22
Jan
10

On air: Would you adopt a child from Haiti?

This little boy has just touched down in the Netherlands, his new home. It’s worlds apart from the wreckage he has left behind – Haiti.

 It’s a common story right now. The US, France and Canada  have already sped up their adoption processes but people are divided.

Here’s a round up of the rights and wrongs of adopting during a disaster.

Yesterday Clamdip on our blog posted:
Rather than ripping children away from their homeland, culture and language couldn’t wealthier nations adopt 15,000 children apiece and build structurally sound schools and communities to house ,clothe and feed them in Haiti? ….If the adopting nation tracks the children’s education and well being for the next 20 years or so, these children will become the next crop of doctors, lawyers, police and teachers. And God knows Haiti will need these children’s skills in the future.

Do you agree that Haiti needs its children to rebuild the nation?

Jasmine Whitbread, Save the Children’s Chief Executive shares her concerns

” Taking children out of the country would permanently separate thousands of children from their families – a separation that would compound the acute trauma they are already suffering and inflict long-term damage on their chances of recovery.”

But Dixie Bickel, who we’ve been speaking to during the crisis hopes that adoptions can ease the pressure on orphanages like hers.
“There are millions of orphans in the world and we can’t look after all of them. So I cannot possibly condemn the opportunity for some of these to go to a loving home.”

Mirah Riben believes a tragedy is being exploited – something she’s seen before.

What was already a shocking situation for Haiti’s children, is now a lot worse. So does disaster justify fastracking the adoption process? Or should fears of slips ups make the process even more vigorous?

Have a read of Melanie Reid who’s all in favour of Haiti’s orphans being adopted.
‘This is not the time to allow instinct to be bureaucratised, nor suspicion to temper good intentions, nor childless couples to be treated as quasi-child abusers. It’s time, instead, to be as heroic as the orphans themselves.’

Should we encourage more people to adopt children from Haiti at this time of crisis?


99 Responses to “On air: Would you adopt a child from Haiti?”


  1. 1 Dennis Junior
    January 22, 2010 at 11:15

    I would not adopt a child from Haiti…I agreed with the bloggers that remarked they need their cultural identity……

    -Dennis Junior-

    • 2 Sylvester Christian
      January 22, 2010 at 16:34

      Respectfully, for Dennis Junior to raise the issue of “cultural identity” as the reason for not adopting the displaced orphans in Haiti is rather chilling and insensitive in my view. I do not wish for my comments to ignite a heated exchange, but to create an open balance discussion for a better good. Should the Orphans be left abandoned, isolated, and neglected in the hopes that AID assistance would help them survive this catastrophic event that has paralyzed their lives? I do not think so. it is a narrow misguided position to take that lacks human sensitivity and compassion. Cultural identity should not be confined and buried within the four corners of a country’s landscape. it is universal and give us the unique opportunity & prospective to learn, develop, and grow as a human race. We learn best by the cultural differences we share; it allows us to see the richness in ourselves by the cultural differences we share living in the same space.. Our cultural differences are the greatest gift bestowed by the Almighty GOD. The AID Agencies have a personal agenda to dis-agree. For one, it would severely restrict their ability to solicit massive AID assistance, which often end up in balloned over-head budgets with little impact to make a difference to those affected. I support international adoption..
      Thank you,
      Sylvester

    • January 27, 2010 at 02:10

      To adopt a child from haiti is good, but why can’t we all help them to rebuild their lives in their country. Nothing would give me more joy than to have one of them with me ,knowing that our 300years of seperation has come to an end. I will call the child Omowale, Omotajobo. mean, the child as come back home, and our child has return from her/his journey..

  2. 4 Dennis Junior
    January 22, 2010 at 11:18

    .Should we encourage more people to adopt children from Haiti at this time of crisis?..

    Yes, but, allowing unfeddered excess to the children from Haiti will
    lead to not full screening of parents…

    And, then giving children in a vulnerable state; if the parents have misdeeds in the thoughts concerning child abuse or even worse….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  3. 5 Penny Campbell
    January 22, 2010 at 12:01

    Why do you always get people exploiting other people misery for their own selfish ends? Whilst we have a responsibility to assist these people as best we can, removing a child who has already been traumatised to a foreign culture away from family and friends can only be compounding the mental and physical damage that they have suffered.

    They must be helped in their own country, it’s as simple as that.

  4. 6 piscator
    January 22, 2010 at 12:07

    People always have very positive responses to mass disasters, that they never seem to have for on going tragedies. It is the way we are built. Our animal altruism leads us to want to hug children in distress – it’s good. However the experience and rational side of our brains must make us consider carefully how we respond. These adoption things always look like kidnapping, as did the US Vietnamese orphan spectacle in the 1970’s.

    My response would be to get in massive aid urgently, to be given direct to the people until the supply links from the very productive agricultural economy comes back to normal. Also to provide shelter for the displaced people including the children until the situation clarifies in a week or two.

    I see that an all singing and dancing World wide tin rattle is being organised for Haiti, and its orphans. It will be really interesting to see how they equitably distribute the cash amongst the people affected by the earthquake, when they cannot even fairly distribute the abundance of food already sent.

    Do the World more good. This weekend go and hug a lonely aged relative.

  5. 7 Chilufya
    January 22, 2010 at 12:31

    Well there are pro’s and con’s as there are with any situation.

    The pro’s are the child will be in a secure home and away from the present danger of earth tremors. They will have access to food and shelter and families that love them.

