Saturday, January 16, 2010

More on Haiti and Adoption

Child Trafficking Major Concern After Quake, so it is important to get unaccompanied children into "safe zones," says UNICEF.

73adoptee has collected many cautionary blog posts about Haiti and the adoption response, including posts with great information about the baby airlift from Cuba in the 1960s, called Operation Pedro Pan, and those calling for an Operation Pierre Pan from Haiti.

Quebec Department of International Adoption (via Google Translate) adds its caution to the statement from the U.S. State Department about seeking to adopt children affected by conflict or natural disaster -- including a reminder that children without parents present are "unaccompanied minors," not necessarily "orphans."

From SOS Children's Villages, Earthquake Orphan Appeal: Do Not Adopt Earthquake Orphans, asking some great questions:
When you see any child who has lost their family on the news, your natural instinct is to want to go and pick them up and cherish them. You should not feel guilty about this instinct, it is part of being human and most of us share it. There is also a deep wisdom in this reaction about the need for a proper long term solution for the child not just one day's hot meal. However before taking steps toward trying to adopt a tsunami [sic] child, you should stop and think:

1) Is you adopting them the best solution for the child? A child who has started growing up in a community and their lost parents still has some inner security from knowing their environment, knowing other adults, familiar weather, the sound of local language or accents and their general surrounding (even smells, humidity and temperature). You may feel you can offer the most caring environment in the world, but it may not be the one where the child feels most secure.

2) Is this approach cost effective? Caring for children locally in the long term is much cheaper than uprooting them and bringing them over for adoption. . . .

3) Can you know that the child really has no-one? . . .

4) Are many of us really up to it? . . .
FYI, SOS Children's Villages already has a village in Haiti, has worked there since 1978, and has emergency sponsorships of quake orphans in Haiti.

Dawn at Creating a Family has a list of adoption agencies and aid agencies in Haiti doing emergency relief work with orphans and orphanages.

1 comment:

triona said...

Thanks for the mention, Malinda. I am very concerned about this situation from the adoption perspective. I'm glad you've provided resources people can explore to find other ways to help these children and the people of Haiti.