March 31st, 2012
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578661_boyI have noticed a lot of interest in Haiti adoption. This is good. There is such a great need for care of orphans in this country. One of the recent comments from this blog dealt with adopting a child/children from Haiti whose parents are still living and want you to take the kid for a better life. I do not know much about this. I know that relinquishment papers can be signed in some countries but am not certain in Haiti. One of the biggest obstacles that could be  for adopting out of this situation is that the governments of both Haiti and United States are VERY careful in the wake of the 2010 devastation that occurred. I know that adoption regulations have been tightened in order to ensure the safety of the children.

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As for hiring a lawyer in the United States and Haiti, I would think that answer would be yes. Each lawyer would bring their countries laws and decrees to the table. In that regard, focusing your attention to both countries is a good idea. Keep in mind that when a child has living relatives getting the government to approve an adoption will be filled with legal red tape. This red tape could stall an adoption indefinitely and require a lot of money to correct. I would be very careful and sure of what I was doing before I proceeded down this path. I would also work with the United States government from the start to ensure that the end result would be success. If you have adopted a child from Haiti that has living parents, we would love to hear about your experiences.

Haiti adoption continues to grow. The need is very great and the media frenzy after the earthquake has benefitted this country by bringing it to the attention of the world. There are many orphan children in Haiti. They need the stability and comfort that a home brings. These children are said to have great dispositions. They adjust well to their new families and flourish when given the time and opportunity to do so. There are many blogs and literature available regarding interracial adoption. Consider reading other people’s experiences prior to starting the adoption process. Some of the experiences that they have had regarding race and hair care are interesting to read. This can expand your knowledge base and allow you to go into an adoption of an interracial child with an idea of what to expect.

Haiti is currently open for adoption. Haiti is not a Hague Convention country and does not hold to its statutes.

~Angie
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One Response to “Adopting a Child that Has Living Parents”

  1. Gretchen says:

    Most international adoptions are accomplished via the Hague Convention, which streamlines the process and gives countries a way to make it happen for orphans. Believe it or not, (those parents who have had trouble adopting through the Hague Convention may not), the Hague Convention makes things easier in many adoptions with countries where we might not otherwise know the customs or be welcome to take any one child outside of thier borders. The Hague Convention was written so that orphans could get a forever family without having to deal with all the politics that sometimes lies between countries, and while it may be difficult to adopt under the Convention, at least it’s not IMPOSSIBLE, which would be the case with many orphans around the world if their countries’ leaders decided to make politics be an integral part of the process, more so than it is under the Convention.

    However, adoption of non-orphans NEVER falls under the Hague convention, whether or not that country is a signatory to the convention. When the child is not an orphan, it makes things very different. Every country has it’s own rules, and you need to follow that country’s rules for adoption. The problem is to get a U.S. passport for your new child and bring them to the U.S.

    The U.S. government very much does not want our people to be perceived as arrogant, taking babies from people in other countries to give them what we presume is a “better” life here, just because we’re richer, or believe we have more cluture, or believe that our westernized lifestyle is better. We are very sensitive to the possibility of the birth parents coming back years later and saying we kidnapped their children (and that is not an unrealistic worry, as it seems to happen regularly). Worse, and particulalry with Hatians, we have found some couples have been accused of trafficking in Hatian children. And in this case, it may be a case of a very few people making things difficult for the many.

    When adopting a non-orphan from most countries, you can adopt the child according to the rules of that country, but bringing them back to the U.S. requires that you go through rules different, U.S. rules, to get them a passport. From time to time, like with Haiti, the U.S. government tries to streamline the process when there are an over-abundance of orphans needing to be removed from a disaster area, but this is rare, because invariably, a few years later, we’ll hear of people who claim to be birth parents, now complaining that thier children were kidnapped and brought here to become slaves.

    If you do not have the option of a streamlined process because the U.S. is trying to help adoptions from a particulalry country/disaster area, getting that child’s U.S. passport could take 3 years worth of you living with that child (usually in that country) and proving that you are it’s true parent… that the birth parent has not challenged the adoption in that entire time.

    If you want to adopt a child of living parents from another country, it is vital to get an attorney who is very familiar with adoption from that country, to help you and find out if there are any exceptions to the general rule.

    We’ve all heard of famous people who have adopted children of living parents from other countries. (and recell, from time to time, we have heard rumors of complaints by the birth parents about some of those adoptions by some famous people … our country wants to avoid exactly that). You’ll note that the people who have done that, those very famous people who want to build a rainbow family or whatever, they have first established residency (and perhaps even obtained citizenship) in England, France, or somewhere OTHER than the U.S., countries where the rules about obtaining passports may be different.

    We need to remember that as honorable as our intentions are, to take children out of poverty and give them better lives, sometimes the people in poverty do not agree with our lifestyles, and merely because we have more money does not make us better. If fact, if we dare to send money to our adoptive childrens’ birth families in the perfectly honorable intention to help make things better for them, we could be seen as paying this for the child, which is one of the definitions of trafficking in humans, (commonly known as slavery).

    And sadly, this plays into a very old and nasty stereotype about adoption, which is that the adopted children become the housekeepers, workers, (slaves) of the adoptive family. The fairy tale “Cinderella”, though about a stepfamily rather than an adoptive family, plays into this old stereotype.

    The good news (good?) is that there are so many orphans around the world that we do not usually need to worry about getting children through menas other than the Hague Convention, and when there is a disaster in a country like Haiti, which is not a signatory to the Convention, there are usually agencies who open up shop to specifically address the immediate need.

    But I would be very, VERY careful to hire an attorney who is very aware and sensitive to all of these issues, before moving forward with adopting a non-orphan, from any country.

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