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Haitian Government ***MAY*** have changed the exit requirements for children leaving the country

New readers can find the rest of my Haiti adoption content linked off this page, Introduction to the Haiti series- “It is madness. It is insane…” Bribes, Bullies, and Traffickers extract kids


Not surprisingly, events are unfolding more rapidly than I can blog. I’m breaking from my series to bring readers this potentially massive shift in policy.

Today an adoption industry trade group, the Joint Council on International Children’s Services,  (link goes to Pound Pup’s profile page) or JCICS, announced on its blog that the Haitian Government appears to have changed the exit requirements for children leaving the country. See:

Haitian Government Announces New Exit Requirement for Children

I’ll spare readers the industry rhetoric and cut to the parts that are most pertinent:

It is Joint Council’s understanding that the government of Haiti, in protecting against the inappropriate movement of children to the U.S. and other countries, has announced that the Haiti government must approve the international movement of each individual child. This includes children that are bound for the U.S., whether through the visa process or humanitarian parole.

It is also our understanding that the U.S. government is actively engaged on this issue with the Haitian government. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services, which authorizes humanitarian parole for each child, continues to process cases at the US Embassy in Port au Prince.

The new requirement of the Haitian government may cause a delay in the travel of children who qualify for a U.S. visa or humanitarian parole.

The change appears to have been sparked by the removal of kids not in any adoption process being taken to among other places the United States.

It is Joint Council’s understanding that this new requirement is in response to concerns that children who were not in the process of adoption, leaving Haiti for the U.S. and other countries.

I’m still working to verify the change in policy from other sources.

Meanwhile Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform, or PEAR,  the group primarily representing adopters and would-be-adopters, is passing along these notices.

We have consulted with DHS to get proper advice to families in process. In order to ensure the most timely and effective processing of adopted children from Haiti, prospective and adoptive parents need to be aware of the following:

1. Do not attempt to bring your child or have your child escorted to the US Embassy until you have received word from DHS that your child’s application for immigration or humanitarian parole has been approved AND you have been in contact with DHS concerning how and when your child will arrive at the Embassy. Bringing children to the embassy prior to a determination or without the fore knowledge of the Embassy may be placing your child and his or her caretaker at risk. Conditions around the Embassy are chaotic and unsafe for children. In addition, the time that Embassy personnel takes to deal with unexpected children is less time they have to process applications. In the first few week post-earthquake, the Embassy had only one person able to process applications and it was understandably frustrating and stressful for families. However, the Embassy is now working with additional staff and families are being notified about their applications for immigration visas and humanitarian parole.

2. Do not attempt to bypass or impede UNICEF’s work of document verification at the airport in Port au Prince. UNICEF is carefully checking the documents of all minors at the PaP airport to ensure that children are leaving the country legally and appropriately. Despite rumors to the contrary, UNICEF is not attempting to interfere or impede with the departure of children with legitimate immigration visas or humanitarian parole visas. UNICEF is safeguarding Haitian children from exploitation and trafficking by providing document checking services with the cooperation and full agreement of the Haitian and US governments as well as many foreign governments receiving children from Haiti. Attempts to bypass or impede the document check may result in delays and stricter processes. Please place the welfare of all Haitian children first, a few moments of inconvenience may protect Haitian children from landing in the hands of child predators and traffickers.

PEAR has been essentially reduced to begging would-be-adopters to stop trying to sidestep or interfere with UNICEF’s efforts to monitor the outflow of children.


Naturally next post in the series is on the removal of kids not in process to the United States and other countries. Barring the unforeseen, I hope to have it up later tonight.

Return to the Table of Contents of my Haiti series.

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