Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New IBESR Policies

Today we received a draft of IBESR's new adoption policies, drafted July 17th, and scheduled to go into effect on the third Monday following the resumption of adoptions in Haiti. Assuming that IBESR re-opens for new cases on August 1st, this would indicate that the new policies will take effect on August 20th.



A few key points in the draft of policies:
  • Independent adoptions will in fact no longer be allowed.
    • All adoptive parents must be working with an agency approved by the Central Authority of their country of citizenship.  In the United States, this means Hague Accredited agencies.
    • IBESR must also approve foreign (U.S./Canadian/etc.) adoption agencies to work in Haiti. A limited number of adoption agencies will be approved
  • Children must be found eligible for adoption by IBESR prior to commencement of adoption proceedings.
    • An IBESR multi-disciplinary committee will meet with any biological family considering relinquishment to consider all possible alternatives for family preservation prior to making an adoption plan.
    • It is prohibited for the prospective adoptive parents have contact with child's biological parents or anyone else that could influence the consent of the person authorized or engaged with the institution in the adoption process, unless the adoption is intrafamilial.
    • Biological families may not give voluntary consent for adoption proceedings for children under one year of age.
  • Minors of either gender are adoptable in the following priority:
    • 1) Orphans
    • 2) Children with physical disabilities
    • 3) Children with developmental disabilities
    • 4) Children declared legally abandoned
    • 5) Children whose parents have consented to the adoption.
The Creche Directors have been asked for their input on the entire policy.

In the personal opinion of this writer, which does not necessarily represent that of All Blessings International or any other group or organization, the new policies represent an enormous leap forward in international adoption policy and children's protection in Haiti.  The strong emphasis on children's safety, family preservation, and post-placement supervision are very much in line with the intentions of the Hague Convention.

This policy plus the passage of a new adoption law that designates adoptions as plenary rather than simple may go a long way toward Hague compliance.

 

8 comments:

  1. Where do we find a list of approved agencies?

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    1. IBESR has yet to approve any foreign adoption agencies. These policies were just realeased to the creche directors en masse via email on Tuesday, July 24th.

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  2. Thank you so much for updates like this! Please keep us updated on the passing of new adoption laws. Your site is one of only a handful that has current information on Haitian adoptions.

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  3. What does this mean for those of us already in IBESR?

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    1. Families in process should check with their adoption agencies to evaluate and discuss their individual cases. From an initial reading of an UNOFFICIAL translation, it would appear that the new policies will apply to adoptions going forward and will not be retroactive. However, each family should work directly with their own agency to assess the implcations for their own adoptions.

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  4. Does this really mean that prospective adoptive parents will no longer meet the biological families of their children at all?

    Also what will happen with infants under one year old who are left at orphanages? Are they not adoptable at all?

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  5. I'm concerned about the prohibition of adoptive families having contact with biological families. It is very important to me to be able to contact my child's biological family if at all possible (I realize that in many cases no family may exist or be able to be found), and I believe it's important for the emotional health of the child as he grows up. Will this prohibition be lifted once the biological family has signed the appropriate consents? It's not my goal to influence/coerce/bribe a family; I just want my child to be able to have that connection if possible after the adoption is complete.

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    Replies
    1. We will have to work with IBESR to learn exactly how they wish the policies to be implemented. In other Hague nations, adoptive families may not meet the biological families BEFORE the adoption, but are certainly allowed to do so afterwards.

      From my initial reading of the policies, this appears to be IBESR's desire as well. The verbiage regarding forbidding meetings with biological parents is in the section about determining adoptibility of a child, not in the section regarding the processing of adoptions.

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