It's Too Bad We Couldn't Have Adopted Some of Those Migrant Children


More than 52,000 children have been caught crossing our southern border since October of last year, including several thousand children from Guatemala. Until 2007, more than 5,000 Guatemalan children were adopted by parents from other countries each year. Under pressure from groups like Unicef, however, Guatemala shut down intercountry adoptions. Today, the only way Guatemalan children can come to the U.S. is to cross the border illegally.

Reason TV took a critical look at Guatemala's intercountry adoption policies back in 2011.

"Abandoned in Guatemala," produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning. Approximately 20 minutes.

Original release date was October 6, 2011. Original writeup is below.

"If we shut down international adoptions, that's 5,000 kids a year whose lives we are ruining, whose lives could have been wonderful, and we're dooming them by shutting them into these institutions. So, to me, that's fundamental evil."

—Harvard law professor Elizabeth Bartholet

In 2007, Guatemala's privately run system of adoption attorneys, orphanages and foster care providers helped nearly 5,000 abandoned children find homes with loving families around the world. But then the Guatemalan government shut down international adoptions, created a centrally controlled adoption agency and nationalized the orphanage system. The plan was to promote in-country adoptions, but that plan hasn't worked. Last year, only 35 children were adopted by Guatemalan families.

Why did the Guatemalan government put an end to a system that was giving thousands of abandoned children a chance at a better life? And what did UNICEF have to do with it? producers Paul Feine and Alex Manning went to Guatemala to find out.

"Abandoned in Guatemala: The Failure of International Adoption Policies" is a film about the promise of international adoption and the sad reality that international adoptions around the world are decreasing, largely due to the influence of UNICEF. It's also a film about a privately run system that worked and a state-run system that is failing. Most of all, "Abandoned in Guatemala" is a film intended to raise awareness about international adoption in the hope that in the near future more abandoned children will be placed with loving families, wherever they happen to live.

Approximately 20 minutes.

Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning. Additional camera: Anthony Fisher. Graphics: Sharif Matar. Voice-over translations: Rin Palmer. Special thanks to Lissa Hanckel, Ana Isabel Maria-Gadala Centeno and Madre Ines. Music by Jason Shaw ( and Vate (

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  1. Why did the Guatemalan government put an end to a system that was giving thousands of abandoned children a chance at a better life? And what did UNICEF have to do with it?

    Please, please – don’t make me watch a video to find the answer.

    I know you guys are all into capturing the millenials to keep up that revenue stream (man’s gotta eat, I can understand that) but I’m actually old enough that I know how to read. And I can skim well enough to find the couple of paragraphs of meat in the story. I don’t want to sit through a 20 minute video to find out the *information* (as opposed to the emotional stuff).

    1. Why would it take a paragraph to say FYTW?

      Because that’s all it ever boils down to: someone thinks it’s a good idea, their intentions are good, so FYTW.

  2. “well if the republicans hadnt slashed the IRS budget!!……
    …grumble grumble….
    …this is why nothing gets DONE!”

  3. Why did the Guatemalan government put an end to a system that was giving thousands of abandoned children a chance at a better life?

    I’m just gonna go out into left field here and take a guess: Money?

    1. Money?

      Only in the sense that they shut down the private orphanage system because it was profitable.

      1. I’m assuming that someone’s cousin or brother-in-law wasn’t getting their proper cut from the business part of so naturally it had to be nationalized “for the children”.

        1. Maybe. On the surface though it looks like UNICEF and Guatemalan nationalists deciding that being the #1 exporter of orphans was something than needed to be fixed by stopping all international adoptions.

          1. There was also a lot of hysteria. My aunt and uncle managed to squeeze my cousin out in 2006; while they were there, they were almost attacked by a mob after the rumor was spread that Americans were their to harvest these little orphan kids’ organs.

            1. That is awesome. Mobs are fascinating things.

        2. Well, I can imagine that some of these adopted children weren’t orphans at all.

      2. It was so profitable in fact that women were straight up selling their children to adoption brokers.

        This was horrible, of course. By “this”, I mean poor women making economic choices uncoerced by the state.

        1. Horrible. human beings make such porfitable commodities dont they colonel?

          1. Showing results for profitable
            Search instead for porfitable.

        2. The poor women should have done the decent thing and aborted the kids.

    2. My guess is because of national / ethnic pride.

      It harms Hispanic Guatemalan children to be raised by white Americans, you see.

