Guatemalan held in illegal adoption case
By RODRIGO ESTRADA
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) The sister of a Guatemalan congressman was charged
Wednesday with running an illegal adoption ring after police found nine
children in her home.
Police raided Rosalina Rivera's house Tuesday in search of a kidnapped
4-year-old boy, Attorney General Baudilio Portillo said. Officers did not
find the boy, but stumbled upon nine children between seven and 12 months of
Rosalina Rivera was taken into custody and released on bail early Wednesday,
Guillermo Melgar, a spokesman for Guatemala's judicial system, told The
"She said she was just taking care of the babies while their mothers were at
work," but she was unable to say where the birth mothers were, Melgar said.
Rivera is the sister of congressman Gudy Rivera, president of a
congressional committee on minors and family affairs.
Last week, the attorney general announced a full case-by-case review of all
of Guatemala's 2,286 pending foreign adoptions, as authorities overhaul an
adoptions system plagued by fraud and corruption.
Rep. Rivera's committee asked the national Adoptions Council to freeze all
foreign adoptions for at least a month to allow for the review.
Guatemala has been the No. 2 source of adopted babies for U.S. parents after
China, largely because its system is relatively easy to navigate.
Prospective parents paid notaries as much as US$30,000 (euro19,400) to walk
them through the process from start to finish.