HAITI

Haiti gets its name from the Taino people, who called it Ayiti, meaning “land of mountains.”

HAITI ADOPTION PROGRAM

PLEASE BE AWARE At this time, we are not accepting applications for our Haiti Adoption Program, as we are currently at our agency’s maximum number enrollees (for the Haiti Program). This limit was established to ensure “In Process” clients can receive services from us that meet our agency’s high-standards.  We do not use a “waiting list” to alert potential clients when new applications are being accepted. Please check our website regularly for updates. HAITI ADOPTION RUMOR UPDATE (Information on our Haiti program follows)

February 6, 2019

We understand that recently a rumor started that IBESR in Haiti is not processing any child matches for children under 5 years old and has no child files for children under 5 years of age. A Love Beyond Borders, All Blessings International, Building Arizona Families, Carolina Adoption Services, Nightlight and Wasatch are joining together in this statement in response to this rumor. As of 12 PM CST, we have been advised by IBESR that this information is categorically untrue. All of the above named agencies were involved in planning several meetings and much dialogue with all stakeholders during a recent trip to Haiti. Several agency representatives and/or Executive Directors traveled for this important engagement to gather facts and continue to encourage open communication. The agencies who participated in this planning and trip all have had long term commitments to Haiti, regularly travel to Haiti and share information with each other and any agency who asks. A summary of this trip was given to the National Council for Adoption and was distributed through this member organization, as well as by many of this agency group to clients. We expect some other agencies also shared the summary provided to their clients. None of the agencies listed above have received information or insinuations from IBESR that children under 5 will not be matched or that IBESR only has files for children over 5. This rumor does not match our recent experience or knowledge. We are aware of children under 5 who have been matched for international adoption in the past 6 months. We understand from direct communication with IBESR that IBESR does have files for consideration of children under 5 years old and that they are diligently gathering supporting documents and assessment to determine if these children are eligible and in need of an international adoption and are making referrals as appropriate. We applaud the efforts IBESR is making and believe that claims that IBESR is neglecting files for children under 5 to focus only on older children or that they do not have such files are factually untrue. Such statements do not accurately reflect the rigorous efforts being made by IBESR or their goal to truly serve the best interests of Haitian children in need of permanency. They are working in this effort on many different fronts. 

The majority of children in need of adoption in Haiti are not healthy, young infants or toddlers. By and large, this has not been the typical profile of children in need of adoption in Haiti for many years. While there have been and are healthy, young children who have been referred during this time, our experience has been that the wait times for these referrals are lengthy as this is not the typical child in need. This has been the case for many years and is not a recent change. The agencies joining in this statement have never submitted excessive dossiers for Haitian children for young, healthy children. We have all been aware of and honoring of the needs of Haiti’s orphans. There is a greater need for families for sibling groups, older children and those with special needs, as is the norm in international adoptions, overall. IBESR is doing their best to issue referrals for all families whose dossiers were submitted in 2015 and appears to be making progress, with about 45 international family dossiers from 2015 waiting for a match. From looking at our agencies’ submissions, those waiting from this time frame are waiting for younger children; however, no mention was ever made to us that these families were not receiving a match within the parameters of their request. We do not want to offer false hopes to waiting families, by conveying the goals IBESR has set for themselves with regard to matches for these long waiting families, as we believe that communicating these internal goals of IBESR will lead to additional and unnecessary pressure on agencies and IBESR. Trust us when we say that IBESR is working diligently. 

Each agency must make their own decisions about child availability and need in Haiti. Our agencies’ collective experience has been that while slow and unpredictable, international adoption remains a viable option for children in need in Haiti, including those under 5 years old. Our agencies are careful and accept a limited and very small number of families requesting children under 5 each year with full disclosure of the wait times as we have experienced them. We expect to still receive child referrals, both healthy and with special needs, within this age group, but caution families considering adopting from Haiti that healthy infants and toddlers are not the typical child profile most in need. Wait times for this child profile are unpredictable and long.