      They are much better off growing up in orphanages.

      1. Its genocide. That is the argument Indian activists use to justify restricting adoption of American Indian kids.

        1. I didn’t believe this, but holy fucking shit.

          ICWA was enacted in 1978 because of the high removal rate of Indian children from their traditional homes and essentially from Indian culture as a whole. Before enactment, as many as 25 to 35 percent of all Indian children were being removed from their Indian homes and placed in non-Indian homes, with presumably the absence of Indian culture.[3][4] In some cases, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) paid the states to remove Indian children and to place them with non-Indian families and religious groups.[5] Testimony in the House Committee for Interior and Insular Affairs showed that in some cases, the per capita rate of Indian children in foster care was nearly 16 times higher than the rate for non-Indians.[6] If Indian children had continued to be removed from Indian homes at this rate, tribal survival would be threatened. Congress recognized this, and stated that the interests of tribal stability were as important as that of the best interests of the child.[7] One of the factors in this judgment was that, because of the differences in culture, what was in the best interest of a non-Indian child were not necessarily what was in the best interest of an Indian child, especially due to extended families and tribal relationships.[8]

          They explicitly sacrificed children on the altar of the collective. Fuck these people.

          1. Then there’s this:

            In 2011, 2-year-old Veronica was ripped from the arms of the only parents she’d ever known — legal adoptive parents — to go and live with her birth father and his spouse. Two years later, this past June, the Supreme Court ordered her loving birth father to give “Baby Veronica” back to her adoptive parents in South Carolina, deciding that the adoption was legal and binding. But it’s not over, as her biological father refused to accept the decision, and the two sides are now trying mediation to find a resolution.

            As a Native American child, Veronica has been subject to the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law passed in 1978 allowing Indian parents to withdraw consent to an adoption at any time prior to a final order, or within two years of the final order if their consent was obtained by fraud or under duress. This law caused young Veronica — and others — to be taken away from the people she considered family, not once but twice.

          2. Well, you see, because a child is born with certain genetic traits then there is a proper culture for them to grow up in. It really is in the best interest of the child to remain in an abusive or desperate condition if removing them would prevent them from absorbing the proper traditions and culture which are their birthright.

            –From the We Are Totally Not Racists American Indian Museum Piece Act of 1978

          3. The only thing worse than the Indian Wars was what was done to them after the fighting stopped. They picked the worst possible “solution”.

            1. That’s why I find the outrage over the Washington Redskins so retarded.

              It’s 99% a white liberal PC thing that is completely divorced from real problems like the horrific amounts of poverty, violence and substance abuse on Indian reservations and communities.

              1. The worst tragedy is that the natives did it to themselves.

                They are explicitly sacrificing their children in order to maintain some perverted simulacrum of the past which doesn’t even have much similarity to how native culture used to be anyway.

                1. The worst tragedy is that the natives did it to themselves.

                  They did get a lot of help from Uncles Sam and Sugar.

                  Forced into a bad situation and then add on the Gold Standard for the corrosive effects of welfare.

                  1. the corrosive effects of welfare.


          4. The by-line of the linked article: “By Lisa Mahapatra“.

            The conversation between her and her editor must have been hilarious.

            Editor: Lisa, I got something on your beat.

            Lisa: What?

            Editor: Indian culture.

            Lisa: Great! I just renewed my passport.

            Editor: Lisa, you don’t need a passport to go on a reservation. Think about it, how would the casinos thrive if you had to get a visa every time you wanted to hit the slots.

            Lisa: *sigh*

      2. I’m sure that was the publicly expressed reason.

  4. Adopt? Don’t know about that, but I can use some additional orphans for my diamond mines.

    Do they eat much?

    1. I believe that Asian orphans are still the best relating to food costs and narrow spaces, but if you are mining diamonds wouldn’t it just be best to collect your orphans locally?

      1. Damn few locals left. You’d be surprised how fast you can go through the little buggers.

        1. Maybe feed them a bit more?

          1. But that would lower my profit margin.

            1. What if 1% of extra food cost led to 1.1% of extra revenue would you do it?

              1. Of course, but you start giving in to demands for food and the next thing you know, they’ll expect safe working conditions and 20 hour work-day limits.

