After months of uncertainty, the way has been cleared for U.S. families to adopt 12 Haitian children who've been living at a Roman Catholic institution near Pittsburgh since a chaotic airlift that followed the devastating earthquake in January.
The Haitian government had sent a letter formally approving the adoptions, State Department spokeswoman Rosemary Macray said Wednesday, and the children will be matched with U.S. families over the coming weeks.
Unlike some 1,100 other children flown out of Haiti to the U.S. after the quake, the children at the Holy Family Institute in Emsworth, Pa., were not part of the adoption process prior to the disaster and, according to some legal experts, shouldn't have been eligible for the emergency program. Most of them had birth parents still living.
However, Macray said those parents, who were interviewed by U.S. officials, have formally relinquished custody.
3 weeks ago