Thursday, April 22, 2010


This update concerns adoptions in Haiti and news from from the Joint Council on International Children's Services. CARE offers our prayers and encourages a Godly response to those in Haiti who are enduring unimaginable tragedy and trauma.

Adoption agencies working with Haiti state that it will likely be a long time before the government in Haiti is able to begin processing adoptions, especially new cases for families. Currently many agencies' primary goal right now will be to help bring the children home that have already been in the adoption process.

What does this mean for new families? At this point many agencies plan to accept an informal family application to keep a record of interested families. Once the future of adoptions from Haiti is stable, and agencies are able to discuss their programs with directors in Haiti, they will contact families. It is impossible to predict when a newly rebuilt Haiti government will be able to turn its attention to international adoption law and processing. Many reputable agencies are not accepting any formal applications at this time.

The following information is provided from the Joint Council on International Children's Services:

Visas issues: It has been confirmed that a handful of Haitian children, whose adoptions were finalized by the Haitian courts and whose adoptive parents were in Port-au-Prince at the time of the earthquake, have received their visas to enter the United States. While the issuance of visas in these specific cases is very welcomed news, it should not encourage adoptive parents to travel to Haiti in an attempt to secure a visa for the child they are adopting. Such individual efforts may in fact be counterproductive and dangerous.

Children with finalized adoption decrees: The U.S. government and child advocates are making every effort to find a method by which children with finalized adoption decrees can enter the United States and be united with their adoptive families.

Other Adoptions: Our community, including the U.S. government, continues to work for a solution for those children and adoptive families who do not have a finalized Haitian adoption decree. These adoptions are often ill-defined; therefore creating a procedure that unites children with adoptive families while ensuring that children are not further victimized is extremely difficult. Despite the challenges, we remain confident that the means to move children into adoptive families will be found very soon.

New Adoptions, Airlifts & U.S. Foster Care: Ideas for airlifting children into the United States and placing them in foster homes continue to surface. In some instances, rumors and speculation have taken on lives of their own. Additionally, many U.S. families are seeking to initiate adoptions of newly orphaned Haitian children. While both airlifts and new adoptions are based on valid concerns and come from an obviously loving heart, neither option is considered viable by any credible child welfare organization. Bringing children into the United States either by airlift or new adoption during a time of national emergency can open the door for fraud, abuse and trafficking. Every effort must be made in a timely fashion to locate living parents and extended family members. Many children, who might appear to be orphaned, might in fact be only temporarily separated from their families. Currently everyone's efforts must be to provide the families and children of Haiti with shelter, nutrition, water and safety. Once the situation in Haiti stabilizes and timely reunification has taken place, adoption may be an option for the children who remain outside of permanent parental care.

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