Heart's Cry Children's Ministry
Law change officially a Project for Review #70 at National Assembly


Thank you so much for praying for the meeting at the National Assembly on Wednesday.  The Lord showed up in an amazing way! 


We received the call about the presentation at the Assembly late Tuesday and immediately started making calls, as we were invited to bring supporters of the law change to the Committee meeting the following morning.  Several friends and other NGO's that work with the children came, along with an entire team from YWAM of 45 people from 13 countries and 5 continents.  It was monumental.  The Legislators were surprised at the show of support, especially from such a diverse group and thanked everyone for coming and caring about the children of Panama.  What a testimony it was to them! 


The Director of SENNIAF, Gloria Lozano de Diez, spoke and explained all the benefits of the law change for the children, which was wonderful.  Then they asked if anyone else would like to share.  Several Legislators gave their opinion on the benefit of the law change and then it was voted on and approved in order to open up the law for review in the National Assembly.  Thus now, the law change is officially admitted by the Committee into a project for review by the Assembly.  After 1 full year of sitting on various desks, it has now officially been placed in the process for potential law change.  God is so good.  Just a week ago I was praying about this, talking to the Lord about how He must have had another plan for all the work that went into this because clearly nothing has happened in such a long time.  Then bam!  The Lord is always working, whether we see it or not.  What a visual of that fact!


After this, there was another chance for individuals to speak and we had been encouraged by SENNIAF to share.  So Matt, Graciela and I stood up to speak.   I shared what I felt the Lord leading me to say and Graciela translated.  I have been trying to upload the video of that, but having technical difficulties.  I will send in another email when able.   



We are amazed at the timing of the Lord and His handiwork that is visible for all to see.  Thank you for praying.  Please continue to pray as the law begins to make it's way through the Panamanian legislative process.  That the Lord would keep all the distractions away and that the legislators would focus on the main issues at hand, and that it would happen quickly. 


I asked Graciela to explain what happened and what are the next steps in the process.  Below is her explanation...


What comes next?

We moved from having a draft bill to now the official " Project of Law # 70".
On Wednesday, the National's Assembly Committee of Family and Children's matters accepted to review this Project of Law. At this point starts a period of National consultation. The Committee of Family and Children's matters request people/ groups/ entities/ NGO's / & authorities related in any way with adoptions to present their opinion/ critics/ suggestions or support to this Project of Law. During that time each article can be changed or modified.

Then is the first debate. On the first debate only the legislators from the Committee of Family and Children's vote. During this debate articles can be changed or modified.

If the law goes favorably to the second debate, then all of the legislators have to vote. At this point is the last opportunity for modifications.

Third debate does not allow for modifications and it is only for all  the legislators to confirm the vote for the project.

If the votes are all in favor also on the third debate, they pass it on to the President for his signature and we will have a new adoption law!!

The only concern at this point is time!! Some projects like the " child support" new Panamanian law took 2 years in this process to become law! Because there was a lot of controversy and disagreement during the first two debates.

We don't have  that time because the current government administration is ending next year!! We have elections on May 2014, and all the Staff, Directors, Authorities will be gone and replaced! And we don't know if the next ones are going to have a special interest in adoption matters to move this project, like is currently the case!!

So pray that this process is all done this year, so that the law passes in 2013!.

On Wednesday we sort of started hearing some of the issues that concern the Head of the Committee: like also promoting responsible parenting, and supporting more pregnant teenagers so they are able to raise that child.  (Side issues that are distracting from point of the law change!!)

The Magistrate of the Superior Tribunal of Children and Adolescents talked later on about " trying to have more national adoptions so that children don't have to be adopted internationally and then lose their cultural identity". (David Tracy, the Director of YWAM, gave a very moving rebuttal to her argument that was trying to dissuade adoptions out of Panama to other countries.  Praising the Lord he was there to comment after such a ridiculous speech!)

So I guess in the upcoming weeks the Committee should be receiving opinions. For example, Sor Lourdes from Malambo sent a report to the National Assembly with her opinions about the Project of Law already, and Im sure other NGOs will do the same.



Thank you again for joining us in praying for the Panamanian adoption law change.  This will greatly and directly impact the lives of so many waiting children.

Misty and Matt Hedspeth