    However, the con’s are that out there not everyone is loving and nurturing, these children my end up being in abusive homes.

    Secondly they will lose their culture as the others have mentioned but this happens anyway due to increasing globalisation. For instance I dont speak any local language fluently even though I live in my natvie country Zambia.

    The most significant risk I think is the chance that the parents of these children are still alive but have not been found due to the wide-spread chaos in the aftermath of the quake. It is really a sad thing to have your child taken away without your consent, whether or not they are in a better place. I heard a story on the BBC a month or two ago about a couple whose kids were given up for adoption. They were really very distraught about it and I can sympathise.

    So, in this light I believe a grace period should be set during which parents and gaurdians of children should be located. This should be after some form of calm has returned to Haiti. If they are not reunited with their children during this set time the children can be given for adoption.

    But then again this is an extreme situation which calls for quick action… however the consequences of those actions will be long lasting…

  6. 8 Idris Dangalan
    January 22, 2010 at 12:55

    Adoption is an easy word to pronounced but difficult to act, I see it in two directions, one are they going to adopt new climate and environment changes without any harm on them? if yes, what of cultural, tr aditional and social life? Two religion aspect which is very-very sentitive issue and educational background of where? Such children were taking to. In my opion care must be taken on people coming to claims on adoption of Haitian children because of what world called human-trafficking,especially girls

  7. 9 robin rattansingh
    January 22, 2010 at 13:13

    is to benefit the foster parents or the adopted child?

  8. 11 scmehta
    January 22, 2010 at 13:51

    I think, sponsoring by the people and bodies/clubs/businesses, who can afford it, will be a better choice; they can arrange for various schools/orphanages to take care of the ill-fated children. But, yes of course, those who wish to adopt compassionately and seriously should be welcome; the only risk might be of the kids being exploited/abused by some anti-social/criminal elements (posing as adopters).

  9. 12 dan
    January 22, 2010 at 13:55

    Cultural Identity !!??
    What a joke. What cultural identity does a dead child have?
    It is this libearl claptrap that is so annoying.
    Haiti, the people and especially the children are in dire straights and all liberals can think of is Cultural Identity.
    The nations that are opening up their doors and hearts to these people have a wonderful “Cultural Identity” but liberals want the children to wallow in filth and disease so that their “Cultural Identity” is preserved.
    It is enough to make one puke.

    • 13 Gary Paudler
      January 22, 2010 at 16:47

      I am as liberal as they get, and I think that cultural identity is very unimportant, especially if a child leaves behind a culture of deprivation, corruption, starvation, disease and neglect, so I don’t know how Dan conflates what some might consider legitimate concerns with an ideological agenda. If a child has a family who can care for her, then she won’t be available for adoption. If not, then adoption into a loving home outside Haiti is absolutely reasonable. Yes, I would adopt a Haitian orphan.

  10. 14 patti in cape coral
    January 22, 2010 at 13:55

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with adopting children from other countries per se, but I don’t think people should be rushing to adopt children from Haiti just yet. I think the adoptions that were already underway and were just waiting for red tape should go through. I think that prospective parents should be screened carefully, and that always takes time, and it’s very easy to take shortcuts during a crisis. That would cause more heartbreak in the long run. Would I adopt a Haitian child? Yes I would, but I probably would not qualify financially.

  11. 15 Dinka Aliap Chawul,Rumbek-Southern Sudan
    January 22, 2010 at 14:11

    Hi! Everyone there,

    Adopting a child from Haiti is not my or anyone business.It’s a sole onus of the Haiti government whether to allows adoption rights in their country.

    If i were of that great,i’d rather send my helps through NGOs for the sake of the sufferers.

  12. 16 gary indiana
    January 22, 2010 at 14:39

    No, I would not. I believe out-of-culture adoptions are problematic at best and ones accomplished during times of crisis are more likely to be so.
    g

  13. January 22, 2010 at 14:44

    I think these guys are better off in an adopted home (with the ‘donor’ nation of Haiti keeping a close eye on how they fare in their foster homes), rather than let them rot in the dens and slums of Port-au Prince. I have no gripe with this exodus into the diaspora.

  14. 18 Eric in France
    January 22, 2010 at 14:44

    Hello everybody,

    I found the step from the french president (for what I am concerned of) so shocking. Indeed, I will qualify it of populist and with electoral intents as the country goes to some election within a few months.

    Adopting a child from Haiti has nothing wrong when considering the circumstances, but my basic question is: how can a couple (I presume!) be qualified within a week to adopt a child when it generally takes several months (when not years)?

    Consequently, why not loosening the whole process? Bare in mind that these kids might even have more psychological problems then a local one, issues for which parents might not be prepared. So, making the process quicker can create strong issues for the community in months or years from now. It is not to mention that the french social system is under severe constrains with the crisis.

    That is why I feel that the french decision is not an altruist one, but one with political reach behind it. M. Kouchtner, a founder of MSF (doctors w/o borders), should know as the NGO spokeman said recently that the trauma will ease better if the children are kept locally. Is the president not listening?

    I think it will be much more helpful and effective to foster the aid through either NGO or governments/UN. Such adoption initiatives help the few when the many are in need.

    Good day to you all and good luck to those children.

  15. 19 Jagjit Singh Mukandpuri
    January 22, 2010 at 15:12

    Those who has no issue and they are thinking to adopt a child, it is right time and thing that they adopt any child who lost his parents. Both will get.

