Intercountry Adoption

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Country Information

Guatemala

Guatemala
Republic of Guatemala
Exercise increased caution in Guatemala due to crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise increased caution in Guatemala due to crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Reconsider travel to:

  • Guatemala department due to crime.
  • Escuintla department due to crime.
  • Chiquimula department due to crime.
  • Quetzaltenango department due to crime.
  • Izabal department due to crime.
  • Petén department due to crime.

Violent crime, such as armed robbery and murder, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Guatemala:

  • Consider hotels that offer secure parking, doormen, and a dedicated and professional security staff.
  • Request security escorts, available for tourist groups, from the Guatemalan Tourism Institute (INGUAT).
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Avoid walking or driving at night.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Do not use public ATMs.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Guatemala.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Guatemala Department– Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Violent crime, such as armed robbery and murder, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

The following zones are of particular concern in Guatemala City due to crime: 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 21, and 24. Guatemala International Airport is located in Zone 13. Take appropriate security measures when traveling to and from the airport.

Do not hail taxis on the street in Guatemala City. Use radio-dispatched taxis (Taxi Amarillo), INGUAT approved taxis from the “SAFE” stand from the airport or hotel taxis.

Avoid areas outside of major roads and highways in the Guatemala Department and listed zones in Guatemala City.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Escuintla Department – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Violent crime, such as armed robbery and murder, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

Avoid areas outside of major roads and highways.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Chiquimula Department– Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Violent crime, such as armed robbery and murder, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

Avoid areas outside of major roads and highways.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Quetzaltenango Department – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Violent crime, such as armed robbery and murder, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

Avoid areas outside of major roads and highways.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Izabal Department – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Violent crime, such as armed robbery and murder, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

Avoid areas outside of major roads and highways.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Petén Department – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Violent crime, such as armed robbery and murder, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

Tikal generally sees fewer crimes than the rest of Petén department. Exercise caution when traveling to and from Tikal. Fly directly into Flores airport if possible.

Avoid areas outside of major roads and highways.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

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Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
No
ALL /
ALL /
Hague Convention Information

Guatemala is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention).

Intercountry adoptions are not currently possible between Guatemala and the United States because the Government of Guatemala is not processing intercountry adoptions with any country at this time. 

In December 2007, Guatemala passed new adoption legislation that incorporated the Hague Adoption Convention into Guatemala’s adoption system, created the Guatemalan National Adoption Council (CNA), and established a transition period for cases initiated prior to its enactment. The Guatemalan government subsequently suspended new adoption applications until they could create a new adoption process. As of 2016, the CNA has completed its processing of the most of the transition cases that were pending when the new law went into effect. The three remaining transition cases are pending in various judicial processes. 

The Department of State remains unable to issue Hague Adoption Certificates or Hague Custody Declarations for new intercountry adoptions from Guatemala, because as of April 1, 2008, when the United States joined the Convention, Guatemala did not and still today does not have a Hague process in place. The Department, however, continues its efforts to work with the Government of Guatemala on establishing procedures to resume intercountry adoptions.          

In ongoing discussions with the Government of Guatemala about their readiness to resume intercountry adoption, they have indicated that their priority is to continue developing their domestic adoption processes, but they are receptive to ongoing discussions.   

Please see our Adoption Notice for more information.

U.S. Immigration Requirements

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Guatemala, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements. USCIS determines who is suitable and eligible to adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Guatemala
Avenida Reforma 7-01, Zona 10
Tel: 011-502-2326-4000
Fax: 011-502-2326-4674
Email: adoptguatemala@state.gov
Internet: gt.usembassy.gov

Guatemala’s Adoption Authority
National Council on Adoption (CNA)
Address: Avenida Reforma 6-64, Zona 9
Tel:  011-502-24151600
Fax:  011-502-24151601
Email: cna@cna.gob.gt
Internet: cna.gob.gt  

Embassy of Guatemala
2220 R Street, N.W. 
Washington, D.C.   20008
Tel: (202) 745-4952
Fax: (202) 745-1908
Email: consul@guatemala-embassy.org

Guatemala also has consulates in: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Providence and San Francisco.

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
Email:  adoption@state.gov     
Internet:  adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet: uscis.gov

For questions about a pending Form I-600 petition for a child from Guatemala:
USCIS Guatemala City Field Office
Email: Guatemala.Adoptions@dhs.gov
Phone:  011-502-2326-4000 (ask to be transferred to USCIS)

For questions about filing a Form I-800A or I-800 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@dhs.gov

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Guatemala
Avenida Reforma 7-01, Zona 10
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Telephone
+(502) 2326-4000
Emergency
+(502) 2331-2354
Fax
+(502) 2331-3804
Guatemala Map