exposing the dark side of adoption
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Adoption and the Rights of the Child in Guatemala by ILPEC Guatemala for UNICEF

Guatemala, 2000

Excerpt See Full report in attachment

CASE No. 9

After more than 15 months of suffering, the Minor’s Court of Chimaltenango ordered that the Los Niños de Guatemala Home return a baby who was undergoing an international adoption to her humble mother in a case being processed by Attorney Susana de Umañar.

In October of 1997, Mrs. Iris Xiomara Borrayo was taken to the hospital and she left her baby under the care of neighbors. During her stay in the hospital, the neighbors delivered her 8 month old child to the Minor’s Court Judge. The judge declared the child, Marlen Sofía Díaz Borrayo, in the “state of abandonment” on February 13, 1998. The baby was delivered to the orphanage “Los niños de Guatemala” and they immediately sought to place her in adoption to a family in the United States.

Desperate to recover her baby, the mother stated her opposition on May 19, 1998 and requested revocation of the abandonment sentence through the 2nd Court of Minor’s. In the ruling pronounced a day later, the Court accepted the request for revocation of the abandonment sentence and ordered the President of the “Los Niños de Guatemala” Home to consider the previous ruling invalid. The Court also ordered the attorney involved with the adoption process to suspend activities.

In an attempt to recover the baby's eligibility for adoption, the Los Niños de Guatemala Home pursued a motion for protection of the child before an Appeals Court in opposition to the revocation ruling of the lower court, an action which was denied on July 22 due to its procedurally flawed nature. Despite this denial, the Home presented a motion for protection before the Constitutional Court, which on December 1, 1998 ruled that the “motion for protection should not proceed.”

Based upon all of these legal procedures and on the legal council offered by the Casa Alianza’s Legal Support Office, the Judge of the Minor’s Court of Chimaltenango ordered the Los Niños de Guatemala Home to deliver the child to her mother on February 17, 1999.

CASE No. 5

The Canadian Embassy filed a formal complaint with the Attorney General's Office concerning the adoption cases of Juan Carlos Mazariegos, Flor de María Soto and Yaqueline Ramíerz, since the DNA exam results proved to be negative. The Embassy also informed the Attorney General of the case of Esvin Orlando and Selvin Alexander Laparra, twin siblings who did not undergo the DNA exam but who were returned under the same circumstances to the presumed mother.

Investigators from the Attorney General’s office traveled to Santa Catarina, San Marcos, to verify the return of the children. On July 11, 1997, they found one of the Laparra children in the National Hospital of San Marcos. The National Police Force raided Verónica Soto Hernández’s house where they found the other sibling. Soto affirmed that Mrs. Laparra had given the child to her without signing any documents and both women were subsequently detained by the Police.

Subsequently, they searched for Flor de María Soto. The presumed mother informed that she did not have the child and that the child was not her daughter but had beengiven to her by Lucinda Bautista, who was imprisoned in San Marcos. Yolanda Soto said that she received Q300 to present herself as Flor de María’s mother, that Nieves Barrios delivered the affidavit to record the child’s birth certificate as her own (Nieves Barrios has been in jail, convicted of trafficking children, since April 10, 1997) and that she was threatened and therefore forced to deliver the child in the Capital.

They looked for Lucinda Bautista who said that María Isabel Montiel had the child in Pajapita, San Marcos and that the child was Mexican and was the daughter of awoman who sold candy in the City of Hidalgo. María Isabel Montiel indicated that the child was in la Gomera, Escuintla. The little girl was found, identified by Ms. SotoHernándes and placed in the Quetzaltenango Children's Home.

Kevin Francisco, one and a half years of age, was rescued from the El Ferrocarril neighborhood of Pajapita San Marcos, where he was being abused. The child’s origin is unknown but it is thought that he is Juan Carlos Mazariegos due to the similarity observed through photographs. The child was placed in the San Juan de Dios Hospital for treatment due to malnutrition and abuse.  Yaquelin Ramírez was not found and it is suspected that she crossed into Mexico with the presumed parents.

(Source: Attorney General’s Office. Aristides Natanael Ayala G., 1997)

Mentioned in the text of the report attached below

Casa Guatemala
Elisa Martínez Home
Ayudando con el Corazón
Vida Nueva orphanage
Los Pinos
Quetzaltenango Children’s Home
José Adalberto Cabrera Urizar
Larry Boggs and Cara De Boggs
San Jerónimo Emiliani Home
Asociación para la Integración Familiar orphanage (Association for Family Integration)
Holt International Adoption
Asociación Guatemalteca para la Asistencia del Niño Desamparado
Rafael Ayau Home
Julio Roberto Palencia
Amanecer de Amor Home
Mario Taracena Diaz-Sol

2000 Jan 1