Anyway, do it right now. Go to www.house.gov and www.senate.gov, copy my letter in, and sign your name. That's all you have to do.
Thanks so much, my friends, and here is the letter:
Dear [name of US official]
You most likely know the common story repeated often in the press of
I know many families with a very different story to tell. They are stories of families that have given 8 months, 10 months, a year or more to the life of a child in faith that one day the adoption nightmare would be completed and they would take their children home. They have lived in
These cases have been impaired by internal Guatemalan politics that have nothing to do with the adoption itself. Civil servants have blocked judicial orders. Actions taken on advice of the attorney general’s office have been then denied by the same. Now, the backstage collusion or at least silent cooperation of our own Department of State with the Guatemalan presidential administration is threatening to terminate their adoptions and the adoptions of approximately 5,000 other families who have already begun to think of these children as their sons and daughters.
I am writing to alert you to this unjust, intolerable situation and to ask your help in changing the actions of our Department of State.
In short: Guatemalan President Berger’s administration has declared that all adoptions not completed by December 31, 2007, will be terminated. Allegedly, this move is because of
Senor Berger has been assisted in his actions by our DOS and the
I know that there are problems with Guatemalan adoptions. But the unseemly exchange of money about which I have heard most is not by “greedy private attorneys” but by the very officials charged with upholding the law. From what I can tell, the Hauge Conventions will do little other than to empower more corruption within government offices. I expect that the imposition of the December 31 deadline will only provide the fuel to escalate the forest fire of how often money is extorted from adopting parents.
The very plan to terminate adoptions not completed by December 31 is a case in point. Hague practices call on acceding countries to grandfather existing cases. The Berger administration is ignoring that rule. In fact, the Berger administration’s plan, which also contains NO PROVISION for caring for children who have been relinquished by their birth mothers but not yet adopted, violates the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, particularly articles 7, 9(a), 9(b), 20, 24, 33, 35, 44, and 46, which our DOS is charged by law with implementing in the U.S. and has promised to assist Guatemala with implementing.
Please work with your colleagues in the House and the Senate to make certain that the Department of State protects the rights of U.S. citizens and gives support to those involved in U.S.-authorized and approved adoption processes, who want nothing more or less than to bring their children home through adoption. This is a time for family-friendly action. They are relying on you, their elected representative, to take such action.
Thank you very much.