U.S. and Haitian government officials have met to discuss and establish a transparent and orderly procedure for securing departure approval for children already in the adoption process before the January 12 earthquake. This follows a January 22 Government of Haiti announcement of new procedures to protect children leaving the country, including those orphans eligible and already approved for humanitarian parole into the United States. Under the new requirement, the Government of Haiti must approve every child’s departure from the country. The United States is seeking to expedite the departure of children approved for humanitarian parole so they may be united with their U.S. adoptive parents.
The decision to permit the departure of children before the full and final completion of adoptions is a serious matter. Both the Haitian and U.S. governments must confirm that each child is appropriately authorized for travel.
In the aftermath of a crisis such as the Haiti earthquake, children are especially vulnerable; and there is increased potential for abuse of, and trafficking in, children. The United States remains committed to working with the Government of Haiti to implement safeguards to protect children and their families in Haiti.
We appreciate the concerns that prospective adoptive parents have for the health and welfare of the children they are adopting, and their eagerness to receive their children in the United States as quickly as possible. We are confident that an approval procedure soon will be announced that ensures the expeditious departure of children who qualify for humanitarian parole. To date, humanitarian parole has been granted to almost 500 Haitian orphans in the process of being adopted, several hundred of whom are now in the United States.