Monday, January 18, 2010

US State Department, DHS and Haitian Gov't Working to Expedite Adoptions of Haitian Children

"U.S. works to expedite adoptions of Haitian children"
From Elise Labott, CNN

"The State Department said Monday it is working with the Department of Homeland Security and the Haitian government on processing nearly 300 cases of Americans who are waiting to adopt Haitian children.

Of those, 200 cases are being accelerated. Twenty-four of those children, whose cases 'were at the very end of the process' before the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti nearly a week ago, have departed Haiti and joined their new families after the embassy expedited processing for immigrant visas, said Michele Bond, deputy assistant secretary for American citizen services.

Department officials said Sunday that 150 children had already left Haiti, but corrected that number Monday.

Officials are reviewing every case individually to see where they are in the process, what actions have been taken in the case and whether the case can be accelerated, Bond said. The department said it will be announcing an adoption plan with travel specifics shortly.

If an American adoption case was early in the process, there is no guarantee of an accelerated adoption, Bond said. Examples of being early in the process would be if prospective parents have not been properly vetted; have not been matched with a specific child; or have been matched with a child but the Haitian government is still attempting to prove absolutely the child is an orphan. The State Department is working with DHS to examine the documents in each case and show some flexibility, but this also requires the agreement of the Haitian government, she said...

If a family is in the process of adopting from Haiti and wants information, family members can send an e-mail to askci@state.gov."
Read the full article: http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/01/18/haiti.us.orphans/index.html?hpt=T2

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