NYTimes: After Haiti Quake, the Chaos of U.S. Adoptions
Excerpts from this article tell it all:
On Jan. 12, a devastating earthquake toppled Haiti’s capital and set off an international adoption bonanza in which some safeguards meant to protect children were ignored.
Leading the way was the Obama administration, which responded to the crisis, and to the pleas of prospective adoptive parents and the lawmakers assisting them, by lifting visa requirements for children in the process of being adopted by Americans.
Although initially planned as a short-term, small-scale evacuation, the rescue effort quickly evolved into a baby lift unlike anything since the Vietnam War. It went on for months; fell briefly under the cloud of scandal involving 10 Baptist missionaries who improperly took custody of 33 children; ignited tensions between the United States and child protection organizations; and swept up about 1,150 Haitian children, more than were adopted by American families in the previous three years, according to interviews with government officials, adoption agencies and child advocacy groups.
Under a sparingly used immigration program, called humanitarian parole, adoptions were expedited regardless of whether children were in peril, and without the screening required to make sure they had not been improperly separated from their relatives or placed in homes that could not adequately care for them.
Some Haitian orphanages were nearly emptied, even though they had not been affected by the quake or licensed to handle adoptions. Children were released without legal documents showing they were orphans and without regard for evidence suggesting fraud. In at least one case, two siblings were evacuated even though American authorities had determined through DNA tests that the man who had given them to an orphanage was not a relative.
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.
Dozens of children, approaching the age of 16 or older, are too old to win legal permanent status as adoptees, prompting lawmakers in Congress to consider raising the age limit to 18.
Meanwhile, other children face years of legal limbo because they have arrived with so little proof of who they are, how they got here and why they have been placed for adoption that state courts are balking at completing their adoptions.
All I can say is THANK GOD for the white man adopting all them colored babies. The white man’s burden sure hasn’t gotten any easier after all these years. When will the world finally understand.
Read the entire article here one the New York Times website.