Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Humanitarian Parole Program Draws to a Close

The Haitian government has requested a final list of children for whom the US will grant humanitarian parole. Over 1,000 children have already been granted parole, and perhaps 200 more are expected to be processed and accepted.


All applications must be submitted by April 14th, 2010 to be considered. They must be submitted by email to HaitianAdoptions@dhs.gov. The Embassy will not accept ‘walk in’ appointments. Visit http://www.uscis.gov/ and look in the ‘Alerts’ section in the upper right hand corner for details.


Haitian adoptions have begun again (please see our posting on the subject), so families who wish to adopt a Haitian child will be able to do so again through the normal channels.


Reputable orphanages and agencies will all take great care only to place children who were orphaned or abandoned before January 12th, 2010, or those who are relinquished by surviving birth parents afterwards. Children orphaned or displaced in the earthquake must not be removed from Haiti until exhaustive efforts have been made to locate birth relatives who might care for them.


The economic situation in Haiti, always very precarious, is now even more desperate. KAS/ABI is focusing our efforts on family preservation whenever possible. On our upcoming trip to Haiti, Director Lucy Armistead and I will visit a women’s economic development program to learn more about how to help women stand on their own, and support their families with independence and pride.


The humanitarian parole program was an amazing gift in the face of catastrophe for hundreds of children. Now it is time for us to start picking up the pieces and do our share of rebuilding Haiti. We’ll keep you appraised of our plans, efforts, successes and failures on our journey.

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