World

Guatemala To Expedite U.S. Adoptions, Ambassador Says

Children chase bubbles outside the family medicine exam room during a Continuing Promise 2011 medical community service event Las Morenas medical site in Puerto San José, Guatemala. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eric C. Tretter/Released)

Children chase bubbles outside the family medicine exam room during a Continuing Promise 2011 medical community service event Las Morenas medical site in Puerto San José, Guatemala. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eric C. Tretter/Released)

Guatemala, which froze American adoptions following allegations of rampant corruption in the process, recently created a task force to help expedite the pending adoptions of 115 Guatemalan babies, Guatemala's ambassador to the United States said.

Ambassador Julio Ligorria says in a letter that the goal is to complete the pending adoptions by U.S. couples by year's end.

Ligorria says in a letter sent Wednesday to lawmakers and U.S. adoption lobbyists that the group led by Vice President Roxana Baldetti began working earlier this month.

Guatemala was once a top source of adopted children for U.S. couples, with more than 4,000 babies adopted each year. The government suspended adoptions by foreigners in 2007 following allegations of fraud and baby theft.

The U.N.-created International Commission Against Impunity studied 3,000 adoptions and found falsified paperwork and fake birth certificates in several cases.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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