There was a White House conference call this afternoon about Haiti adoption in which members of the Administration from the Department of State, US Agency for International Development, Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives and the Public Engagement Office of the White House participated. Unfortunately, there is a large amount of government bureaucracy that is opposed to adoption as an appropriate response to the orphan crisis in Haiti. While we fervently believe all efforts should be made to keep families intact – with a crisis of this magnitude we know there are thousands upon thousands of children in need of permanent families. I would encourage you to write to firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know what you think. I’ve already drafted a short email and plan to send the following:
“I don’t think the US government is doing enough to help orphans in Haiti. The efforts to work with orphans who’ve already had their adoptions completed is commendable – but this is less than one percent of the orphans in Haiti. Adoption should be an option for children languishing in orphanages and if our government is going to be spending tens of millions of dollars to help rebuild Haiti, it should start with the premise that the most vulnerable – Haiti’s children – are given an opportunity to be raised in a family. If a family isn’t available in Haiti we shouldn’t allow borders to be barriers to these children growing up with a mom and dad.”
On a positive note, as a response to this crisis, many member of Congress, including Senator Landrieu, are further promoting the Families For Orphans Act of 2009, a bill which will establish an office in the Department of State to engage in policy formation and diplomacy to promote orphans’ need for permanent and safe families. This is legislation that our agency supports.
I’ll continue to update you regarding news pertaining to adoption from Haiti and the ability for families to adopt from that country. We have been encouraged that there have been a number of families who’ve contacted us about their interest in adoption after learning about Haiti. More information about our program can be found on our programs page.