The Associated Press December 2, 2010, 11:40AM ET

UN finds irregularities in Guatemalan adoptions

A United Nations anti-corruption commission has found irregularities in Guatemala's adoption program despite government efforts to prevent fraudulent adoptions.

The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala says in a report it found cases where Guatemalan children were given to foreigners who were listed as their "foster parents" to circumvent a ban on international adoptions.

The commission didn't say how many such cases occurred among the 393 children adopted since 2008, when Guatemala enacted a more stringent adoption law.

Authorities suspended adoptions in 2007 after discovering evidence some babies had been stolen or had fake birth certificates. With the new law, the ban on foreign adoptions was lifted in June.

Guatemala had been the world's second-largest source of babies to the United States after China due to its routinely quick adoption process. The $100 million-a-year industry had been managed mostly by lawyers with little government oversight.

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