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Guatemala suspends adoptions for a month

/ Source: The Associated Press

Guatemala's attorney general on Monday said 2,286 pending foreign adoptions have been placed on hold for at least a month while officials review related paperwork.

The decision was prompted by a request from lawmakers to review adoptions on a case-by-case basis, top prosecutor Baudilio Portillo said.

Additional DNA testing could be required to ensure that babies are being given up by their birthmothers and not handed over by intermediaries, said adoptions council chief Elizabeth de Larios. Her council was created in January to overhaul an adoptions system plagued by fraud and corruption.

Guatemala has been the No. 2 source of adoptive babies to U.S. parents after China, as prospective parents paid notaries as much as $30,000 to handle the process from start to finish.

Vietnam, where growing numbers of Americans have turned to adopt children, last week announced it will stop processing new adoption applications from U.S. citizens in July, following allegations of baby-selling, corruption and fraud.

A U.S. Embassy report in Hanoi outlined rampant abuses, including hospitals selling infants whose mothers could not pay their bills, brokers scouring villages for babies and a grandmother who gave away her grandchild without telling the child's mother.

Vietnam's International Adoption Agency has called those allegations groundless.