I’m aware of several instances where organizations are working to get orphans (who were orphans before the quake) who have adoption paperwork already in process, out of Haiti and into various countries. I don’t believe there is anything we, as a community can do for those specific situations, because my understanding at this point is that it’s a matter of logistics, not paperwork. But, if there is something we can help out with by writing letters, please let us know.
But, there is something else I can do, so I’m going to lift a rule for this thread only: If you know of an agency or organization that has brought children out of Haiti, or is about to bring children out of Haiti, and is looking for prospective adoptive parents OR foster care for these children, you have permission to post an agency/organization name and contact information in this thread only. I’m going to warn people that I have no way of knowing whether any agency that gets posted is “good” or “bad”. Do not assume they must be legit if they are listed in this thread. Do not give any money (or social security numbers or anything else like that) until you’ve checked an agency out thoroughly. If it were me then before any money or super-personal information changed hands I’d want to verify that the agency had been in business at least a decade, and I’d want to be able to find where a whole lot of people have said something positive about the agency after they were home with their children (most people who are happy with their agency mention the agency and how great the agency is in their blog, so the agencies who are good and who have been around a while have lots of blog links out there with people telling their story). You might also want to do a search on the person who posted the agency information and see if they are a long time poster here or if this is their first post. Also, be aware that the USCIS does not approve of this, and to my knowledge has not made a statement of how these children (who have apparently been brought to the US without I600 or I800 paperwork already in process) are going to be treated re citizenship. It is doubtful they are going to get kicked out of the country (that would be a political nightmare), but no one knows at this point what might be required to legally adopt these children. My guess is that it will eventually be possible to do so (once someone can verify they are true orphans), I just want to point out that right now there are a whole lot of unknowns. And since there is (apparently) no paperwork, there is a chance someone in Haiti is looking for them and they will get to go home to a family at some point. Still, if we were looking to add to our family? If an opportunity was there then I’d probably take the leap and hope for the best if I could verify that the agency was a good one, and understanding that it was temporary until the child’s orphan status could be verified.
Also, I’m hearing about plans to bring more children (as in, thousands) into the U.S. all at once on airplanes. There are some precedents for this, there was Operation Peter Pan / Pedro Pan in Cuba in the 60′s, and then there was Operation Babylift in Vietnam in the 70′s. IIRC they did something similar in Korea in the 50′s, but I’m not sure it was given a name. At any rate, there is precedent for allowing a whole bunch of orphans into the U.S. who do not already have parents waiting for them. The U.S. government has not yet given the green light on this, and I’m unclear at this point who exactly gets the final word on it. If anyone out there has more information about it, please share. If it can be done in a way that ensures they are only bringing true orphans over then I’m all for it and would get behind it in a letter writing campaign. However, I would want someone overseeing the effort who can make sure things are done ethically. Someone with the ability and the clout to insist upon it.
Also, if there is something we need to be doing as a community – writing letters or contacting our representatives – please give details of what we should be asking for and who we should be asking it of and the best way(s) to contact those people. As I said at the beginning of this post: It sounds like there are still children in Haiti who have been matched with a family. If there is something we as a community can be doing to help get those children home, please let us know. I’m told that the red tape has been cut away on the USCIS end of things and that these children (with paperwork in process) are being allowed to come into the U.S., but if that’s not the case then please let me know.
We will revisit the proposed survey we talked about yesterday, but this needed to be posted today.