Monday, July 20, 2009

A New Ruling from Tribunal Court

At the end of last week colleagues in Haiti shared a summary of a meeting between our attorney, Sarah Pean Vieux, and Rock Cadet, chief justice of the Tribunal Court. At a work session on Hague issues UNICEF personnel reported incidents of abuse and lack of post-placement supervision following the international adoption of Haitian children. According to Mr. Cadet, coming in Haiti to meet the children first, then to pick them up, is an obvious manifestation of the adoptive parents desire to adopt the child and also a brake on any abuses.

Mr. Cadet has decreed that adoptive parents must appear before the justice of the peace who draws up the adoption act to confirm their willingness to adopt the child. The adoptive family will then sign a statement to that effect. BRESMA families which have already visited Haiti may provide evidence (passport copies, etc.) that they have met their children.

It is questionable whether Mr. Cadet’s ruling will stand, as clauses in Haitian law state that supplicants to the court may appoint a proxy using a power of attorney. In the case of adoptions, that proxy is the adoption facilitator. I will share any news from our attorneys and others working to overturn Mr. Cadet's ruling.