Thursday, October 30, 2008

Legal changes

It seems like the Guatemalan adoption system can't make up its mind - several months ago, the system was all but shut down due to the extensive corruption in the system. But recently, the courts make a decision that will greatly affect the lives of the kids at Casa Shalom. Many children who live here actually have parents or other relatives, but these relatives aren't able to financially take care of them. They live at Casa Shalom to ensure they'll have sufficient food and a safe place to live and receive an education. The Guatemalan court system sees this kind of kids as a drain on the system and has decided that children who could legally be with their relatives must either be returned to their families or they will be legally adoptable. This has already affected the kids of Casa Shalom - brothers Elias, 11, and Carlitos, 8, are at the orphanage because their parents are deceased and their adult siblings cannot afford to take care of them. Since this new law was passed, however, the adult siblings decided to remove the 2 boys from the home because they didn't want to risk the boys being adopted and taken away to the United States, never to be seen again by their family.

There are ups and downs to this new law - it will probably make it easier for families who are currently trying to adopt children from Casa Shalom. But it will be hard to watch kids leave, not knowing if their families will be able to care for them as we do here at Casa Shalom. Please keep these kids in your prayers and pray that the Lord continues to watch over them, whether at Casa Shalom or with their families.

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