  16. 20 guykaks
    January 22, 2010 at 15:43

    I welcome the idea of giving the Haitians children another life after this sorrowful disaster.Who cares about culture?we can give this children homes and teach them culture in future..But on the contrary, it should not be used to be a loophole of slave trade for the opulent and the child-traffickers.

  17. January 22, 2010 at 15:47

    I think that those kids should be adopted as it’s the only reasonable thing to do as of now.However, as those kids grow up they should be given full disclosure of events that led to their adoption.This will enable them decide whether to go back or not and chances are;they will go back home as it is always the best.Failure to give this information will mean that the adoptors had ill motives and to me this will constitute child trafficking disguised as adoption.

  18. 22 Malc Dow
    January 22, 2010 at 15:58

    Why not just adopt Haiti?

  19. 23 julie
    January 22, 2010 at 16:02

    Yes, I would love to adopt a hatian child. I have two daughters from my first marriage, one is a senior in high school and the other in middle school, I am remarried and we would like to adopt a child from haiti but I don’t think we would qualify because like so many Americans, we are feeling the economy crunch

    TN

  20. 24 Rob Netherlands
    January 22, 2010 at 16:17

    Hi all,

    Very tuff question. Let me start by telling I’m adopted myself. Im born in Indonesia and been adopted by my dutch parents. I know that they had to go through a lot of agencies and were screened fully on capabiltiy to actually raise a kid. And as lucky I am they were. To answer the question if its good to adopt children from Haiti at this point …. I really don’t know. It all comes down to me as a media spectacal and people are adopting these kids now out of pitty and the wrong reasons. We are still talking about human life and beings. For adopting a kid you need to be sure you can give the child a good life, support it for life and be really sure you want this from the heart and not out of the current situation with thought to save it. So its my opinion an aduquate screening should be in place to assure the life and future of the child.

    And I really do not like the media spectacal around this subject, it feels like a market. Its not a Chrismas present you getting, its not something you can buy in the shop.

    Let us help rebuild, let us help to create a good enviremont for future kids to live in.

    Rob

  21. January 22, 2010 at 16:20

    At this critical juncture, children who have lost their parents in this tragedy should be cared for. If loving homes cannot be found in Haiti, the best option would be for these children to be accomodated in homes outside the country. They should be treated with all the love in the world as they would have gone through an agonizing time losing their parents. Getting them into a rhythm of love, affection and education would be the therapeutic answer to their plight. Chilren are normally able to bounce back given proper education, nourishment and care. They should not be allowed to suffer. The earthquake and the aftermath, the tragedy and suffering of losing their parents would have given them indelible scars. Let us give these fragile beings another chance in life!

  22. 26 audre
    January 22, 2010 at 16:28

    Good question!

    If I were going to adopt a child, I would choose a Haitian right now. But I would not be persuaded to adopt because of present circumstances. That can only lead to problems in the future. Better to ensure that they get the help that they need to stay in their country.

  23. 27 Mountain Adam, Portland, Oregon USA
    January 22, 2010 at 16:29

    It’s a bit difficult in a few words to discuss a complicated topic like this. To summarize yes it is something I would consider.

  24. 28 dan
    January 22, 2010 at 16:38

    Certainly I would adopt a child from Haiti, especially an orphan.

    There are always the bleeding hear liberals that cry out about cultural identity or that we should build schools or we should take the children of Haiti to a foreign country then return them to be the rebuilders of Haiti.
    Believeing in nature over nurture they treat these children like chattle and it smacks of racism.
    It boggles the mind that liberal know what is best for others but apply nothing to themselves.
    They ignore the total devastation of Haiti and blame the West for not throwing more money at Haiti. “Build schools, build hospitals etc etc” and they think all will be OK and the liberals then walk away on to their next windmill to tilt at now that Global Warming is off the table.
    Haiti as a country may no longer exist or may not exist in any substantive fashion for some time to come. No amount of money will change that but I guess that is too complicated for liberals to understand.

    Job #1 in Haiti is saving the people and especially the children who haven’t the life experiences to mentally cope with a disaster on the scale never seen before in modern times……but lets build schools and hospitals to sove the problem. One can just puke!!

  25. 29 T
    January 22, 2010 at 16:44

    Adpoting is ok IF you can deal with various problems (ranging from PTSD to a terrified little kid in a new environment and more).

    How many well-meaning people know the different types of dissociating? How many know what lucid dreams are (vs. real dreams)? Do they know that in the States PTSD is a “pre-existing condition”? Which means that your new son/daughter can’t have health coverage? How will you cope with that?

  26. 30 Rob C
    January 22, 2010 at 16:45

    I’ll go you one better and ask if you would sponsor a broken Haitian family to emmigrate to your own country ?

  27. 31 Jerry L
    January 22, 2010 at 16:48

    Haiti is a tragedy for sure. Even more, it is unfortunately a prime example of a shortcoming of the human species; that is overpopulating your supporting ecosystem. Migration is no longer an option.
    So, NO, I would not adopt a Haitian child or not.

  28. 32 T
    January 22, 2010 at 16:49

    Now reverse this. Imagine if this earthquake had happened somewhere in the States. And it was necessary to adopt American kids. How many people would do that?

