July 20, 2010
Two and a half years following the closure of adoptions from Guatemala, many of the families who lovingly made the decision to adopt from Guatemala continue to face unimaginable challenges. Joint Council, along with our partners at Guatemala900 and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) have continually worked together to advocate for a timely and transparent process for uniting waiting children with the families who have committed to them. Due in large part to the Guatemala 900′s successful briefing on Capitol Hill, Members of Congress have increased their diplomatic efforts with the Government of Guatemala. In doing so, they have found that they are lacking a source of definitive data about the waiting cases and have been told that this same lack of data is a barrier to the Guatemalan Embassy’s efforts to assist waiting families. Therefore, Members of Congress have asked Joint Council, CCAI, and Guatemala900 to develop and distribute a comprehensive survey for families still in the process.
We understand that it has been a long and exhausting process for all involved. We also appreciate that you have been asked for this type of information time and time again. That being said, the survey is a vitally important means of gathering the information so that Members of Congress can properly advocate for all of the remaining transition children and the families who continue hope to adopt them. Having all of the information in one database will allow us to continually gauge the situation in Guatemala, the veracity of some of the reports given, assess the number of families in each stage of the process, and provide accurate data to those seeking to advocate on behalf of families and children. The collection of similar information was gathered during the closure of intercountry adoption in Cambodia and was instrumental in the completion of virtually all adoptions. While no one can make promises of such results, we do feel confident, that the survey results will be an important tool in assisting Members of Congress and the Guatemalan Embassy to properly address the current issues.
In order to be most effective with the survey results it is critically important that all families currently in the adoption process with Guatemala complete the appropriate survey by Wednesday, July 28, 2010. The surveys can be found via a link on the homepage of the Joint Council website ( www.jointcouncil.org) or directly at Joint Council Guatemala Survey . Joint Council, Guatemala900, and CCAI encourages all families to participate in this very important initiative. Further, we request that individuals not complete the survey unless they are still in the process of adopting, any individuals filling out the survey to “see what the questions are” could drastically skew these very important results.