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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Haitian Orphans and Restavek May Be Adopted by Foreign Families After Quake If Haitian Judges Sign Paperwork

After Tuesday's quake, I continue to be haunted by the pictures of children who witnessed their parents' crushing death. A young boy was finally rescued from the arms of his dead father. Even when the rescuer reached him, he refused to let go of his dead father. He wanted to stay with his dead father. Tears ran down my cheeks. I also heard horrible stories about fathers singing their daughters to bed. This story was reported by a young woman who was finally rescued. She said that some of her family members died on her knees in the rublbles.

The pictures that stay with me up to now are those of two kids (a boy and a girl) covered with dust, barefooted and crying over the loss of their family. They were alone among the piles of debris. They had nobody to hug them. They were alone and lonely. They had no family member to shield them from the cruel deaths that cheated them. I wanted to reach out and feed them. I wanted to comfort them and tell them that the following nights will be better.

In good times, Haiti had a lot of orphans. Most Haitians had some restavek who may now have to fend for themselves when they were never taught how to live freely. These are some of the Haitian kids who need to be rescued from the streets. Haitian Street Kids are also a problem.

Why would Haitian judges take so long to approve some adoptions?
Haitian adoptions used to take a long time.

After CNN's Anderson Cooper broadcast the plight of Haitian children waiting for their papers to be approved, we saw what happened to their cases. Many of these kids are now living with their American parents in the US. We also saw a senator piloting his plane to pick up or rescue some Haitian children and their American caretakers.

The Netherlands sent a plane to pick Haitian kids who were being adopted by Dutch families.

"The 109 children include nine who were in the process of being adopted but have not yet been assigned Dutch parents, Mikkelsen said. Those nine will be placed in foster families until permanent parents can be found.

Fifty-six children were awaiting travel documents when the quake hit. The remaining 44 already had been matched to parents but were still waiting for a Haitian judge to approve their adoptions..."

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