Saturday, March 11, 2006

How the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala works

A dear friend of mine who has adopted two children from Guatemala has updated me on how things are working at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala right now. These are recent changes to operations which may explain the delays we are experiencing.

According to my friend who is active in the Guatemalan adoption circles:

Here is how submitting for "pink" works:

1. Attorney's facilitator stands in line beginning at 5 a.m. (or earlier) to be able to submit your case (and any other cases they are working on).

2. US Embassy will only allow 40 cases to be dropped off FOR ANYTHING per day (that means DNA authorization, Preapproval drop-off, or submitting for Pink)

3. Once the embassy has 40 cases, the window closes and no more cases are accepted FOR THAT DAY. (This is the famous "Window 8" that you might have heard about)

The whole process starts again the next day. This only occurs M-Th, as the Embassy is closed to the "public" on Friday.

Rumors abound that attorneys pay Guatemalan men & women to stand in line all night and then put their facilitators in their places the next morning.

This process has changed several times since November. When we went through, they were allowing unlimited drop-offs, but only allowing pick-ups of Pink Slips between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m.. Our facilitator tried for almost 2 weeks to get ours, only to be turned away!

And lastly in my dear friend's words "It is very frustrating when it is our own government standing between you and the homecoming of your child." Amen to that!!!!

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