  5. What a mess. Fucking bureaucrat they interviewed doesn’t care either.

  6. It all goes back to white guilt and anti-imperialism. Foreign adoption is a new form of it that robs children of their native culture, obviously…

    But the UN of course wants us to recognize these immigrants as refugees.

    1. Unless they come from Cuba.

  7. I know a family that adopted an Guatemalan orphan and spoiled the heck out of her. Still better than hanging out at an immigration detention center.

    1. I know a family that adopted an Guatemalan orphan and spoiled the heck out of her.

      You’ve met my aunt and uncle? Small world!

      1. Or it’s more common than we might think.

  8. “If we shut down international adoptions, that’s 5,000 kids a year whose lives we are ruining, whose lives could have been wonderful, and we’re dooming them by shutting them into these institutions. So, to me, that’s fundamental evil.”

    This. x 1000.

  9. Yeah no doubt that woulda been pretty cool man.

  10. Idiot bitch-cunt Robing Kelly shits on 1st A to go after 2A.

    So Goddammed fucking stupid. Yes, let’s create a black market in clothes!

    Of course this is just an early stage in wiping out the non-gun side of the culture. After this it would be reading magazines and websites and gun clubs, gun use by non-gov, non-criminal types in entertainment media and so forth.

    Even if it passed, it’s impossible to really enforce but that’s not the point of course.

    1. My OT is misplaced!

    2. That’s so stupid it’s not even wrong.

      1. I’m pretty sure kids learn about guns from their parents, not a cartoon Yosemite Sam Colt.

        1. Uh, have you seen how many rounds that Colt can fire? Clearly Sam carries a dangerous assault Colt pistol that nobody needs.

            1. Though I get the utility, aesthetically picatinny rails and folding stocks just don’t do it for me.

              I love the classic Vietnam era look.

              1. I have an EOTech XPS 2 on mine. Rail: Mandatory.

              2. Although, my rail goes all the way along the top. It looks sick.

            2. A Susan G. Koman breast cancer awareness support gun.

              1. Someone should make a gun called the ‘Malcolm X,’ advertise it with this quote:

                Last but not least, I must say this concerning the great controversy over rifles and shotguns. The only thing I’ve ever said is that in areas where the government has proven itself either unwilling or unable to defend the lives and the property of Negroes, it’s time for Negroes to defend themselves. Article number two of the Constitutional amendments provides you and me the right to own a rifle or a shotgun. It is constitutionally legal to own a shotgun or a rifle. This doesn’t mean you’re going to get a rifle and form battalions and go out looking for white folks, although you’d be within your rights – I mean, you’d be justified; but that would be illegal and we don’t do anything illegal. If the white man doesn’t want the black man buying rifles and shotguns, then let the government do its job. That’s all.

                and donate a portion of all profits to the United Negro College Fund. It would be the greatest act of trolling in history.

                1. You can get all sorts of things stamped on a custom AR lower. I would get a Leland Yee stamp.

                2. The Malcolm X should be in the same range as “the MLK”.

                  In fact, he had a few guns?one visitor to the King family home described King’s supply of weapons as an “armory.”

                  Martin Luther King, Jr.: Southern Gun-Owning Teahadist Redneck Obstructionist

            3. My hunting buddy gave this to his 8yo daughter last xmas.

              1. You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.

    3. In addition to the clothing and cartoon bans, the bill also prohibits manufacturing guns designed “with a purpose to appeal to children.”

      So, no more clove-flavored .22 range rifles, then?

      1. A gun that you can vape with as well as shoot? Genius!

      2. As part of our security protocol, where do you currently reside, graphite?

        1. I’m in SF.

          1. Pass. Your story checks out.

            1. He’s IN SugarFree?

              1. That’s not how it works. SugarFree is IN you.

                1. Damn, I thought that was gas.

          2. Cool, I’ll add you in a sec.

    4. Animists gonna animist.

    5. It’s Robin Kelly…

      1. It’s a shame – she’s not bad looking for Congress critter.

        From the comments at the article:

        Rep. Kelly is a complete buffoon. The last thing this world needs is another amateur community organizer from Chicago.

