America World Adoption’s Haiti Program Staff, along with colleagues from other adoption agencies, participated in a conference call hosted by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues and U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) to discuss the process of Haiti transitioning to the Hague Adoption Process beginning April 1, 2014.
A delegation from the U.S. Department of State and USCIS visited Haiti to meet with Haitian adoption authorities two weeks ago. During their trip, the U.S. government met with UNICEF, officials from the French Embassy and the officials at IBESR.
During the call, it was announced that the U.S. government expects to confirm the Haitian Adoption Authority as compliant with Hague adoption standards and that they expect US Consular offices to approve I-800A applications beginning in April. U.S. officials stated that they were impressed by the work of the IBESR in working with the Hague Permanent Bureau to prepare for their transition to the Hague Convention for Adoption.
Additionally, it was also announced that the U.S. government officials worked with Haitian adoption authorities to create a plan for transition cases – cases that are currently in process/pending. The U.S. government considers a case a “transition case” if the prospective adoptive parents have filed form I-600A by April 1, 2014. IBESR preliminarily indicated that they would agree to these transition cases, noting however, that they would not want to have transition cases extend beyond two years (April 1, 2016).
Finally, it was announced that the U.S. Department of State, USCIS and Haitian adoption authorities have formed a working group to continue to evaluate and improve their working relationship. As we gain more information on any changes in procedures or processes, we will let you know as soon as possible.