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A new international adoption law in Guatemala is delaying the adoption of 5,000 children by U.S. families.

The change was designed to make adoptions more transparent and eliminate the small percentage of illegal adoptions.

"Families who are in the process right now are very worried. Rightfully so," said Gail Stern, executive director of Mandala Adoption Services, in Hillsborough. "Having a central authority, although on paper it sounds great, in practice in a Third World country where the resources don't exist, it stops adoption."

Heather and Randy Chambers are among the families snagged in the legal tangle. The Durham couple had