Official statement by President Martelly about private (non-agency) adoptions in Haiti


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. 

9 comments (Add your own)

1. Callie wrote:
Dixie, What can we do in Canada? Is there a way that adoptive families could put together something to show that adoption is a good thing. Maybe a documentary or a 'study' of some sort? Please let me know how we can help. Praying the govt will see the truth of this situation and stop believing the lies that adoptive children are being mistreated. Boy, this gets my blood pumping!! If they could just see how loved and cherished and a healthy part of a family these children are! I agree that if children can be cared for in their native country, they should be able to stay there...but if that is not healthy option for them, a loving family is the right choice. callie

Sat, July 9, 2011 @ 3:29 PM

2. Janice wrote:
I adopted my daughter as an infant and I love her as if she were my very own. She is now 42 with 2 beautiful children of her own. If it weren't for her, I would not be a grandmother of the best children. My daughter's biological mother has found her and they have a good relationship. My daughter found she has a half sister and half brother. They all get along as if they had grown up in the same family. I did not feel any bit of resentment when my daughter's mother found her. We are now friends and we share all 3 of the children. I am pro-adoption from personal experience.

Sat, July 9, 2011 @ 4:19 PM

3. Helen Braun wrote:
How sad that adoption is so mis-understood by so many. Our daughter, now 4, has changed our lives in so many wonderful ways. What an incredible blessing adoption has been to us. Just imagine where we'd all be if our Heavenly Father was against adoption, we would not have our eternal home waiting with Him. Thank you so much Dixie, for taking the time to keep adoptive families so informed with so many happenings in Haiti.

Sat, July 9, 2011 @ 5:13 PM

4. Hollie wrote:
I think it is sad that agency adoptions are always viewed as being more 'legal'. It is ridiculous. In fact, in my experience, agencies are more likely to create a 'market' for adoptions than independent ones. They take people's deposits, make promises and push orphanages to deliver to their clients. And I know of so many families who would rather use that money paid to agencies to raise their children and provide them with a great education. We are in the process of an independent adoption and I was shocked to find out what other people paid agencies for what we did on our own. I know that some people prefer someone to guide them through the process, and that is great. But it is hard for a lot of families to come up with the money required. It is a shame because costs are what scare a lot of people out of adoption. Oh well! I suppose a country has the right to make its own rules and regulations regarding adoption of its children, doesn't it?

Sat, July 9, 2011 @ 6:21 PM

5. Janet Pierre wrote:
I know from experience that a foster care system in Haiti would need to be carefully supervised. We ran a program for a short time called OWOW (Orphanages WithOut Walls). Some of the children were restaveks in families that were willing to care for them as family members, some were orphaned, and some were childrens whose parents were unable to care for them for a while due to illness. We found that we could only adequately supervise about 20 children in this way.

Sat, July 9, 2011 @ 8:02 PM

6. Kelly D wrote:
(((((DIXIE)))))) I love your heart for the CHILDREN of Haiti I am praying that God will allow those in charge in Haiti and around the world as well as those in the media to realize that God writes powerful stories through adoption and that EVERYBODY deserves to have somebody in their lives to call Mom and Dad here on earth!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXO Kelly D < :)

Sat, July 9, 2011 @ 10:20 PM

7. Jane Blannin-Bruleigh wrote:
Dixie, We have only been allowed to do international adoption in the province of Ontario by agencies for about 10 years now. There are always problems, but the system has worked. The only private adoption allowed here are domestic adoptions, which still involve a social worker for the homestudy and the adoption licensee who places the baby, the birthparent counsellor who the adoptive parents pay for and the followup home visits after the adoption. And then there is the lawyer and court fees to finalize the adoption. So talking with some social workers who work in adoptions and reading up on costs, domestic private adoption is now closer to the cost of international adoption, at least in Ontario. But is the best spent money ever! Keeping you and these challenges in prayer, blessings,

Sun, July 10, 2011 @ 12:19 AM

8. TC wrote:
While I understand the the reasoning behind the push for agencies, they are not always the best way. We know from experience after the agency that we were with, licensed by the province of Ontario, went bankrupt. We lost all of our adoption fees, not to mention our adoption. I appreciate the transparency that comes with a private adoption from Haiti, which was sorely lacking with our adoption through an agency.

Sun, July 10, 2011 @ 10:24 PM

9. janka wrote:
im pro adoption, my little man changed my live...Here he will get the treatments he neads, and the love he deserves..I cant think off what kind off life he would have i haiti, when he stayed there!!

Tue, July 12, 2011 @ 2:42 AM

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