Surrogacy or inter-country adoption, what's in a name?
Since the ratification of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption on April 1, 2008, and the closure of Guatemala, around that same time, inter-country adoption has changed the inter-country adoption landscape significantly.
Since April 1, 2008 the following adoption agencies have gone out of business:
- World Partners Adoption closed 2009-12-31
- PLAN Loving Adoptions Now, Inc. closed 2009-12-31
- Kids Link International Adoption Agency closed 2009-07-14
- Gift of Life Adoption Services Inc. closed on or about: 2009-07-01
- Los Ninos International Adoption Center closed 2009-03-31
- Adoption House, Inc closed in 2009
- Hope for Children, Inc. closed in 2009
- One Light Adoptions, Inc closed in 2009
- Adoption Source closed in 2009
- Mandala Adoption Services closed in 2009
- Family Tree Adoption Agency closed in 2009
- Harrah's Adoption International Mission closed in: 2009
- Gift of Love International Adoptions, Inc. closed 2008-11-25
- Adoptions From The Heart (Hazlet, NJ) closed 2008-10-15
- Bal Vihar closed 2008-07-28
- Lighthouse Adoptions (CO) closed 2008-07-01
This list is certainly not complete, but it gives at least an indication inter-country adoption is not what it used to be.
World Partners Adoption, the latest entry to the list of closed agencies, has stopped its adoption business and their website has closed, but continues its business under the name Surrogacy Partners. Jim Harding, founder of World Partners Adoption, apparently needed rejuvenation. Not only are the adoption programs gone, so is former wife and WPA executive director Cindy Harding, making place for the the new Mrs. Harding, Carla Giron, a former adoption attorney from Guatemala.
Of course some things never change. As much as World Partners Adoption existed to deliver Guatemalan infants for American couples, so does Surrogacy Partners. The procedure is no longer called adoption, but now goes under the guise of surrogacy.
The surrogacy program even uses an attorney, who previously was involved in inter-country adoption, Miriam Monterroso.
In the past, Ms. Monterrosso worked for Adopt International, an adoption agency from Florida, which just like World Partners Adoption was denied Hague accreditation. And just like World Partners Adoption, Adopt International, is now in the business of surrogacy from Guatemala using Miriam Monterroso as their attorney in Guatemala.
The crack down on inter-country adoption from Guatemala has put an end to a soaring export of infants to the U.S., but as it looks now, the baby producing industry has reinvented itself and continues business as usual through another form of infant export. It's time for Guatemala to review its surrogacy legislation, before this new scheme reaches the same level the old one had.