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Building Your Family: Adoption from Guatemala

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Adoption From Guatemala

Guatemala Fast Facts:

  • 2009 adoptions: 756 children
  • Age/Gender: 55% Female, 56% under 1 year of age in 2008.
  • Estimated Total Cost: $25,000 to $30,000
  • Profile: The majority of children are under 1 year old at the time of adoption.
  • Parent Ages: No age restrictions.
  • Family Status: Couples and singles may adopt.
  • Travel: The average stay is 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Timeline: Currently suspended.

Guatemala Adoption Directory

Find an adoption agency placing children from Guatemala in your state:


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Guatemala is currently closed to new applications.

Endemic poverty, high fertility rates, and the stigma of unwed motherhood are the major reasons that children in Guatemala are available for adoption. Guatemalan children are generally well cared for by foster mothers during the wait for adoption. Adopting parents often receive extensive information about the birth family, including names and photos.

In 2008, U.S. families adopted 4,123 children from Guatemala, making it the most popular sending country for the year. But as Guatemala took steps to comply with the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption in early 2008, the adoption process became uncertain. Although Guatemala established a central adoption authority, the National Adoption Council, it is still working to meet Hague standards. In late 2008, Guatemala halted its program. The National Adoption Council only processed grandfathered cases in 2009. Officials in Guatemala announced in November 2009 that it would resume international adoptions, beginning with a two-year pilot program. Guatemala is still undecided as to what countries will be allowed to participate in this program.

Personal Stories About Guatemala Adoption

  • A Complicated Privilege
    "At first, I was eager to assert my 'real mother' status in my daughter's eyes. Now I'm happy knowing I'm not her only one.
  • Connecting with a Culture
    A mother weaves a strand between her child's Guatemalan heritage and her Arab ethnicity.
  • Looking for Answers
    When it came to locating our daughter's birthmother in Guatemala, we didn't know where to begin.
  • Latina--and Loving It!
    Straddling two cultures, this powerhouse Hispanic-American woman takes on the world--and wins!

Best websites for Guatemala adopters