  29. 33 Nigel
    January 22, 2010 at 16:53

    Considering the shambles and lack of government in Haiti at the present time, how on earth could this adoption have been done legally and within the frame work of Haitian law which is not functioning. Maybe this adoption was done before the earthquake for other reasons and is not an example of love and compassion for the less fortunate.

  30. 34 Tom K in Mpls
    January 22, 2010 at 16:57

    Why would were the child comes from make any difference? Cultural diversification and identity are equally import, therefore a non factor. Needy children are found in every country, again, a non factor. Unless you are supporting a personal bias for some reason, another non factor. The press Haiti bandwagon? I think the issue has been identified.

  31. January 22, 2010 at 16:58

    No, in the current circumstances in Haiti, where it is impossible to assess whether children who have lost parents could be welcomed by their wider family, it is severely damaging for the people of Haiti who have already so greatly suffered. Indeed international guidelines adopted by the UN General Assembly last year exist to this effect (Guidelines on Alternative Care of Children – http://www.sos-childrensvillages.org/Focus-areas/Children-and-family/Family-based-child-care/Documents/SOSpublication-Guidelines-AlternativeCare.pdf)

    The NGO for whom I work, ATD Fourth World, has worked in Haiti since 1981 and is today working with, and living alongside, the Haitian people to face the struggles for basic survival and slowly rebuild their lives. Our colleagues there tell us, ““We’ve been burying the dead, clearing the rubble. Local merchants are packaging their food in smaller quantities so that even with just a tiny bit of money in their pockets, people can afford to eat. Children from our pre-school program run to meet us, they’re so happy to see us. In the heart of this destruction, they continue to come together to sing and hear stories, to look at books and to draw.”

    We must remember that the Haitians are victims of a terrible tragedy, but they are not helpless. What they call for is international solidarity to help them to recover. As the Haitian writer, Dany Laferrière recently observed, “After the earthquake, what saved this city was the energy of the poorest people. Thanks to them, Port-au-Prince is still alive.”

  32. 36 Alan in Arizona
    January 22, 2010 at 17:00

    If my wife and I were younger, we would probably consider adopting if we still had young kids in the house to help the child adjust.

    But I’ll be honest, We would raise the child as an American who is just a another child in our family. As that child grew, we would gladly help she/he learn and understand their past, heritage as a Haitian. If they desired it. But we would not change any aspect of our lives to cater to the child’s past, with the exception of their religious needs if they are old enough to have any.

  33. January 22, 2010 at 17:01

    This politically correct pandering to a backward peoples culture is utter nonsense. It is far better that if people in the “Civilised” world and who reside in safe environment who want to adopt a child and bring them up with the advantages of a modern society be allowed and encouraged to do so.
    It should however take place after exhaustive tests to ensure that they really are orphans with no relatives to bring them up in their own country. These agencies who argue against this should try putting the childs best interests first for a change.

  34. 38 Mefehnja Tatcheu
    January 22, 2010 at 17:10

    In a country, devastated in such a way I think the best thing that can be done atleast in this monent is help or better still co-ordination. Rather unfortunate that despite the pledges and help that governments, popstars, sports icons are giving alot of people still don’t get neither health assistants or food! And I hear that Haiti has the highest amount of NGOs in the world.
    Oops out of topic someone will say. I’ll prefer distant adoption for the moment until thinks calm down.

  35. 39 Fazeela from Trinidad
    January 22, 2010 at 17:17

    An emotional response would be, yes, I would like to adopt a child from Haiti. Realistically, it’s not possible. In the rush to send the Haitians orphans to families abroad I do hope there are measures to ensure that these children are adopted by kind, caring people and not child abusers, paedophiles etc. This is a real concern.
    In Trinidad, I’ve not heard anyone talk about adoption of Haitian orphans. However, if/when it’s possible I would like to support a child Haiti by sending funds through a reputable agency to look after his/her needs – food, clothes, education.
    It would be interesting to connect with some of these adoptive families after 6months to a year to inquire about the welfare of these children.
    I must say, I do admire the families who have opened their hearts and homes to these unfortunate children. May God bless them.

  36. 40 Mesi
    January 22, 2010 at 17:20

    I think that I would not adopt a child from Haiti, but if I could, either financially, either by my work, I would support institutional mechanisms so to strengthen the safety of the orphan children… and not only. I would also support partial adoption, that is I would adopt a child by sustaining the orphan financially and morally of course, but leaving the child in his or her stable environment, where cultural and linguistic conditions remain the same.

    Institutional schemes need to be indeed strengthened. It is comforting that to see good examples in my region too, I would just mention here two foundations that have been supporting around 2000 – 2200 children, some of them with unimaginable background. One child, one life, one story…is worth all the effort and is above all.

    International community should take much more seriously child safety and the rights of the children. Hope that one day I can do something in this sense.

  37. 41 patti in cape coral
    January 22, 2010 at 17:27

    @ T–I would be willing to adopt an American child as well, either North America or South America. The US has a notoriously difficult adoption process, though, which I think is the reason so many people opt for foreign adoptions. If I’m understanding your question, what you’re asking is if foreigners would be willing to adopt American children in need. I can’t answer for them, but their behavior would not influence how I felt about children in need from anywhere in the world, one way or another.

  38. 42 John in Salem
    January 22, 2010 at 17:27

    So you want to adopt a child?
    How about starting first with the 125,000 children currently in foster care and available for adoption in the U.S.?

