The 2013 Haitian Adoption Law has passed both the House of Deputies and the Senate in Haiti. It is set to go into effect at the end of November or first of December.
The new law will be much different than the present law. It is a totally new and more current law. The old law was developed in the 1970's and had never truly been updated. It said that couple must have been married at least 10 years, be 35 years old, and have no biological children. A law like this was antiquated and limited the number of people who could easily adopt from Haiti.
The new law is much more progressive. There are things in this law that we don't especially like but it is so much better than the old law that we are very happy that it's passed!
Here are some of the points of the new law:
- Adoption can be requested jointly by a married and not legally separated heterosexual couple, after five (5) years of marriage and when one of the spouses is at least thirty (30) years old.
- Applications from single men and women aged at least thirty-five (35) years of age are accepted.
- The age of the adoptive parents may not exceed fifty (50) years for the older of the two (2) spouses or a single parent at the time of a referral of a child.
- Adoptive parents must be fourteen (14) years older than the child they intend to adopt. Biological and adopted children in the home are acceptable.
- If the adoptive parents already have biological or adopted children, the children must give their opinion if they are eight (8) years old or older.
- Both parents must be able to come to Haiti for 2 weeks after a child's referral. This is a requirement of the law.
- Priority placements will be given to heterosexual couples.
These new requirements will open Haitian adoptions up to so many more families than ever before! It will close the adoptions to others such as couple where one of the couple is older than 50 years old. That makes me sad but I am so happy over the changes that I can live with the upper age limits.
There will be an Adoption Conference between IBESR, Justice Department, Immigration Department, Mayors, Lawyers, Orphanages, Foreign Affairs, Judges, etc., on 25, 26, and 27 of November. I am very excited to hear what they have to say and how the government departments will work together to make the process faster and smoother so that the children do not have to sit for such long times in the orphanages.
We have waited a very long time for the government to pass a new law and I cannot tell you how are happy we all are that finally it is passed and ready to be implemented!
Sun, November 10, 2013
by Dixie Bickel