Monday, October 08, 2007

Help Guatemalan Children!

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 http://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 http://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: 212-326-77585.
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.
1. Inform them that you are calling regarding Guatemala 5000
2. Ask them to sign the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) sponsored letter to President Oscar Berger
3. Ask them to sign the Joint Council on International Children's Services sponsored letter to UNICEF
4. Inform them that the Guatemalan government has announced that all intercountry adoptions with the U.S. will be suspended on January 1 2008.
5. Inform them that President Berger's announcement also indicated that there will be no 'grandfathering' of adoptions already in process.
6. Inform them that if children referred to families are not allowed to be adopted, they will languish in institutions or foster care.
7. 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<<
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<<
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 - 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
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

2 comments:

redmaryjanes said...

Wonderful post. I have heard that some things are going on that may keep this from happening, so I'm hoping that those rumors are true.
I don't get why it has to be so crazy and difficult.

Doris & Dan said...

It is so sad!

Keep smilin!