    • 43 Andrew
      January 24, 2010 at 13:55

      Touche! Charity begins at home and we have enough problems of our own to sort out

      Give it 3 weeks and Haiti will be a distant memory and Bono will be ranting about something else. Maybe if evey newscaster under the sun hadn’t gone to “report” they would have had more resources for the people that count

  39. 44 nora
    January 22, 2010 at 17:33

    Child traffic for sex, slavery and illegal adoption fees was already a problem in Haiti. This last week,15 children have been taken from hospitals by those other than their parents and social workers fear for them. Those are just the documented cases.

    Haitians who lost children and Haitian who lost parent should be helped to find each ther before we ship their babies out.

    I remember ‘Baby Lift’ in 1975 when Viet Namese babies were loaded onto a plane with a few nurses and brought to the US in the last days of the US retreat from Saigon. Mothers and children searched for each other for years, some with no luck.

  40. 45 Hollusegn hadhayshinah
    January 22, 2010 at 17:37

    With the situation of things now in Haiti, the occupants most especially the children are prone to contact a deadly disease. It would have been a wise decision to adopt a child from Haiti but i wouldn’t do such because of any future occurrence of racial problem. I would rather suggest that the occupants in Haiti should move to a close neighborhood like Dominican Republic to remain there for period of time while their country would be under construction.

  41. 46 Archibald in Oregon
    January 22, 2010 at 17:46

    If I was not already expecting a child, I would certainly adopt a Haitian child or any other child for that matter.

    @ Dan
    This is not a partisan bash blog and your continued assertion of such biased perspectives only detracts from the discussion. Some of your points are quite valid, up until the diatribes about liberals, derailing whatever was worth reading. I just puked……

  42. 47 nora
    January 22, 2010 at 17:48

    As the grandmother of a Jamaican American, I find the question queasy. You are not asking “would you adopt an orphaned earthquake victim?” or “would you adopt a girl fleeing from sex traffic?” So are you asking if Caribbean people are more or less adoptable than others?

  43. 48 Billy Wachakana in Kenya
    January 22, 2010 at 17:51

    most people in africa form NGOs in the name of saving childrens from streets. let them show the world how compassionate they are bu adopting haitian kids. those who are rich should also follow suit plus celebrities who always shout in media houses that they love kids.

  44. 49 Anthony
    January 22, 2010 at 17:53

    It depends how old the child was. I would have to rewire his way of thinking, so if he was too old for this, then no way. If it was a toddler and I was financially set, then yes.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  45. 50 eSCe
    January 22, 2010 at 17:58

    Jennif ‘s name is American but she is Chinese. She lives in a small town is a mostly white area. With China bashing a common preoccupation, she felt her Chinese looks is a curse. Her contemporaries in China were nationalistic and proudly waved the national flag during the national day celebration. Cross cultural adoption has a nasty side. Read about Barbie the sexy doll and theHaiti girl . http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10022/1030242-153.stm

  46. 51 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    January 22, 2010 at 17:59

    The question of adoption is a short-term remedy for a few that in the end does nothing to aid the society in which the children were orphaned.

    As to the question of “cultural identity:” I presonally know that this is a non-issue. I have American Jewish friends who adopted a Chinese girl, and Swiss friends who adopted four Ethiopian children, all with excellent results. My own adoptive brother, of Irish extraction, adopted three Hispanic kids and when he died they were inconsolable. A Swiss cousin adopted a Korean boy…. the list goes on. Successful adoption is a question of nurture, and the idea that it does the child harm to be adopted outside his or her original culture is nonsense.

  47. 52 Grayham
    January 22, 2010 at 18:13

    Look after children from Haiti, but not adopt.
    These children are the future of their country, when they grow up they will be useful citizens of Haiti, able to bring the country back from the chaos it is in now. So, bring the children over, look after them, nurture them, educate them but make sure they go back to help their country recover when they are able to.

    • 53 patti in cape coral
      January 22, 2010 at 18:27

      “So, bring the children over, look after them, nurture them, educate them but make sure they go back to help their country recover when they are able to.”

      After being looked after, nutured, educated, and LOVED, they would have to leave the country and family they have come to care for?

  48. 54 nora
    January 22, 2010 at 18:18

    These are not puppies, they are human beings. The challenge seems to be keeping Haitian adults in the loop when the traditional empires suddenly pay attention in a disaster.

  49. 55 clamdip
    January 22, 2010 at 18:42

    Most people feel strongly that they are improving the conditions of a child’s life through adoption but you have to consider the best needs of the child. I think its very difficult for a child to be suddenly extricated from his culture and way of life, There is a huge adjustment process that needs to take place but nobody really understands it because the young children aren’t speaking about it and /or the adopting family doesn’t speak the language. These children have made lasting connections to their caretakers and environment that few people are taking into consideration. If there was a concerted effort to support orphans in their homeland by adopting nations they could improve the life of Haiti’s children and many others in a very big way. If all of Hait’is 400,000 orphans were supported for the next 20 years or so then received a paid room and board scholarship to universities by the hosting nation and these grown up children then returned to Haiti as professionals, imagine how helpful they could be. Most adopting families do not have the financial resources to give children a great future but a wealthier nation does have the ability to give these children a very good life and education in their homeland.

  50. 56 Eileen in Virginia
    January 22, 2010 at 18:52

    Sponsorship of the children would be better than removing them from their own country. Homes, schools and health care is best provided locally given financial support from well wishers.

