Guatemala and the Hague Convention

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Calle del Arco.

Guatemala is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of the child’s country of origin.

The Department of State has determined that Guatemala has not yet fully implemented legislation that would create a Convention-compliant adoption process. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is therefore unable to approve any Form I-800 petition filed on behalf of a Guatemalan child because the Department of State is unable to verify that the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention have been met in cases from Guatemala, per Section 301(a) of the Intercountry Adoption Act (IAA). The only intercountry adoption cases that USCIS and the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala are currently processing are cases that were filed before December 31, 2007, and were not completed when Guatemala joined the Convention and implemented its new adoption code.

The Guatemalan National Adoption Council (CNA) announced in September 2008 that it would not accept any new adoption cases at that time in order for the CNA to work on establishing guidelines to use in accrediting adoption agencies and to focus on completing transition cases. More information about the CNA’s September 2008 decision may be found on its website.

In August 2011, the CNA announced a plan, referred to as the “Acuerdo,” which provides a general processing framework for a limited group of pending adoption cases already under CNA processing authority. This process applies only to cases pending with the CNA and not to cases pending with the Procuraduría General de la Nación (PGN) as "notario" cases. In December 2011, the CNA confirmed the details of the processing plan for a limited group of pending adoption cases already under CNA processing authority filed before December 31, 2007. Since January 2012, the CNA has referred 28 cases to the U.S. Embassy for final adoption processing as acuerdo cases, and has identified others that it considered eligible to move through the acuerdo process. The CNA performs all adoption processes free of charge.

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