Saturday, February 13, 2010

Orphans in Haiti

There is a lot of focus on the orphan situation in Haiti. I don't know what the current legal situation is regarding adoptions. There are too many rumors and not enough stable facts. And I do know everyone (American and Haitian) is trying to make some fast changes. I've heard way too many conflicting things to know enough concrete facts to be an expert on how to adopt out of Haiti.

But this is what I can tell you. I will be going back to Haiti (soon) to adopt my own children. I will adopt them from the orphanage I helped build. I will go back and rescue my own children from that field. I can tell you I left a part of my heart in that field. And there will always be a part of my heart in that field.

There are thousands of orphaned children in Haiti. There were thousands before the earthquake, and there are thousands more now. They are in orphanages, in the streets, and in the hospitals. Not all are available for adoption, because they are parental surrenders. Their parents hope to come back for them. This is when they parent(s) voluntarily signs over custody of children because they can no longer provide for them. This happens a lot with special needs children. The number of special needs children has increased exponentially since the quake. The pediatrics wings of the hospitals are full of children with amputated limbs. These children will be likely discharged to go home with their parents back in their tent cities. It is just a matter of time until their parents will decide they cannot provide for a handicapped child while living in a tent in a street. Soon the child will be surrendered to an orphanage. There is an ever increasing need for families willing to adopt a physically  handicapped child from Haiti, in addition to the full-bodied children who need homes too.

 (this little sweetheart is not in an orphanage, nor up for adoption, but is a good representation of what sort of injuries you will find in Haiti.) 

 (a common looking "tent city" community where 1 million homeless and displaced Haitians are living. can you imagine raising your family, let alone a handicapped child, in these conditions?)

I cannot give advice on how to adopt from Haiti. I will recommend using Wasatch International Adoptions. This is the organization we worked with to help get children sent to their waiting adopted families in Utah. I trust them to be honest and work quickly to help adoptive parents.

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