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Guatemala to complete all US adoptions this year

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September 25, 2013 09:12 PM EST | AP

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GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemala's ambassador to the United States says a task force recently created in his country will help expedite the pending adoptions of 115 Guatemalan babies.

Ambassador Julio Ligorria says in a letter that the goal is to complete the pending adoptions by U.S. couples by year's end.

Ligorria says in a letter sent Wednesday to lawmakers and U.S. adoption lobbyists that the group led by Vice President Roxana Baldetti began working earlier this month.

Guatemala was once a top source of adopted children for U.S. couples, with more than 4,000 babies adopted each year. The government suspended adoptions by foreigners in 2007 following allegations of fraud and baby theft.

The U.N.-created International Commission Against Impunity studied 3,000 adoptions and found falsified paperwork and fake birth certificates in several cases.