Through phone conversations with our missionary friend (Steve English) and email conversations with the Guatemalan lawyer (Claudia), here is what we have learned today:
- The kids' birthdays are June 13 (Rosa) and April 20 (Carlos).
- La Senda (the children’s home we visit where Rosa and Carlos have lived for the last six years) has documented legal custody of both children.
- Before Rosa and Carlos can be adopted, the Guatemalan central government adoption authority (the PGN) must make La Senda the legal representative for them (which would eliminate the mother’s legal representation and power over them).
- The court resolution shows a different first name for Rosa’s mother than her birth certificate does. (We think one name is her mother and the other is an aunt.) Whichever of the two documents is incorrect must be amended.
- Carlos does not have an official birth certificate, so one must be created.
- The lawyer is strongly suggesting that we move ahead with DNA testing to confirm who the birth mother is (a common practice in Guatemalan adoption).
- The lawyer is asking for a very high first payment for the DNA tests, doctor fees, and legal fees. We are in the process of trying to confirm if this is a reasonable request.
The most crucial point is getting the legal representation transferred to the children’s home so they can adopt the kids to us. We believe this will happen, because the courts have previously recommended that Rosa and Carlos be made available for adoption, but as with any adoption we cannot guarantee a favorable ruling.
The second most crucial element is the current political situation concerning Guatemalan adoptions to the US. Though much has been said and debated, we haven’t found definitive answers on how this applies to our situation. We do know that we will be fighting through the bureaucracies of two governments to get these kids home.