Additionally, we encourage everyone to engage in a factual manner when dealing with the most cherished among us – the orphaned child! 

ABI’s Haiti Adoption Program All Blessings International is fully accredited by the Haitian Government to provide adoption services in Haiti. Our foreign service provider in Haiti has completed over 4,000 successful adoptions from Hait and is well respected with the Central Authority, IBESR, in Haiti. We are a Christian agency – this does not infer exclusion. It simply means we will serve our clients with honesty, compassion, and transparency, seeking at all time to glorify God and be an example of Christian love. We serve families of all faiths. ABI has been working in Haiti for many years and currently supports numerous humanitarian efforts in Haiti. Haiti is a signatory to the Hague Treaty for Inter-country Adoptions, meaning that a very high standard of ethics and supervision is applied to all adoptions. ABI also has extensive experience with relative Haiti adoption cases, as well as more complicated situations.
Adoptive Parent Qualifications
Haitian law allows families meeting the following criteria to adopt:
  • Opposite sex married couples with at least one parent age 30 and neither older than age 50
  • Five years of marriage or five years of cohabitation
OR
  • Singles ages 35-50
  • Haiti will not permit same sex couples to adopt
  • Prospective adoptive parents must have never been convicted of any crime
  • Applicants can have any number of biological or adopted children provided that they can provide for the new adopted child(ren)
Timeline and Travel
On April 1st, 2014, Haiti became a participatory nation to the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. Haiti adoptions under the new law and policies generally take about 12 months from referral to homecoming. Families should be prepared to experience a wait of two years or longer for the referral of a child, particularly if they request to adopt a healthy child age two years or younger. After the Haitian government issues the referral of a child, the adoptive family will travel to Haiti for fifteen days for a socialization period. Additional visits are permissible after IBESR approval. ABI will assist with in country travel and accommodations. A six-day re-acquaintance period just before the child may go home to his/her new family may be waived if the family has visited the child during the adoption process.
Referral and Adoption Process
The Haiti adoption program can appear overwhelming initially. However, it is a step-by-step process and ABI will guide you. The first step in adopting from Haiti is to have a home study conducted by an agency licensed in your state of residence. If you reside in Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, or Tennessee, ABI is able to facilitate your home study.  The second step is to file your Immigration paperwork: the I-800A. The next step in the Haiti adoption process is the dossier. The dossier is a compilation of documents that require various seals at different levels of government. Once your dossier is ready to submit, your documents will be reviewed and prepared to submit to the Haitian Central Authority for approval as an adoptive family. Adoption referrals in Haiti are made by the Central Authority. Families can be referred to a child who is legally free for adoption residing in any orphanage in Haiti that has been licensed to perform adoptions. Referral information includes as much detail as we receive from our overseas counterparts, including photographs with medical and social history. Following an official referral from the Central Authority, ABI will deliver all documentation and information that we can obtain regarding the child to the adoptive family. Families will travel to Haiti to spend a fifteen day socialization period with their referred child. Additional visits may be allowed. Following approval of the referral and socialization reports by the Central Authority, ABI’s experienced and competent in-country partners will complete the legal adoption in Haiti. Typically families may then travel to bring their new child home approximately 12 months after referral. Reports following a child’s placement for adoption are required to be completed by a licensed adoption agency at 3, 12, 24 months, and annually for 7 years or until the child is 18 years of age. The first three reports must be completed by a social worker with a Hague approved agency. The remainder of the reports may be completed by the adoptive family.  These reports are sent by ABI to Haiti. Eight photos should be included with each report.
Available Children
Children in the Haiti adoption program aged six months through fifteen years are in need of permanent, loving families. Most of the children being adopted from Haiti have no permanent health or developmental concerns, but families are needed for children with special needs as well. Children with special needs include sibling pairs and groups, single children ages six and older, or children with medical needs.  IBESR determines the eligibility of adoptable children. Children are typically tested for HIV and Hepatitis.
If you would like more information regarding the Haiti program, please contact Stephanie Williams at stephanie@allblessings.org.