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You are not permitted to adopt from Guatemala at present

Guatemala used to be a very popular place to adopt from until a special restriction was put in place in 2008. It is unknown when this will be lifted.

From DoE UK's Adoption Authority


Special Restrictions on Adoptions From Abroad (Guatemala) Order 2008 - 1 August 2008


The Order places on a statutory footing the suspension of adoptions from Guatemala currently in place. On 6 December 2007, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State announced an immediate suspension of adoptions of Guatemalan children by UK residents in response to concerns about adoption practice in Guatemala.


The suspension was introduced in response to evidence demonstrating that: there are insufficient safeguards in the Guatemalan adoption system to prevent children being adopted without proper consents being given and improper financial gain being made by individuals in the adoption process. In particular that: there is a trade in babies being sold for overseas adoption; and mothers being paid, or otherwise encouraged, to give up children for adoption. Such practices are contrary to the principles of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.


Guatemala has recently passed legislation implementing the Hague Convention, however there is no evidence to demonstrate this has resulted in substantive changes in practices in connection with the adoption of children or the eradication of the improper practices which occasioned the statement of 6 December 2007.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, in the name of the Secretary of State, is of the view that, because of practices taking place in Guatemala, it would be contrary to public policy to further the bringing of children into the United Kingdom from Guatemala as specified in section 9 (2) of the Children and Adoption Act 2006.

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