    1. That… looks about right.

      1. Also, I sent you an ?.

    2. TOP. MEN.

      1. There were men in that picture?

        /cishet shitlord

    3. I have never been more disgusted at dancing since I read reports of Arabs dancing in the streets on 9/11.

      1. Yeah, I remember watching Fox showing vids of that over and over again in the immediate aftermath 9/11.

        1. I remember having mixed feelings about the spontaneous celebrations in DC when Osama was killed. On the one hand, I found it lacked a certain gravitas. I mean, we normally don’t do that in America; we’re usually classier than that. On the gripping hand, turnabout is fair play, and we should have burnt some black al-Qaeda flags while we were at it too. (And since it depicts the text of the shahada, it would have been doubly outragealicious.)

          1. I remember having mixed feelings about the spontaneous celebrations in DC when Osama was killed. On the one hand, I found it lacked a certain gravitas. I mean, we normally don’t do that in America; we’re usually classier than that

            Most of the celebrators I saw seemed to be college-aged kids, not adults. Expecting a bit of dignity and perspective after an event like that was probably a bit much.

            The only reaction I had to him getting killed was telling my supervisor, “Oh, terrific, that’s great. Now what?” Because I knew that rather than pull everyone out in a month like we should have, we were going to continue dicking around for several years afterward and more Americans were going to get killed.

      2. The video was even worse. It looked like 4th of July in the West Bank.

    4. I’d rather dance at a Klan meeting.

    5. My eyes saw that, but my brain refuses to accept it.

  11. “…….the Guatemalan government shut down international adoptions, created a centrally controlled adoption agency and nationalized the orphanage system.”

    I wonder if this has ever been tried before? If it has, we could look at that and see how it turns out. That way we could figure out if it is the right thing to do or not.

    1. Hey, I sent you an email earlier, if you haven’t seen it.

      1. Checking

        1. I am not seeing it. Check the address?

          1. I copy and pasted it from here. Have you checked your spam folder?

  12. Guatemala cut off our orphan supply in order to drive up the price of black market organ transplants.

  13. Reason wants us to adopt thousands of kids from Central America? What?

    1. Only the ones that will grow up to look like this.

      1. Meh, I’ve had better. I’ve also had much much worse.

        1. The search was limited by safesearch.

          Jus’ sayin’

  14. Sarcasm Button On:
    Dear Leader Obama has seen the bright light of illegal immigration as an opportunity to take politically correct action. He has opened our borders to the world’s poor, the uneducated and diseased. He has opened his heart and has invited as many illegal immigrants into our happy socialist paradise. This way, they too can share in the infinite wealth of the American taxpayers. It is only fair that we welcome these illegal immigrants with open arms and wallets because of the unenlightened capitalist American system that stole, enslaved and murdered people. We must welcome this people into our socialist utopia that is the envy of the world. As documented in Dear Leader’s book, Obama recognizes the infinite failings of our citizenry when it comes to our responsibilities to the world’s poor. In all fairness, Obama’s wisdom in this matter was not entirely his own. Dear Leader has borrowed wisdom from the writings of the all knowing Wise Yet Dead White Male Society. These illuminating writings have never failed a society, a government or a people ever and never will. Dear Leader has accurately chose the thoughts, beliefs and comments of the eternal writings of Moe, Larry and Curly…I mean Marx, Engels and Lenin. What could possibly go wrong?
    So let us all now rejoice knowing Dear Leader has a couple of years to go while bringing into America as many of the world’s poor, uneducated and diseased into our borders as possible.
    Sarcasm Button Off

  15. I’m not convinced that there’s a direct relationship between the shutting down of international adoptions and the current immigration crisis. The kids being adopted were mostly dropped off at the orphanages as babies, whereas the kids coming now are mostly school-age. IF there has been a significant decrease in the number of babies being dropped off at orphanages, then maybe there is a correlation (i.e there may have been parents who gave their baby’s to the orphanages in the hoping the child would be adopted internationally), but my guess would be there’s little correlation.

    Still, if adoptions were re-opened, some of these kids probably could find adoptive homes in the U.S. (and these could possibly be open adoptions, where they’d be allowed to maintain some contact with birth families). International adoptions of “older” kids have become more common since the Hague Convention makes it extremely difficult to adopt a healthy baby or toddler internationally.

  16. I never really thought about it like that before.

  17. Good that the children will be there for the parents to visit sometime later than never.

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