are reviewing each case to check if the babies were genuinely being offered for adoption by their birth mothers.

Guatemala is second only to China as the source of babies adopted by US parents, and intermediaries can be paid thousands of dollars to arrange an adoption.

Last year, more than 4,700 Guatemalan children were adopted by Americans.

Story from BBC NEWS:

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