Thankfully US officials have those safeguards. Having a child die is bad enough, having it stolen and not knowing what happened to him or her has to be even worse. These criminals don't sound terribly smart.
GUATEMALA CITY - Guatemalan police rescued a two-month-old boy who had been stolen from his home and arrested four people who were allegedly preparing the baby for illegal adoption, an official said.
The rescue comes amid growing concerns about the Central American country's export of thousands of babies each year to adoptive parents abroad.
It was unclear where the baby was to have been sent, but police detained four people in the house where the baby was rescued and found a false birth certificate for the boy, said Jesus Esquivel, assistant chief of criminal investigations for the police force.
"Our investigations indicate that they were already at the stage of processing the adoption," Esquivel said
However, Guatemala's Attorney General's office, the institution that oversees adoptions, said that so far no application for the baby's adoption, either under his real or false name, had yet been found. The baby could have had another fake birth certificate or the suspects may have not yet filed the application.
The suspects include the owner of the orphanage where the child was found and three employees. The boy was reportedly stolen from his parents' home in June.
Officials provided no details the abduction of the child.
The U.S. State Department, citing rampant problems of fraud and extortion, said in March it no longer recommends that Americans adopt children from Guatemala. U.S. officials have said there were frequent cases of birth mothers pressured to sell their babies and adoptive U.S. parents targeted by extortionists.
Under Guatemalan laws, unregulated notaries act as baby brokers who recruit birth mothers, handle all paperwork and complete adoptions in less than half the time it takes in other countries.
It would be unlikely this stolen baby would have been adopted by an American family due to mandatory DNA testing required by the U.S. embassy to grant the infant a visa.
The kidnappers were driven almost certainly by greed. There is a market for adoptions. Families in the United States and elsewhere who want children, but find adopting one locally a bureaucratic nightmare. I'm not criticizing families who adopt international children, but would these parents adopt American babies if it wasn't such a cumbersome process?
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