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Haitian child trafficking to the Dominican Republic- “the trafficking of minors has skyrocketed”

The Miami Herald has done an important investigative series concerning the ease with which Haitian children have been smuggled across the border into the Dominican Republic in the wake of the earthquake.

While the reports focus on the porous border in terms of child trafficking for purposes of house slave or shoe shine boy labor, begging, or prostitution, once the kids have been taken across the border and simply have no documentation, they can be moved essentially at will.

Be certain to see the videos that go with the reports.

Adoption-wise of course it will be very interesting/potentially heartbreaking to see how this plays out.

To date the Dominican Republic has seen very few American adoptions, only 181 since 1999. The highest number in a single year was 25 adoptions in 2007.

See the U.S. State Department Dominican Republic adoptions page-

Statisitcs about adoption from $country_sm

The 2010 numbers should be in line, if they’re not, a close examination would be in order.

The Dominican Republic is a Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption signatory nation so the convention forms the framework under which adoptions take place. But as I’ve written previously, the Hague Convention does little if anything to prevent trafficking, and the Council on Accreditation, the non-profit regulatory duties have been outsourced to not only has a fundamental conflict of interest, but is utterly toothless and ill equipped to investigate much of anything.

One thing that may actually be serving to keep Dominican Republic adoption numbers down is that it is a nation with a residency requirement for would-be-adopters.

This of course, was the underlying rationale behind Laura Silby’s New Life Children’s Refuge planned revamp of the hotel into “Seaside Villas at Playa Magante” as an adoption tourism destination.

All of which certainly raises the question of just how connected to child traffickers Silsby and the New Lifers were at the time.

Their association with Jorge Torres/Jorge Puello has always left the door open to those unanswered questions. (See both my previous posts on Puello and Marley Greiner’s posts pertaining to him on her End Child Exportation and Trafficking in Haiti blog.)

Time will tell whether other such “villas” for would-be-adopters sprout in the Dominican Republic or not.

Beyond the idea of the Dominican Republic as a potential adoption destination, though, lies the much more difficult question; what happens if/when paperfree children are exported from the Domincan Republic and end up somewhere else, now remarketed as “orphans” for adoption from a more hospitable “sending country” without strict residency requirements?

When a pool of children this bought and sold and paperfree becomes available, where do they turn up next?

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