Our Adoption Program has evolved over the last 12 years. Ten years ago, it was rare for one of our children to be adopted. Most of the children returned home to their parents. Today, it is rare for a child to return home. Parents are now bringing their children to GLA for the purpose of adoption. Some infants and older children are brought to us because they have been abandoned by their families. Others are orphaned or come from families that, for various reasons, are unable to care for them even when they are in good health. In these cases, we seek to facilitate the adoption of the child to a Christian family in North America or Europe.
Each child that comes to GLA for adoption is screened for major illnesses through examination by a Haitian Pediatrician and also through lab tests. Each child is also given a psychological exam that helps pinpoint any possible developmental delays that the child may have.
Each child is tested for: HIV, Sickle Cell Anemia, Hepatitis B, VDRL (Syphilis), and is given a Complete Blood Count (CBC). Children over 2 years old have chest xrays to check for Tuberculosis.
The children receive their childhood vaccinations within the first few months of entering the orphanage. They receive Diphtheria Pertussis and Tetanus series, Polio series, Hepatitis B series, and Measles Mumps and Rubella vaccinations.
Haitian babies are often developmentally delayed when compared with North American and European babies of the same age. Much of this is cultural and most of the time it is reversed soon after arriving in North America or Europe. An example is standing and walking. Haitian mothers tend not to stand their babies on their legs until after they are 6 months old. They believe that letting babies stand as newborns will damage their legs and backs. As a result, a Haitian baby doesn't have the strength in his/her legs that a North American or European baby would have at the same age.
Another example is crawling. Haitian mothers don't give their children the opportunity to be down on the floor to learn to crawl. Many of the homes have dirt floors and the mothers are protecting the infants from the dirt. Most Haitian children crawl between 9 and 12 months and walk between 14 to 20 months. This is delayed by North American and European standards but normal by Haitian standards. After young children arrive in their adoptive homes, they start advancing quickly and usually catch up to their North American and European playmates within 6 months.
Older children will experience language and cultural differences once they arrive in North America or Europe. For example, the primary language spoken in Haiti is Haitian Creole. Children that have begun to acquire language skills will need time to learn English, French, or any other language spoken in their adoptive homes. School aged children will need to be provided the time, love and support required transitioning them into the North American or European educational system.
Interested in Adopting? Email here.