A little help for my friends

March 21, 2007 at 8:23 pm | Posted in AdoptThis! | 3 Comments

I have been dealing with a stupid annoying adoption paperwork issue today.  Let’s say my name is Gloria Jean Tyler Smith.  (It is none of those things, but let’s just say).  When the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City issued the authorization for Guatebaby’s DNA test, they put my name down as:

 Family: Gloria Jean & Tyler Smith

This now appears on the authenticated DNA results which I just fedexed to Guatemala.

I am sure this will cause headaches in PGN, and so I am trying to get it straightened out now.

These headaches, however, are nothing compared to the hell that my wonderful friend Erin and others are going through. PGN is refusing to recognize the cedulla, or birth certificate, of Erin’s daughter’s firstmom, because it was not signed by the mayor of Guatemala City 16 or so years ago, when she was born. The current mayor of Guatemala City refuses to sign these documents because they did not originate on his watch. As a result, Erin and her beautiful daughter are stuck in limbo, and need a NEW LAW passed which will compel someone to sign the documents. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do as citizens of other countries to make this happen sooner. What will help is for Erin to know about other families who are in the same fix so that they can act collectively. If you are adopting from Guatemala, please spread the word, and encourage any families who may be encountering similar problems to contact Erin or Cheri… Here’s what they have to say:

Dear readers:

Thank you for your supportive comments. Unfortunately, this is not a situation for which we can contact US politicians or government bodies for assistance. It concerns a Guatemala citizen’s document — issued by a municipality in Guatemala — that is not being accepted by a Guatemalan government body. It could even be counterproductive to attempt to bring US parties into the mix.

However, there is something you can do to help if you so wish. If you are ADOPTING FROM GUATEMALA and you are with an agency or facilitator that is not HAPS or For This Child, PLEASE EMAIL THE FOLLOWING LETTER TO YOUR AGENCY. If you are NOT ADOPTING but you have a blog, please POST THIS REQUEST ON YOUR BLOG.


Dear [agency-name],
If your agency has a case in process that contains a Guatemala City cedula or birth-certificate that is missing the Civil Registry signature (usually the mayor’s signature), we have important information to share.

According to PGN, if your case has not yet received a previo for the missing signature, it will. The letter from the Civil Registry and/or the Mayor of Guatemala City is no longer sufficient to satisfy the previo. The four PGN assessors have made a joint decision that these unsigned documents MUST be signed. However, at this time there is NO ONE in Guatemala City with the authority to sign these documents!

We are Cheri xxxxxx and Erin xxxxxx, in the process of adopting Guatemalan babies through For This Child and HAPS, respectively. After many months working on this issue separately, our agencies are now collaborating to find a solution. They have discussed this with the PGN reviewers, Barrios, and the Mayor of GC directly. The conclusion is that the mayor does NOT have the authority to sign a document issued under another mayor’s tenure. Therefore, we must file an acta with a different branch of PGN that will require the Civil Registry of GC to 1) designate and authorize a person to sign these documents, and 2) order that person to do so.

The PGN reviewer on Erin’s case currently has 12 cases that have been kicked out for this reason. If all 8 reviewers have a similar number of cases, that means 80-100 cases are in this same predicament! We have been advised to find as many of these other cases as possible so that we can ALL file the acta together. We have strength in numbers.

If you have, or know of, a case that contains a Guatemala City cedula or birth-certificate that is missing the Civil Registry signature, please contact:

Karla Ordonez, with HAPS: cell 5555-3610, office 2332-9040
Traci Orr, with For This Child: US #214-370-8436, traci@forthischild.org

Thank you for your time,
Cheri and Erin

And while you’re at it – go give Erin and A Z U C E N @ some love. I had the pleasure of meeting them in Antigua, and they’re both awesome.


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  1. Wow … its amazing what a hassle is involved with the adoption process. My sister adopted a little girl from Russia a few years ago, and its amazing the level of bureauocracy involved, especially in countries where the rule of law is often viewed as merely a suggestion, not something that needs to be followed. I wish you luck in getting this issue resolved.

  2. Thank you so much for posting, Art-Sweet!

    I hope your name issue gets resolved right away!

  3. Oh no! I hope everything gets straightened out right away! It’s unfortunate that this all is happening. I’m sure it’ll all be worth it in the end though! Good luck and best wishes!

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