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Guatemalan adoption raid turns Newton family's joy to torment

Posted by Ralph Ranalli August 24, 2007 01:14 PM

Sean Darcy holds his 22-month-old son Dylan, right, and 4-month-old Carolina, who the couple had also hoped to adopt.
(Globe staff photo by Essdras M Suarez)


They gave her a bottle, put her down for naps, snapped photographs. Over five days in June in Guatemala, Ellen and Sean Darcy lived like a family with Carolina, the 4-month-old baby they planned to adopt.

Back home in Newton, they bought a double stroller for Carolina and Dylan, 22 months, whom they adopted from Guatemala last year. Ellen Darcy sewed Carolina a pink quilt, and bought her pajamas.

Eight weeks later, armed officers seized Carolina's orphanage, confiscated paperwork, and detained orphanage lawyers. Guatemalan officials alleged that babies there may have been abducted or their mothers forced into giving them away, staff writer Michael Levenson reports in the Globe's City & Region Section today.

Now the Darcys fear they may never see Carolina again, and Ellen Darcy worries that authorities are neglecting Carolina. She searches for news from Guatemala. She cannot bring herself to set up Carolina's crib.

"It's been horrible; it's been heart-wrenching," Ellen Darcy said. "I don't think we can breathe easy until we go to pick her up and we have her back in the United States."

Forty-two US families, including four from Massachusetts, who are trying to adopt babies from the orphanage are caught in limbo. Unsure of the treatment the children have received and uncertain whether the allegations will be resolved, they have pleaded with members of Congress to send US officials to check on the babies' welfare. They have turned to one another for advice, solace, and any scraps of news.

Read more about the Guatemalan orphanage probe and the fallout for local families
in the online edition of today's Boston Globe City & Region section.

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