Haitian Adoptions Can Be Long Process
By Charles Bassett, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Ten Haitian orphans who arrived in Oklahoma City early Thursday morning and are settling into their new lives with their adoptive families, but government officials warn Haitian adoptions are not always that easy.
Officials said adoptions from Haiti can take up to three years or longer and are very expensive.
The new parents of the 10 Haiti orphans had been working with orphanages for years through missionary work with their churches and were already in the adoption process when the earthquake struck. The State Department revised some of its polices making it possible for the children to be united with their families sooner.
"We will not let red tape stand in the way of helping those in need, but we will ensure that international adoption procedures to protect children and families are followed," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
According to UNICEF, there are some 200 orphanages in Haiti right now, some of which are illegal, and some of the children in them aren't even orphans so that can complicate adoptions.
"Haiti is a high profile child trafficking nation. They had over 200,000 adoptions that were taking advantage of families who couldn't read or write. We knew that the law they had in place on that pendulum swing were for the benefit of the children we loved in Haiti, including our own daughter Ava, so we had to wait," Christi Barnes, who adopted Haitian girls.