Finding the Right Words for Haiti…

This past week we have found ourselves glued to our tv sets gripped with the realities of the earth quake in Haiti.  We’ve seen buildings completely obliterated, and death everywhere.  Some have been rescued but most are suffering.

There have been several campaigns to raise money for Haiti in our backyards and many on the national and international levels.  And now, I’m starting to receive email from adoption agencies saying that we should donate.

Only a week after this traumatic tragedy, Americans are talking about adoption.  Yesterday’s CNN headlines babbled on about ~45 Haitian children being adopted by Pennsylvanian families.  And now, there are more and more adoption agencies jumping on the bandwagon to get children to the US as fast as possible.  How do I feel about it?  I have been struggling to find the words to explain how I feel about the ramifications of this horrible tragedy.  But after only a week, these “alleged” orphans are being flown to their new families in the US.  In a country whose infrastructure has been almost completely weakened, who in Haiti is helping facilitate these adoptions?  Can we be sure they are conducting legitimate adoptions when so much of the country is scrambling to find its bearings?

Just caught wind of this blog post about Haiti.  Takes many of the words right out of my mouth.


3 Comments on “Finding the Right Words for Haiti…

  1. This is really an uninformed statement! Every single child that was flown to the US last week and this week were children that had already been adopted in Haiti and were awaiting the US visa process. All of these children had been previously matched and met with their adoptive families and many of the parents (ALL the parents, Bio and Adoptive) had met. If you went to Haiti and met the bio parents of some of these kids, spoke with them, heard their stories and struggles to survive, to have water, food, shelter-prior to the earthquake!-you would have a different perspective. I understand where you are comming from but Haiti is a different set of issues (like, basic survival) than a lot of other international adoption. As an adoptive parent AND an adoptee I urge you to do research before posting mis-information that hurts both the children and their biological and adoptive parents.

  2. You should know that the only children being flown out of Haiti are the ones who have already gone through processing for adoption. They were not suddenly processed and the State Dept. has restated that there would NOT be a rush to process from Haiti for sometime. Now, they are aware that the Dominican Republic has been the source of children being trafficked before and there must be precautions and efforts to seal off that country as well.
    The UNICEF and other NGO’s are aware of the warnings and policy study from Evan B. Donaldson’s Adoption Institute concerning the aftermath of the Tsunami 2004. If you check my blog I have a link to this document. Certainly the authorities should take extreme care yet I would ask you. “Are you against any adoptions, how about to families of Haitian ethnicity or having other Haitian children…” Do you believe in a Hierarchy of situations where adoption could be considered?

  3. Adoption Isn’t The Problem
    The tone of the “heartwarming” adoption stories are off-putting but by focusing on them we miss the larger issue for which we are all culpable. Before the earthquake the United Nations Children’s Fund estimated that there were 380,000 orphans in Haiti (in a population of 9 million – roughly the size of NYC) – and that 2,000 of its non-orphan children a year were being trafficked to the Dominican Republic, often by their parents.
    Time magazine has reported on this problem since 2001 and the earthquake is making it worse:
    It has “left thousands of more children orphaned and consequently vulnerable to being preyed upon by child traffickers and Haiti’s shameful tradition of keeping child slaves, known as restaveks. “I really fear,” says Pean, “that most of the kids you see being picked up on the streets in Haiti right now are going to become restaveks or victims of sexual trafficking.”,28804,1953379_1953494_1957160,00.html#ixzz0e6keNtJl
    Let’s not let controversy over the legal adoption of a few thousand vulnerable children become an impediment to protecting hundreds of thousands of other children at risk.

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