Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Guatemala children and families in crisis

This was sent to me in an email from Gladney. I'd be lying if I didn't have a "whew" in the back of my head. What a tragedy for these children and their families. I can't imagine the heartbreak. Whether or not we adopted or are doing so and irregardless of the country, we can all make a difference. Please read and act....October 9th,10th and 11th...let's make it busy days:

If your e-mail program can't display this e-newsletter, view it online at: http://www.adoptionsbygladney.com/html/enews/guatemala_5000.html
Gladney Center for Adoption

Gladney Center for Adoption
Call to Action
Guatemala 5000
A Service of Gladney Center for Adoption

Dear Dennis and Rachel, the Gladney Center for Adoption is writing in support of an initiative led by the Joint Council on International Children's Services (JCICS), an umbrella organization of leading international adoption agencies. The request that follows comes from JCICS. We hope the Gladney community can lend their support.

***

Guatemalan President Oscar Berger has announced plans to suspend all intercountry adoption with American families on January 1 2008. The Joint Council on International Children's Services strongly opposes such a suspension and asks for your support in their efforts to ensure that all children retain the right to permanency through Intercountry Adoption.

President Berger's plans also call for the suspension of adoptions currently in-process. Such a suspension would be extremely detrimental to the children referred to adoptive parents. If President Berger's plan is actually implemented, up to 5,000 will unnecessarily remain in foster care or orphanages indefinitely.

This situation represents a pending crisis for the adoptive families who have lovingly chosen to provide permanency, safety and love to a child in need and most importantly a crisis for 5,000 children of Guatemala.

What can you do? Make five simple phone calls and send one email.

1. Call your U.S. Senator
>>You can find your Senators' phone numbers at www.senate.gov
>>Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff

2. Call your second U.S. Senator

3. Call your representative to the U.S. House of Representative
>>You can find your representative at www.house.gov
>> Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff

4. Call or fax UNICEF Headquarters
>>Ask to speak with Ann Veneman, Executive Director
>>Telephone: 212-326-7000
>>Fax: 212-326-7758

5. Call or fax UNICEF Guatemala
>>Ask to speak with Manuel Manrique
>>Telephone: 011-502-2327-6373
>>Fax: 011-502-2327.6366
Please note that calls and faxes to Guatemala are international calls.

6. Send an email supporting Intercountry Adoption to guatemala5000@jcics.org
>>Write briefly or at length
>>Joint Council will use the cumulative email petition in our advocacy for Intercountry Adoption

When should you call? Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (October 9th, 10th 11th). For maximum effect, we are asking you to make these calls within a 72-hour window!

What should you say or write to member of the U.S. Congress? Speak from your heart and give them the following information.
>>Inform them that you are calling regarding Guatemala 5000
>>Ask them to sign the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) sponsored letter to President Oscar Berger
>> Ask them to sign the Joint Council on International Children's Services sponsored letter to UNICEF
>>Inform them that the Guatemalan government has announced that all intercountry adoptions with the U.S. will be suspended on January 1 2008.
>>Inform them that President Berger's announcement also indicated that there will be no 'grandfathering' of adoptions already in process.
> >Inform them that if children referred to families are not allowed to be adopted, they will languish in institutions or foster care.
>>Ask that their office get involved and sign the sponsored letters to the President of Guatemala and UNICEF. These letters ask that all adoptions in-process as of January 1 2008 be allowed to process to completion under the existing notorial laws.

>>SAMPLE STATEMENT<<

Hello,

We are calling/writing on behalf of the Guatemala 5000 Initiative. We, as your constituents, are asking that the Senator/Congressperson add their signature to two letters. First, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute sponsored letter to Guatemalan President Oscar Berger. Second, the Joint Council on International Children's Services sponsored letter to UNICEF.

As you may be aware, the Guatemalan government has announced that all intercountry adoptions with the U.S. will be suspended on January 1 2008. Their announcement also indicated that there will be no 'grandfathering' of adoptions already in process. If children referred to families are not allowed to be adopted, they will languish in institutions or foster care. Your office must get involved and sign the sponsored letters to the President of Guatemala and UNICEF. These letters ask that all adoptions in-process as of January 1 2008 be allowed to process to completion under the existing notorial laws.

