Haiti: Joint Council Delegation

May 13, 2010

Joint Council Delegation to travel to Haiti

Joint Council President & CEO Tom DiFilipo, and Director of Programs & Services, Rebecca Harris, will lead a delegation to Haiti from June 5, 2010 to June 10, 2010. The intention of the advocacy trip to assess the current state of children living in orphanages, crèches, and children’s homes following the earthquake; advocate with governmental, non-governmental and intra-governmental organizations in Haiti, as well as determining next steps following the passage of pending adoption laws.

Adoption and Citizenship

Since the days immediately after Haitian children began entering the U.S. through Humanitarian Parole, Joint Council has been aware of two very specific challenges in completing the adoption of these children and separately, in achieving status as a U.S. citizen. In collaboration with other advocates including the Center for Adoption Policy, Joint Council has met with the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services regarding these two issues. Joint Council along with the Center for Adoption Policy and others will again meet with DS and HSS next week. It is our collective goal to firmly establish procedures which will allow for the unencumbered and timely completion of Haitian adoptions for children brought into the U.S. via Humanitarian Parole. Similarly, we are working towards what most likely will be a legislative fix on the issue of attaining citizenship for these children. Currently the only path to citizenship involves a two-year process and for those children over the age of 16 – no path to citizenship exists. We hope to work with our partners at the Center for Adoption Policy to ensure that all children can become U.S. citizens in a timely and efficient manner.

Haiti Intercountry Adoption Laws: Update

A new adoption law, which has been in development in Haiti for man years, was voted on and approved by the Chamber Deputies on May 7, 2010. The law is currently awaiting vote by the Senate. At this time it is unclear how the potential change in law will affect any in-process and new adoption cases.

Summary Report, Intercountry Adoptions in Haiti: Safeguards and Protections

Joint Council has published a Summary Report entitled Intercountry Adoption in Haiti: Safeguards and Protections. Joint Council provides the Summary Report to assist individuals, families, and professionals with an understanding of the current situation of intercountry adoption from Haiti as well as the risks and benefits of moving forward with an adoption. As noted in the Summary Report, individuals interested in starting the adoption process of children from Haiti should proceed with caution. As the adoption process reopens in Haiti we anticipate greater challenges than prior to the earthquake. Click here to view the full Summary Report.

Joint Council database

In an attempt to further update the Joint Council database of children who have arrived in the United States on the Humanitarian Parole Program, and to appropriately assist those children and families, we respectfully request that each family whose child(ren) have arrived in the U.S. to email betheanswer@jointcouncil.org with the following information:

Name of parents

Name(s) of child(ren) who have arrived in the U,S.

Date of Arrival into the U.S.

Category for which the child(ren) arrived in the U.S. – Category 1 or 2

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