Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Haiti Update

Americans frustrated by the usual lengthy wait of at least 18 months to bring their adopted children home from Haiti have been given a helping hand by the United States government.

On January 18, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and the U.S. Department of State announced a humanitarian parole policy allowing orphaned Haitian children to enter the U.S. temporarily on an case-by-case basis, to ensure that they receive the care they need. The policy applies to children who have been adopted by U.S. citizens or who have been matched to prospective adoptive parents who are U.S. citizens.

Tens of thousands of Haitian children have been orphaned by the devastation. Even before the quake, there were 380,000 orphaned children in Haiti, according the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Stirred by the plight of these children, Americans throughout the country have responded with an outpouring of offers to take them into their homes. In Pennsylvania alone, in the two days after Governor Ed Rendall brought 53 orphans from Port-au-Prince to Pittsburgh, the Allegheny Department of Human Services received 430 phone calls from people wanting to become adoptive or foster parents for them. In Philadelphia, over 300 such calls have come in to the National Adoption Center since the airlift from Haiti.

The National Adoption Center applauds those who want to open their homes and hearts to these deserving youngsters. However, we hope families keep in mind that there are other children who are also deserving of a loving family—the 130,000 children across the country in foster care waiting for permanent homes. Sixteen hundred of them are in the Delaware Valley.

For a free information packet regarding adopting children from the foster care system, call 215-735-9988, or visit the website at

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