The many steps listed below must be followed for each and every adoption. Add to their number the extreme difficulty of accomplishing each one: every step must be accomplished in person and by hand. Most of the offices listed do not have computers. There will be no communications by fax or email or even by official phone calls. Facilitators must visit each office personally to check on the status of each case, and carry it by hand through the traffic of Port-au-Prince to the next stage of the process.
In January of 2013, IBESR (Haitian Social Services) implemented new adoption policies. These new policies changed the order of events at the beginning of the process and how and when referrals are made. It also addressed who may complete Haitian adoptions.
Before a child’s case can be presented to IBESR, the adoption facilitator must gather all of the following documents:
- Intake interview for biological parents with IBESR (comes into effect July 31st, 2012) OR IBESR’s consent for adoption for abandoned children
- Passport pictures of the child
- Birth Certificate
- Attestation of signature on Birth Certificate or extract from the National Archives
- Legal relinquishment of custody from the biological family to the orphanage from the local judge or family court consent
- Death certificates and extracts from the archives of biological parent(s) if applicable
- Marriage certificate of biological parents and extract, if applicable
- Psychological evaluation
- Medical evaluation
- Laboratory tests
- Social history
Only your adoption agency’s representative in Haiti can present your dossier to IBESR. If your family meets all age and marriage/cohabitation criteria, and either parent has biological children, your dossier can be pre-approved for Presidential Dispensation and delivered to the Presidential Palace by IBESR. Important note: Presidential Dispensation is only for families with biological children. There can be no Dispensation requested or granted for parents' age, length of marriage, etc. Dispensations are published in the Haitian legal journal Le Moniteur.
Following IBESR’s approval of your family for adoption of a Haitian child, IBESR will alert the designated orphanage partner of your adoption agency that your dossier is ready. The orphanage may then propose a match of a child or children for your family by presenting that child’s dossier to IBESR. The orphanage and the agency are forbidden to share information regarding the proposed child until after IBESR authorizes the referral.
In many districts, including Port-au-Prince, adoptive parents must appear before the local Tribunal court and Dean to sign their agreement to the adoption. Both parents must be present with the child.
The 'step' we refer to as Parquet court is actually a very complex series of steps and processes involving multiple offices and repeated trips between them.
- Attorney addresses a Request for Judgment to the Chief Justice of Parquet Court
- Birth parents are interviewed in Parquet Court
- Parquet Court signs off on "approval judgement for adoption"
- Facilitator takes approval to DGI for stamp of authorization
- Back to Parquet for enforcement of the approval judgement
- Authorization and redaction from the Civil Registrar Officer for legal Adoption Decree
- Verification in Parquet of the adoption documents by the Civil Registrar before signing the adoption decree
- First Legalization of the Adoption Decree, in Parquet Court
- Second Legalization of the Adoption Decree, at the Ministry of Justice
- Third Legalization of the Adoption Decree, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Obtain attestation of Adoption Decree from the National Archives
All international adoption cases are reviewed by the Ministry of Interior. In order to obtain authorization to request a passport, the following documents must be submitted for each child:
- Four passport sized pictures
- Birth Certificate
- Attestation for the Birth Certificate
- Extract from the National Archives for the Birth Certificate
- Proces Verbal of adoption
- Adoption approval judgement
- Adoption Decree
- Attestation of the Adoption Decree
- Power of Attorney for creche director and/or attorney
- Stamp from DGI
- Notary letter for the passport
- Identification card of facilitator and/or attorney on the case
- Biological parents' identification cards
- Adoptive parents' MOI form, identification, and passport photos
The facilitator will submit authorization to apply for a passport to Haitian Immigrations. This is generally a quick process - one to two weeks, if all equipment is working properly.
Note to international readers - US Immigrations performs the most rigorous investigation of international adoptions. Other nations' Immigrations process are different. Please check with your agency to learn about the process for your home country.)
These steps were provided by Margarette Saint Fleur of BRESMA orphanage. All legitimate adoptions facilitators must follow each one of them, and must do so under extremely difficult conditions.