In the wake of conditions in Haiti, many families are understandably concerned with getting their children home as quickly and efficiently as possible. PEAR has become aware that families are being given some advice that is causing delays and concerns for those attempting to bring your children home. We have consulted with DHS to get proper advice to families in process. In order to ensure the most timely and effective processing of adopted children from Haiti, prospective and adoptive parents need to be aware of the following:
1. Do not attempt to bring your child or have your child escorted to the US Embassy until you have received word from DHS that your child's application for immigration or humanitarian parole has been approved AND you have been in contact with DHS concerning how and when your child will arrive at the Embassy. Bringing children to the embassy prior to a determination or without the fore knowledge of the Embassy may be placing your child and his or her caretaker at risk. Conditions around the Embassy are chaotic and unsafe for children. In addition, the time that Embassy personnel takes to deal with unexpected children is less time they have to process applications. In the first few week post-earthquake, the Embassy had only one person able to process applications and it was understandably frustrating and stressful for families. However, the Embassy is now working with additional staff and families are being notified about their applications for immigration visas and humanitarian parole.
2. Do not attempt to bypass or impede UNICEF's work of document verification at the airport in Port au Prince. UNICEF is carefully checking the documents of all minors at the PaP airport to ensure that children are leaving the country legally and appropriately. Despite rumors to the contrary, UNICEF is not attempting to interfere or impede with the departure of children with legitimate immigration visas or humanitarian parole visas. UNICEF is safeguarding Haitian children from exploitation and trafficking by providing document checking services with the cooperation and full agreement of the Haitian and US governments as well as many foreign governments receiving children from Haiti. Attempts to bypass or impede the document check may result in delays and stricter processes. Please place the welfare of all Haitian children first, a few moments of inconvenience may protect Haitian children from landing in the hands of child predators and traffickers.
Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.