Adoption Nightmare


A Missouri couple faces an adoption nightmare after discovering their 7-year-old adopted daughter had been kidnapped from her parents in Guatemala before being turned over for adoption. The attorney and legal representative of the Guatemalan agency that handled the adoption were convicted of human trafficking last fall in connection with the adoption. The child’s natural mother has vowed to go to a Missouri court to seek her daughter back after the U.S. State Department found that it did not have jurisdiction to help return the child since Guatemala had not signed the Hague Convention at the time of the alleged kidnapping.

The Hague Convention is an international treaty related to adoption issues. If an adoptive child’s country is not a participant in the Hague Convention, then the rules of the Hague Convention do not apply. This can be problematic since adoption policies for each country vary widely.

This case highlights the importance of finding a reputable adoption agency when pursuing an international adoption. The U.S. Department of State maintains a list of all accredited international adoption providers that have been accredited for providing inter-country adoption services in the United States and who work with sending countries that have ratified the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.

Source: ABC News, “Guatemala Mom to Ask US Court Help on Adopted Girl”

Tana Benner
Tana Benner is an adoption attorney with Columbia Family Law Group. Her practice is focused in the area of family law and she has particular interests in adoption and helping children and victims of domestic violence.