Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Baby Trade

How far would you go to adopt a baby?
A mother in Guatelmala had her baby taken from her right out of the hospital because attnorney Javier Oswaldo Morales claimed that she was unfit to have it because she was single and unemployed. Bascially Elivia Ramirez Cano was bribed with money to give up her baby for adoption.
There has beena growing demand for orphan babies from Latin America in both the US and Europe. In the 1980s thousands of children disappeared during the "dirty wars" that were waged on civilians in Latin America from governments. It has now been discovered that most of those children currently reside in the US, Canada, and Europe because they were taken and sold as "war orphans." Currently Guatemalan attorneys are using social workers to coerce, bribing, and forcefully take babies from their homes in order to supply the high demand. They falsify birth records and accuse mothers of being abusive and or a drug user. Meanwhile 20,000 Guatemalan orphans sit in poorly funded orphanages, because the older the child is the less desirable, everyone wants a baby.
The US has finally decided to end the baby trafficking and has threatened to stop allowing adoptions of Guatemalan children unless Guatemala changes its adoption system. While this is a step in the right direction it is appalling that this has been going on since 1980. The whole thing seems wrong to me on so many levels, not only are the child's rights being violated but so are the mothers. And the fact that the families who are buying these babies turn a blind eye to the illegal process makes it seem so synical. Some might argue that these kids are given a better life in the long run, but I see it as stealing someone's baby.

(The link is to a an older article from the late 1990s, but a recent article can be found at

1 comment:

buckley said...

I agree completely with your analysis of this situation. But in any 3rd world country there will always be the potential for such actions to occur. Are you suggesting that the U.S. and other developed nations act as supervisors for other countries adoption programs? i am not sure how this will be enforced.
Also, to say that families "turn a blind eye" to this process isnt entirely accurate. Unless greater transparency is provided by countries such as Guatemala, i dont see how a family in the U.S. can truly understand the inner workings of the adoption process, at least at the grassroots level.