Haitian children are precious, no doubt about it! And it is estimated there could be 1 million orphaned children in Haiti, many of whom are waiting for adoption into a forever family. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, with a high unemployment rate, poor economic conditions, and an unstable political environment. Because of this, many children have been placed in orphanages, with their parents unable to care for them. But Haitian orphanages, for the most part, are well managed, clean and even well-staffed, with one caretaker for each six children.
There are many adoption agencies in the United States that partner with organizations in Haiti so your adoption can process smoothly and efficiently. Because adoption guidelines vary from country to country, it’s important to know some facts before beginning the process:
Requirements For Adoptive Parents
The Haitian government allows adoption of their children into homes of married couples who have been married at least 5 years. Single women may also adopt. All adoptive parents must be between the ages of 30 and 50, and there are no restrictions on the number of children already in your home.
Plan on a bit of wait, as with most adoptions domestically and internationally. It is required, before beginning the process with the government of Haiti, that you complete your home study and the required paperwork with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. Once paperwork on this end is completed, it will be submitted to the Haitian Government for processing. And then the fun begins!
Working through an agency, you will request a child or children (yes, there are sibling groups in Haiti available for adoption). You may specify gender, age, special needs, etc. When you are matched with your child, you will receive photos and a comprehensive history of your child’s social circumstances and medical situation. At that point, you may accept or deny acceptance. Although this can take some time, it is at this point that adoption begins to feel real.
You are required to make two visits to Haiti. The first visit will be for a period of two weeks, wherein you will meet your child, play with your child, and begin the bonding process. This visit is supervised by a Haitian social worker to make sure the match is a good one. On your second visit you will be able to bring your child home with you.
Fees vary depending on the agency you work with as well as the ever-changing government costs. For a good estimate of fees, check out WIAA.org. According to All God’s Children, current fees run upwards of $30,000.
As you move forward with adoption, realize that while there is much out of your control, you are able to have an impact on the speed of the process as you complete your paperwork in a timely manner. Knowing that you have some control, and keeping yourself busy with the process, can be helpful in accepting the passage of time.
Good luck and congratulations!