Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Canadian Immigration Minister Announces that Haitian Adoptions will be Expedited

"Ottawa expedites Haitian adoptions

as troops assess damage in Jacmel"
Jane Taber

"Canadian troops, meanwhile, have moved into Jacmel, the ancestral town of Governor-General Michaƫlle Jean, finding that between 80 and 90 per cent of it is in ruins.

This was the grim picture provided today at the federal government’s morning briefing.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced, too, that the government will expedite adoption cases.

The pictures of Haitian orphans and stories of their plight are heartbreaking; many Canadians are inquiring about adopting children and those that were close to bringing children home are understandably worried.

Mr. Kenney cautioned, however, that only adoption cases that were already in the system will be expedited.

He said that about 100 cases have been identified and his department is working to contact the families involved. Provincial authorities have also been asked to provide lists of adoptive parents to the federal government.

As well, he said, his officials are contacting the Haitian government, which has been severely compromised, to receive confirmation to bring children to Canada.

'We cannot take Haitian children away without approval of the local authorities,' he said, noting that orphans can’t be taken from Haiti at this time as relatives or parents may eventually be found...

There have been reports that orphans have already arrived in the Netherlands and the United States...
The Immigration Minister also warned Haitians hoping to seek refuge in Canada to be wary of paid immigration consultants.

'I would like to remind you that no paid immigration consultant can speed up the process and be vigilant with individual consultants,' he said."

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