Why Adopt From Haiti?
The Great Need for Adoption in Haiti. Haiti is widely considered to be the most impoverished country in the western hemisphere with almost 80% of people living below the poverty line. In traveling through Haiti, it is clear that this is a country that has experienced great struggle.
Many homes and businesses are constructed of found materials and, overall, living conditions are poor. Due to the extreme poverty prevalent in Haiti, many families are unable to care for their children; fifteen percent of children in Haiti are estimated to be living outside of family care. In 2010, an earthquake devastated this already poor country, compounding the hardships faced by many Haitians and leaving even more children without families. It is estimated that the number of orphans in Haiti doubled from 380,000 to more than 750,000. This staggering number accounts for almost seven percent of Haiti’s population.
The Benefits of Adopting from a Hague Convention Country. Haiti is a Hague Convention Country, meaning there are additional safeguards by which Haiti operates to ensure adoptions are both ethical and in the best interests of the children. Hague Convention Countries tend to be more stable and predictable in processing adoptions and are less likely to be reactionary and make quick decisions that negatively impact the adoption process. Furthermore, Hague Convention Countries are more likely to have a process and procedure in place in the event the country elects to make any changes to its adoption process. Creche’s, or orphanages, where children in need of families reside must be licensed by Haiti to care for the children, and must also be licensed for international adoption. These safeguards help ensure that the children receive proper care in a safe environment while waiting to be united with their forever families.
On April 1, 2014, the Hague Convention entered into force in Haiti. The transition to Hague will provide additional safeguards in the process and will ultimately make Haiti a more stable and predictable country program. However, during this time of transition, the time frames for adoption will be largely unknown.
Two trips (approximately two weeks each) to Haiti are required:
Approved In Haiti. MLJ Adoptions, a Hague approved adoption service provider, is approved to work in Haiti and to provide adoption services under Haiti’s new Hague guidelines. The Haiti adoption program is currently one of MLJ Adoptions’ pilot programs due to Haiti’s transition to Hague and because Haiti is one of the newer countries that MLJ Adoptions currently serves. There are additional risks associated with a pilot program, such as a higher potential for change within the country program as we continue our efforts to improve the new program.
Currently Accepting Applications for New Families. There are also benefits to working with MLJ Adoptions for an adoption from Haiti. Haiti has implemented new procedures for adoption, including the dossier submission procedure. It is the dossier submission in Haiti that starts the adoption process and wait time for the country to conduct the matching process. Every adoption service provider approved to provide adoption services in Haiti is permitted to submit only one dossier per month. This means that, effectively, only 12 families per year per adoption service provider can be registered to adopt.
MLJ Adoptions has limited the Haiti program to 12-18 families and spots currently remain open. Further, because MLJ Adoptions does not have a backlog of dossiers to submit, at this time, we have additional dossiers that we are able to submit on behalf of families.
Experienced and Compassionate Staff. Our MLJ Adoptions’ foreign and domestic teams are composed of a diverse group of professionals who are committed to supporting families before, during and after adoption. In addition, while the Haiti adoption program is new, our Haiti Program Director, Lydia Tarr, has 13 years of experience in international adoption and has united more than 130 children with their forever families. Furthermore, MLJ Adoptions retains full-time licensed attorneys domestically and works with a Haitian attorney. It is beneficial to families to have attorneys in both the United States and Haiti reviewing and assisting with the legal processes of adoption.
Request more information about adopting from Haiti by clicking here.
Country information is to be considered general information and subject to change. The information is based upon state, federal, foreign, and international law, as well as our own business policies.