    I sponsored a child in Chile for twenty years, growing up in an SOS Children’s Village. She received education to the level of her potential, and lived in the village hostel for older children until she was working and independent. This is an international charity (founded in Austria after WW2) providing homes and families in a village setting for orphaned and abandoned children. It’s the best solution possible and there’s an office in Cambridge, UK.

  51. 57 dan
    January 22, 2010 at 19:08

    @clamdip
    You treat the children and in fact all Haitiens as if they are immature entities who cannot adapt to better circumstances in new countries where they have a chance for life.
    Is this you from your position of superiority denying a black a chance to have a better life?
    Your statement is in my mind one of great racism wherein YOU have charted a future for Haitians who were fortunate enough to be adopted.

  52. 58 dan
    January 22, 2010 at 19:09

    Right now saving a child from any 3rd world cesspool and especially Haiti saves your own life.

  53. 59 JanB
    January 22, 2010 at 19:13

    Children are born without a cultural identity. So to them it doesn’t matter whether they get a culture force-fed to them by relatives in their country of birth or by strangers on the other side of the world.

    I’m pretty sure most Haitians would choose live in the West over live in the slums of Haiti.

  54. 60 steve
    January 22, 2010 at 19:13

    I think adopting orphans is perfectly fine and encouraged, but adopting kids who already have a family? I think that’s a bad thing to do, because they’re basically doing it for financial reasons, and the kid has no say, and being deprived of their actual family, country, and culture? I know her heart is in the right place, but it does seem cruel to treat these children like they are pets.

  55. 61 Holly May
    January 22, 2010 at 19:29

    I agree 100% that any child who may have recently been orphaned should have a waiting period before being placed in permanent homes outside of Haiti. Based on the reports of over 250,000 confirmed orphans before the earthquake, I do think these children should find homes outside of orphanages to allow more resources for those still waiting to find family. I also agree that strict screening process should occur for those children available for adoption before the earthquake. There are very bad opportunistic people out there but I think the majority of people who are reaching out right now are well intentioned people, wanting to help vulnerable children. These kids given the opportunity to survive, may go back to Haiti and become future leaders. Staying in Haiti may limit the impact these kids could have as adults.

  56. 62 steve
    January 22, 2010 at 19:44

    Yeah, I think the cultural identity thing is a bit overplayed. Imagine if China becomes a superpower, and Chinese start adopting kids from elsewhere, if they adopt bavarian or austrian kids, will the chinese parents cook them german food and dress them up in lederhosen?

    I think it’s patronizing to assign “culture” to a kid simply because it alleviates some kind of liberal guilt you have.

    Also, that guest, who adopted the Haitian kid, it really does seem cruel to keep in contact with the old family, her son must be very confused, and must feel this is just temporary, especially when the mom says she thinks he’ll go back to haiti to make a better haiti…. It seems so temporary, and not a lifetime connection, like adoptions are supposed to be.

  57. January 22, 2010 at 19:49

    hey rich people go down to your local dog shelter and just adopt a puppy instead

  58. 64 Bobbi Byrne
    January 22, 2010 at 19:49

    I am sorry that I am not able to listen to the discussion as I am a physician and needed to return to patient care. But I am also a mother with an adopted son from Vietnam. The bottom line for me is that in an ideal world children would be kept in their home countries. However it is clearly not an ideal world. Children need more than schools and supplies to thrive. Love, trust, and healthy attached relationships with a family will go much further. We are committed to giving our son as much information about his home country as well as celebrating customs, being involved with our local Vietnamese community, and returning to his home country as often as possible. But I wholeheartedly believe that is the everyday things that I do for him that are so much more important.

  59. 66 Jaquelyn
    January 22, 2010 at 19:50

    What about the children who you know for a fact do not have any surviving relatives? Why not fast-track those adoptions?

  60. 67 Saut
    January 22, 2010 at 19:52

    I work in Singapore, a multi-racial and multi-racial country where the Chinese constitutes the majority with Malays and Indians are the main minorities. I noticed an interesting phenomenon; a lot of Chinese children were readily adopted by Malays and Indians. But I have never met any Chinese who adopt Malay or Indian children. And those Chinese children adopted by either Indians or Malays are as normal as other Singaporeans. I applaud the adoption of the Haitian orphans; there can never be enough generosity and kindness in the world.

  61. 68 Sophia
    January 22, 2010 at 19:53

    While I understand and agree that losing the cultural identity you were born into is no small matter, I can’t help but feel that physical needs can trump emotional needs. Yes an ideal situation would be to raise Hatian children in Hati, but the reality is that the ideal situation might not be a realistic situation. I don’t think we should expedite adoption and risk separating displaced children from their families. But I do think that international adoption is something Hati will have to be open to in the future, and make easier for willing adoptive families, especially if it wants to provide for the survival and health of Hatian children. While it is difficult to realize, it very well might be that in order to provide the maximum good we might have to recognize the difference between an ideal situation and an obtainable situation, that is still a good option. How can it possibly be better for a child to remain hungry and neglected in an institution than loved and cared for in a different culture?

  62. 69 Tom D Ford
    January 22, 2010 at 19:55

    This is really interesting. I am learning about problems that I never even knew of.

  63. 70 Nata
    January 22, 2010 at 19:56

    I am extremly concerned about child traffiking and child safety where this how sitauation is concerned !

  64. 71 Lawson
    January 22, 2010 at 20:00

    Adoption is one solution to help children, another is to stop terrorizing a nation that democratically elected a poor priest and then to abduct him and drop in off in the Africian Congo as Bush did in 2004.

