In ten days

The New York Times: After Haiti Quake, the Chaos of U.S. Adoptions

The “chaos”?  Fraud, deception, under/unprepared prospective adoptive parents, lack of documentation, etc.  The article talks about “good intentions.”

Senator Mary L. Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat and adoptive mother, has been a champion of the cause and pushed administration officials to help bring Haitian children here after the quake. “I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if there are some errors that were made,” Senator Landrieu said in an interview about the rescue effort, “but you want to err on the side of keeping children safe.”

So what does erring on the side of the children mean?  Not feeding and clothing them in their country of birth.  Because of course if my family were to suffer a huge natural catastrophe, I would want somebody to take my children away from me without consent and give them to anybody willing to take them.

The article highlights one U.S. family who sought to adopt two Haitian teens.  The adoption petition was denied when the biological father refused to relinquish custody.  The earthquake hit, and suddenly the teens were being sent to Minnesota, a state that is probably more than 90 percent white.

Another family is adopting three children (ages 2, 1 and 1) from at least two different biological families; the adoptive mother is also pregnant. Who approves these homestudies?  What kind of child-centered adoption professional believes it is in three small children’s best interest to be placed with first-time parents when the prospective mother is also pregnant?  (Shades of Anita Tedaldi!)  Throw in trauma, adoption issues, relocation, special needs and transracial adoption on top of that.

And apparently many of the other families were unprepared for adoption:

In other cases, children were given to families who had not been screened or to families who no longer wanted them.

The results are playing out across the country. At least 12 children, brought here without being formally matched with new families, have spent months in a Pennsylvania juvenile care center while Red Cross officials try to determine their fate. An unknown number of children whose prospective parents have backed out of their adoptions are in foster care. While the authorities said they knew of only a handful of such cases, adoption agents said they had heard about as many as 20, including that of an 8-year-old girl who was bounced from an orphanage in Haiti to a home in Ithaca, N.Y., to a juvenile care center in Queens after the psychologist who had petitioned to adopt her decided she could not raise a young child.

The USCIS stated on April 7 that more than 1,000 “orphans” were approved for humanitarian parole, and it was estimated that 200 more would be approved.  (Source: USCIS Special Humanitarian Parole Program for Haitian Orphans Fact Sheet.)  This is in contrast to the 16 humanitarian parole requests granted to Haitian citizens between 2002 and 2007.

“God got done in 10 days,” Mr. Stroot said, “something human beings couldn’t do in years.”

3 thoughts on “In ten days

  1. Home studies are a joke. Talk to me for 1/2 an hour and all of a sudden you know all about me? Here’s your check for $2,500. Please. It’s all about being in the right tax bracket. They don’t really care much more past that.

  2. Guardianship would have been a much better solution in some of these cases, and it burns me up that some of those kids are displaced again by fools who disrupt.

  3. I have to disagree with Melanie on her opinion that “home studies are a joke”. Part of the home study process is background checks on the PA parents to ensure the safety of the child(ren). You can not argue that this is not an important process. Also, there is educational components to prepare the PA parents for the issues that could arise from the adoption, such as attachment issues. People can certainly treat the educational portion of the homestudy as if it were “a joke”, but that does not make the educational component “a joke”. There is also something to be said for the length of time it typically takes to internationally adopt, it gives the PA parents enough time to ensure that this is exactly what they want to do. This is not a decision to make lightly, as this article speaks to.

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