GUATEMALA CITY – Guatemalan security forces rescued six small Guatemalan children from two clandestine nurseries and nabbed the two women who were supposedly going to adopt them out, authorities reported Dec.22.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, the minors were found in two buildings in the Guajitos suburb on the south side of the Guatemalan capital.
In one of the children’s homes, officers of the National Civil Police, or PNC, and officials of the Attorney General’s Office found three minors between two months and three years of age, and arrested a woman working there.
Meanwhile in another building nearby, three other small children between five and 14 months were found, along with the sister of the first detained woman, who was also placed under arrest.
According to the AG’s office, the sisters could not show where the six minors came from, nor any permits that would allow the houses to be used as nurseries.
Apparently the babies and small children were going to be adopted out illegally, the authorities said.
On Dec. 31 Guatemala’s Adoption Law went into effect, by which the government seeks to put an end to the million-dollar illegal adoption business in the country. At present the PGN has on file some 697 cases of children being adopted and 1,221 adoption requests pending.
According to PGN data, in 2006 some 4,837 Guatemalan children were given in adoption to foreign families, 10% more than in 2005.
Between last January and Dec. 3 this year some 5,110 adoptions were authorized, 5,000 of them to families in the United States.