  65. 72 Amanda Potter
    January 22, 2010 at 20:06

    I had a few more issues to add to the would you adopt from haiti. I think the should find a way for temporary homes until family is found perhaps. I know that its going to take forever to get thru to do a adoption if it is a new one. but why don’t they send children out of the orphanage that truly has lost family. I don’t see why they can’t be extradited to new homes and allow the orphanage to take in new children, I don’t think it is fair to the children. It will take a long time to build the community again. I would adopt a child that was perviously in the orphanage. Open your hearts and open your eyes there is some one that needs you.i personally contacted our immigration office here in Canada and am waiting for a phone call as to how i can adopt. i hope they open the doors of Haiti to those that need love.

  66. 73 helen
    January 22, 2010 at 20:26

    To rush a process as important and life changing as adoption is folly. Providing a house and funding so that Haitian adults can give shelter to children who have been separated form their families would alleviate some of the trauma., giving adult Haitians a purpose, and allowing time to establish whether children were in fact orphans wirh no surviving family who may wish to claim them. While I might consider adopting a child from any disaster area, I would want to be sure that my wish to help did not turn out to cause the child to be separated from relatives. The situation at persent is chaotic and the important thing is to provide food, shelter and water , medical aid and some education, while each childs true situation is carefully analysed Only once this has been done can apropriate and safe decisions be made to ensure each child gets the best solution for them, whether that be adoption out of their country or support and care within it.

  67. 74 kpelly hezekiah
    January 22, 2010 at 20:31

    adoption is what must be done for the many children who have lost both parents due to the disaster. They are orphans and so MUST be adopted. The question is by who and also in a manner that will be in the best interest of the children. The picture of the small boy at the Netheland airport tells it all. He is surprised by the beauty before him but at the same time this boy is not himself. You can see he knows he is not at home and is wondering if he is lost, better still if he is on another planet. I can assure all that within the next 7 days he’ll experience his first post traumatic syndromes and will start asking all the necessary questions such as where are his siblings, friends, parents, uncles aunts, grandpa , what brought him to the Netherlands etc. Please, lets proceed with absolute care here. By the way who says that adoption must necessarily involve moving these poor children out of Haiti? I agree fully with what Clamdip says on this issue. Let’s do all what is within our means to help them rebuild their lives amongst their own people back there in Haiti. Please, will someone start preparing the small boy to go back home AS SOON AS POSSIBLE?

  68. 75 Koba
    January 22, 2010 at 21:05

    That is a great chance to help orphans find peace and love.
    I would adopt one with please and take good care of him/her.
    Sadly, I can’t adopt more than one, because I simply won’t be able to look after them. But I believe there are richer people who can do that and make children happy. They deserve to be treated with love and care and have a better chances for future.

  69. 76 clamdip
    January 22, 2010 at 21:08

    Dan,
    You state that I am coming from a position of superiority and yet you refer to Haitian culture as a cesspool. Who has feelings of superiority now? I for one believe that the Haitians can figure out the future for their own children given massive help to overcome this particular crisis. If we can quickly settle the lives of children in Haiti, their parents can heal and put their minds to rebuilding their country. I want the best outcome for all the world’s children and removing a young child without trying to reconnect him to his own distant family isn’t the best solution right now.

  70. 77 Iain
    January 22, 2010 at 21:49

    Are these adopters looking for a fashion accessory, a badge to say how caring they are, or heaven forbid are they looking for something to mistreat……….

    I am extremely sceptical of those who would spend thousands bringing up a child in a foreign country, perhaps it would be a more efficient and less selfish use of resources to donate to the Haiti relief effort, and allow the children to be looked after by their compatriots and extended family.

  71. 78 dan
    January 22, 2010 at 22:03

    @Lawson
    I knew someone would blame George W. Bush.
    Hello…It is 2010 and Obama is the failing President.

  72. 79 Albert Judah
    January 22, 2010 at 23:26

    No, unless I was into organ harvesting or the trafficking of child prostitutes.

  73. 80 Prof. Brian Bevan
    January 23, 2010 at 04:22

    Hi
    YES! YES! YES!
    For all the right reasons only.
    Meanwhile all you lot continue to WAFFLE. Any help is so desperately needed I am absolutely sure that there are responsible people already there and in place and are quite prepared to take on the responsibility of placing people in the most suitable environment.
    God Help them and you and me.

  74. 81 candy
    January 23, 2010 at 05:42

    I would definitely adopt a child. Put yourself in their shoes and think if you were a child who was going through such a catastrophe, if you would want to be transported to a safer place with a loving family, clean water, food shelter and a place to call home. It doesn’t matter what the children could be when they grow up or their cultural differences. All that matters right now is that their basic needs are met.

  75. 82 anne
    January 23, 2010 at 06:34

    oh by the way .. no I wouldn’t adopt. I am 42. But I will give money to the 2 Haitian’s I work with … who between them lost 9 family members. We have a collection at work and we are donating money and clothes. Which they will take down to Haiti as soon as they can.

  76. 83 Sue
    January 23, 2010 at 07:09

    I just came back from Haiti. I barely escaped with my life and lost my best friend. I received very little support from my government (USA). However I received amazing support from the Haitians in Jacmel. They will always have my love. If my heart wasn’t broken enough, I saw 30 sad orphans at the US embassy as I was being evacuated. Knowing people who run orphanages and their lack of permanent shelter I am seriously considering adoption when I return in the Summer. I am currently learning Creole and I have friends in Haiti. I would never take the culture of a child away. Instead I would give that child as much love as I can and return to Haiti so that he or she could know their roots.

