Monday, February 8, 2010

The terrible impossiblity of adopting from Haiti now.

Haiti 2005

I am very much saddened by the acts of the 10 missionaries who tried to illegally move Haitian children into the Dominican Republic. One month ago, before the earthquake hit- it was just barely possible to adopt a child from Haiti. The process took several years and was full of uncertainties. Although Karl and have been drawn to the kids in Haiti for years, we decided that we didn't have the emotional stamina to go through with the process and decided to adopt from Ethiopia instead. Ethiopia is also a lengthy process, but adoptions receive at least some support from the government. They are very careful with the adoptive parent requirements, but there is a small but likely amount of cooperation between agency and the government. Much less so in Haiti, and now, with all this terrible press, Haiti is unlikely to ever again honor intercountry adoptions.

It is impossible now, even with such a need, to adopt a child from Haiti.

The children who arrived in the US the week or so after the quake were children who were in the process of being adopted. Each child had a family who had been trying to finish the process and bring them home for a very long time...probably years. There are many more who are still in the process who are caught in limbo right now. Maybe they were waiting on a single signature, or maybe their paperwork was destroyed entirely- there is no way to tell if they will ever come home. I know of several adoptive parents who are in Haiti right now trying to speak to whoever they can in the embassy to get permission to bring home their newly adopted children. They are doing this because these are the rules- and they agreed to follow the rules when they asked to adopt a child. At a certain point in the process, (after being matched, but before we can travel to bring our children home), there is little we can do but hope and pray that that our children are safe. As much as we might like to, we know that we can't really just go scoop them up and rescue them from their terrible reality. Which is exactly what the missionaries attempted to do. I don't know what their intentions were, although it's likely that they wanted to help the children- who knows. The sad reality is that by ignoring the rules, they will cause so much more suffering and hardship to those few children in Haiti who may have been given the opportunity to have a family and will now do what they can to survive without parents.

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