Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Haitian Orphans-The Information We've Gathered

Many have asked me the information (and sources of this information) that we have on the plight of the orphans in Haiti.

I've heard a story about a four year old, being cared for by a homeless man, because there is no orphanage that will take him. I've heard of a six year old trying to explain, when his two younger siblings needed amputation's, that he WAS the parent. I've heard of children left unattended in hospitals for days with no one checking on them. We've all heard the stories, they're horrific and very real.

Not only are orphanages struggling to obtain food and drinkable water, but are at times being raided for what supplies they do have. Besides injuries, living on the streets, aftershocks, and food and water, we also need to remember that child trafficking is a real threat as well.

We live in prayer.

Through the adoption community we have obtained some information from places that others may not be aware of. JCICS stands for the Joint Counsel on International Children's Services. It's attempting to advocate for the Haitian orphans right now (and is normally advocating for the rights of the orphans around the world and participates in humanitarian aid). The JCICS has the most current information and more accurate than many news reports. From the JCICS Website....


"Humanitarian parole into the United States may be granted by the Secretary of Homeland Security to bring otherwise inadmissible individuals into the country on account of urgent humanitarian reasons or other emergencies. The humanitarian parole policy announced by Secretary Napolitano today will be applied on a case-by-case basis to the following children:

•Children who have been legally confirmed as orphans eligible for inter-country adoption by the Government of Haiti and are being adopted by U.S. citizens.
•Children who have been previously identified by an adoption service provider or facilitator as eligible for inter-country adoption and have been matched to U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents.
Under applicable laws, unaccompanied minors entering the country without a parent or legal guardian will be turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement."

Currently they are expediting adoptions for the previous children. Much of what we hear on the news about flying in planes of children is NOT correct, except for those children previously identified. or

There are rumors in certain states of imminent arrival of Haitian orphans. Many states are trying to prepare in this eventuality, but as of yet they are just rumors. No flights are planned

The thought/hope is this. If a child was already established as an orphan before the earthquake (but not matched with a family), many hope that they will AT LEAST allow these children to be in group homes here in the States (the greater hope is a foster/adopt program). Finding paperwork is a confusing process since much paperwork was lost in the earthquake. This would create a opening at the functioning orphanages in Port Au Prince or outside of Port Au Prince. The general policy is NOT to take a child that is NOT confirmed as an orphan in the case of a natural disaster completely out of the area. Some families in a case like this will be reunited. There's a hot debate on this issue...and not a clear right answer. The only answer that is paramount is the safety and health of the children.

For now we wait for the government to make some decisions. Haiti is currently closed to new adoptions to insure that children that are labeled as orphans are truly orphans. Previously the adoptions in Haiti have been in question due to the LACK of transparency in the adoption process.

I know we are all hurting and crying and wanting to take these children into our arms. I am praying that God moves our government and others to insure these children are protected and taken care of.

Again, right now we pray.....

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting. No words really describe all that has happened.


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