Sincerely,

[your name and contact information]


What should you say or write to UNICEF? Speak from your heart and give them the following information.
>>Inform them that you are calling regarding the Guatemala 5000
>>Ask them to support the right's of children and lend their considerable influence to ensuring that intercountry adoptions currently in-process be allowed to process to completion under the existing notorial laws.
>>Inform them that the Guatemalan government has announced that all adoptions with the U.S. will be suspended on January 1 2008.
>>Inform them that President Berger's announcement also indicated that there will be no 'grandfathering' of adoptions already in process.
>> Inform them that if children referred to families are not allowed to be adopted, they will languish in institutions or foster care.
>>Ask them again for their support of the Guatemala 5000 Initiative.

>>SAMPLE STATEMENT<<

Hello,

We are calling/writing on behalf of the Guatemala 5000 Initiative. As financial supporters of UNICEF (through our tax dollars), we are asking that UNICEF lends its support and considerable influence to the Guatemala 5000 initiative.

As you may be know, the Guatemalan government has announced that all intercountry adoptions with the U.S. will be suspended on January 1 2008. Their announcement also indicated that there will be no 'grandfathering' of adoptions already in process. If children referred to families are not allowed to be adopted, they will languish in institutions or foster care. UNICEF must get involved and help ensure that all intercountry adoptions in-process as of January 1 2008 be allowed to process to completion under the existing notorial laws.

Sincerely,

[your name and contact information]

Can you explain the problem behind the pending crisis? Here is some additional information…
>>Guatemalan President Oscar Berger has announced plans to effectively stop all adoptions into the United States including those children who have already been referred to adoptive parents
>>Over 5,000 children have been referred
> >The birthparents for these children have already relinquished their parental rights. As a result, they currently have no family and the Berger suspension will result in these children having no prospect for a permanent, safe and loving family
>>The government of Guatemala currently does not have the finances or facilities to even provide housing for these 5,000 children
>> The Berger plan is a crisis waiting to happen

What else can you do? In addition to your primary calls to U.S. Congress and UNICEF, you can call the following.

SOSEP (Guatemala)
>>Director Teresa Echeverría de Bastarrechea
Office Phone- 011-502-2383-8400
>>Assistant Director- Edin Palma- Same office phone
Office Phone- 011-502-2383-8400
>>Jaime Tecu
Office Phone - 011-502-2239-0000 ext 2766
Please note that calls and faxes to Guatemala are international calls

Guatemala Ministry of Foreign Affairs
>>Minister Gerth Rosenthal
Office Phone 011-502-2410-0000, 2410-0010
>>Vice Minister- Marta Altoaguirre
Office Phone 011-502-2410-0020
Please note that calls and faxes to Guatemala are international calls

PGN (Guatemala)
>>Carlos Victor Hugo Barrios Barahona
Office Phone 011-502-2248-3200 Ext. 207/208
Please note that calls and faxes to Guatemala are international calls

Procuraduria of Human Rights
>>Dr. Sergio Morales
Office Phone 011-502-2424-1717
Please note that calls and faxes to Guatemala are international calls

Embassy of Guatemala in the U.S.
2220 R Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
Office Phone 1-202-745-4952
Office Fax 1-202-745-1908
Website: http://guatemalaembassy.com/

2 comments:

becky said...

Hey Rachel! We would love to see you all again when you come up this way! The US adoption was a breeze ... in and out, and the grand total was $1026 (including expedited birth cert) .. not nearly what I thought it would be.

Take care of your little princess and princes! See you soon!

Becky

Bauer Family said...

Rachel - I saw your comment on our blog (casabauer.blogspot.com) that you are in Georgetown. You said to email you but I don't have your address. We are in Austin but west and south of town. So fun to continue to see more folks in the Austin area adopting from Ethiopia! What great news for our kids (and families) that they will have this community here.