Saturday, March 5, 2011
The Hague for Haiti - a Dangerous Blessing?
However, many of us who work for the children of Haiti are deeply concerned that the Haitian government is being pushed or even coerced into premature ratification of the treaty. Ratification is a public declaration that a nation is currently following and adhering to all conditions and guidelines specified by the Hague Convention. They are quite demanding, as well they should be. The United States required 15 years between signing and ratifying the treaty to bring our own laws and procedures up to standard. It seems most unreasonable to believe that Haiti is capable of doing so in only a few months.
In the past, when nations have ratified the Hague treaty prematurely, the effects on intercountry adoption have been devastating. In Guatemala, Vietnam, and Nepal, other Hague nations have been forced to forbid their citizens to adopt from the newly Hague nation as those countries were unable to actually follow the guidelines they have stated they now uphold. I do not think the authors of the Hague intended for the Convention to be used to stop adoptions - I believe they intended to protect children and ensure that intercountry adoptions were performed ethically.
I for one would love to see Haiti become a Hague nation. I believe that the time to begin work on this process is immediately! But only after several years of performing intercountry adoptions in full compliance with all Hague standards should any nation ratify the treaty. The Hague Permanent Bureau itself advises internal implementation of their standards before a country ratifies.
It is a dark time in Haiti already. Such a shame that many of the organizations working in children's services must now take time for politics. We have so little time, and so many children in desperate need.