  77. 84 clamdip
    January 23, 2010 at 07:20

    Dan,
    Haiti isn’t a cesspool. There is no shame in being poor. Haitians have a rich and vibrant culture and can chart their future and their children’s future with support. They need help and expertise now not another more plundering of their greatest resource.

  78. 85 Emile Barre
    January 23, 2010 at 11:55

    Adoption is an option not the answer. The answer is that all victims of the earthquake especially those injured by it should be flown to either the US or Europe and given emergency treatment/ accommodation until the crisis has been resolved and it is safe for them to return. The resources are in place or can be acquired to implement that programme . The problem is that the will to do it is lacking.

  79. 86 Tony Iwuafor
    January 23, 2010 at 17:26

    My worries about international child adoption is that it has the propensity for ridding a nation of her nature-given best brains. The adopted child could have been the saviour of his country tomorrow. Again,adoption might turn to be a subtle slave trading anyway. If the financial muscle is there,let our privileged brothers/sisters build more orphanage homes to help these children in their home country. Thank you. Tony Iwuafor

  80. 87 MAXINE - UNITED KINGDOM
    January 23, 2010 at 20:10

    No I wouldnt adopt a child from Haiti but I am for those who want to and who will if they are 100% sure thay have no parents alive then yes it is a good thing what sort of a life would they have without their parents in Haiti? Yes, giving thoses children a good start in life is a good thing after what they have been through.

  81. 88 Princess
    January 23, 2010 at 22:39

    I come from Rwanda and I’ve seen how children from a poor country had to suffer after losing their families in the Genocide of Rwanda. It is a thing to be poor but at least you’ve got the family. But what is left when even the family is not there anymore to make you smile? Children from Haiti deserve the chance to have new families, to have a home, to go to school, to be taken care of.
    The only thing needed is to make sure of who is having them because they don’t need more sufferings. They just need love in a first place. God bless u all.

  82. 89 linda
    January 23, 2010 at 23:24

    I most would adopt a child in need as I have lots of love and home support to give a child and mine are all grown up and on their own now.

  83. 90 gwendolyn
    January 24, 2010 at 00:08

    I have a loving family with huge hearts, this is why I want to adopt a child from Haiti….. No, I have not really looked into adoption before, but I see the hurt in those childrens eyes and my heart breaks. I would love to give them a stable and loving home with food on the table and clothes on there backs…. If thats wrong, then I dont want to be right!!!!

  84. 91 Cassie
    January 24, 2010 at 00:14

    I would adopt a Haitian child. Why? I value human life over cultural identity.

  85. 92 Cheryse
    January 24, 2010 at 00:34

    I would adopt a child from Haiti. As an adopted woman, I know its not just about culture, its about giving a child love.
    Why are people, apart from Madonna and Angelina, scared of adopting black children. I am black, and was adopted and greatly loved by a white family. So stop making excuses.

  86. 93 Carina
    January 24, 2010 at 04:51

    I too agree that physical and emotional needs must rank higher than cultural in times of disaster. The idea of leaving children in chaos, suffering a slow death by starvation or lack of medical care is far worse than adopting them and taking them away from their county and culture.
    The posts about how the children are needed to rebuild the country, clearly shows a mind set of “if they don’t have bread-then why don’t they eat cake” mentality (oh, these children don’t have homes? Why don’t they build homes?). An ignorant and terribly insensitive view.
    My husband and I have two biological children, and have no problem getting pregnant, but we have always talked about adopting a child in need because we feel we have been truly blessed and need to give back to the world in some way.

  87. 94 Ramona
    January 24, 2010 at 13:43

    I would love the apportunity to adopt a child from haiti. My husband and I have 4 children, and we wouldn’t want anything to make then suffer. We feel so sad for all the children in need around the world. We want to help, We would love to share our warm home to a child. Thank You to all those who are adopting a child or a family from haiti. God Bless all the Humble Hearts.

  88. 95 Ebenezer Chizom Echehieuka
    January 25, 2010 at 09:42

    The main issue is: the kind of people who are going to adopt the Haiti child. I would love to adopt a Haiti child.

  89. January 25, 2010 at 10:59

    I don’t think adopting kids from Haiti is the best thing for them,
    Instead of alienating them from their environment,it would be more better if we made efforts to ensure Haiti is better,safe and secure for future kids.Lets tackle the problem.

    • 97 GACIKU KANGARI
      January 25, 2010 at 12:48

      I dont think the rush to adopt children from Haiti is well thought out.
      Children issues are very delicate and should be approached with
      great caution. Threre will be Psyco social issues to deal with as these
      children grow older and they will eventually want to go back and trace their
      roots. They are also a National heritage for Haiti and will be needed to develope
      their country. Without them, Haiti will always remain poor

  90. 98 TomK in Mpls
    January 25, 2010 at 18:50

    After looking this over, I find the topic found the right question. The original one was wrong. It should be,”What is the right thing to do with the Haitian orphans, and why?’. The answer comes from the saying, ‘the children are our future’. You can take them from Haiti, and make things a little bit easier for now, for everyone. This will not help Haiti in the long run. Or you can care for and educate them there. This will make the future better.


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