I had to run to Petion-Ville on Thursday to look for some ceramic tile and also some building supplies. Wadson and I went to several places trying to find what I needed. As we were driving home, a news program came on Haitian radio. It was talking about an article against adoptions in Haiti that had appeared in the Le Nouvelliste newspaper. This article talked about all of the bad things about adoption. It talked about a lot of things that are lies and rumors such as children being adopted for organ harvesting, sex trade, etc. For some reason, journalists want to limp adoptions and these other issues together and make them about the same thing! They cannot talk about legal adoptions by qualified adoptive families without bringing up child trafficking! Many of you know how this drives me crazy!
For some reason, and I blame it largely on UNICEF’s campaign against international adoption, journalist don’t really do research on BOTH sides of the issue! Maybe they do not think that adoptive parents and orphanages can be reliable enough to give accurate information and details. They think we have a hidden agenda to keep adoptions in place. I have always said that if the government of Haiti could take care of the children here, then GLA would gladly focus on some other project for children! But the government cannot at this time, take care of the children needing families. Foster care is NOT the answer and keeping children in an orphanage in Haiti long term is not family preservation! These children need loving parents to raise them and held mold them into productive citizens. I am so afraid that if Haiti comes up with a foster care system that families here who are so used to a Restavek system (child slavery) will not understand foster care.
I cannot tell you the number of times I have spoken to journalists and they did not use the information that I gave them because it wasn’t dramatic enough. They didn’t want to tell the adoptive family side of the story or if they did it showed the family as over dramatic and not looking at the whole picture!
So, we are driving up and the radio is talking about this article that appeared in the paper and President Martelly was interviewed and said that private adoptions would no longer be allowed in Haiti. All adoptive families must use a licensed agency who will have direct contact with the orphanages. This is the first time, that I have heard him say this exactly. I asked Wadson to tell me what he heard so I could make sure that we heard it correctly.
This means that adoptive families cannot contact the orphanage directly looking to adopt a child. Neither can families contact a lawyer and adopt a child through a lawyer without going through an agency and a licensed orphanage.
This should not affect any dossiers that are already in Haiti waiting for a proposal. I cannot guarantee this, but that is what my staff thinks at this time.
I understand totally why the Hague ratified countries along with UNICEF have been pushing for this change. They do not want families to contact lawyers or orphanages asking for a child and then have the lawyers or orphanages go find a child for them. UNICEF calls this child trafficking. But I do not quite understand why qualified, paper ready adoptive families cannot work directly with a licensed orphanage?
We are working with several agencies in the USA now and also in the Hague ratified countries. This change should not be a problem. Our American office staff is in contact with the American independent families who this might affect and told them what they need to do to qualify to adopt now.
I do have great sadness though for single women in France who want to adopt. There is not an agency that I know of who accepts applications from single women in France. Most only accept from couples.
Haiti is a country that changes daily. If you want to live in Haiti or adopt from Haiti, you need to have a strong spirit, be flexible and willing to go with the flow of change! I am trying to look at this new change in Haiti adoptions as positively as I can.
I want what is best for the children and if some lawyers and orphanages are not doing things the correct way which causes the government to make new rules, then I accept the new rules because it is all about protecting the children.
So please pray for the children and their families and also for the future of adoptions.
Posted on Sat, July 9, 2011
by Dixie Bickel