There are nearly a half million orphans in Haiti, most of whom have been abandoned. One in seven will die before reaching the age of five, usually due to neglect.
There are over 300,000 Haitian children in slavery. Many are forced into child prostitution.
Haiti is a bleak and desperately poor place. These children simply do not have a chance there.
Meanwhile there are over 2 million American families waiting to adopt children.
Yet last year, out of the hundreds of thousands of Haitian children who desperately need homes and loving families, only 301 were adopted into the U.S.
That is unconscionable.
The process of adopting a child from Haiti can take as much as five years and cost $25,000 or more. The mind-numbing Haitian bureaucracy is characterized by corruption and incompetence. Children are literally dying while tangled in the red tape.
And it doesn’t have to be this way. With a little compassion and common-sense, the process of adopting children from Haiti could be reformed, saving the lives of thousands of innocent kids.
In order to adopt internationally, prospective American parents must first be certified as fit by the U.S. Department of State. The review process is rigorous and includes background checks, character examinations, financial examinations and psychological review. Yet even if American parents are certified as fit by the State Department, they must go through the same kind of examination by Haitian authorities. That is absurd.
This illustrates what working with the Haitian authorities is like: http://achildsvoiceinternational.blogspot.com/
I am lobbying for the enactment of a protocol between Haiti and the U.S. pursuant to which Haiti will agree to be bound by the U.S. determination of the fitness of a prospective adoptive parent. Haiti would still be responsible for certifying that the prospective adoptive child is truly an orphan or abandoned. But dividing the authority in this logical way should make the process much simplier and clear the way to save the lives of thousands of kids. As a condition of the millions of dollars in foreign aid that we give the Haitian government, we should insist on this.
I recently learned that 1/10 of all the African American physicians in the U.S. are Haitian, despite the fact that Haiti is severely impoverished, lacking any meaningful infrastructure, and approximately the size of Maryland. Haitian children will excel if given the opportunity, and many, as adults, will return to Haiti or will work to improve life there. This is just a win-win for Haiti and the U.S.
Please pray that our efforts will produce results.