26 January 2012
This month IBESR named the agencies they will allow to adopt from Haiti and the adoption quotas they would allow for each country. The United States are allow 240 adoptions per year divided between 19 agencies which means 1 dossier submitted per month. I suppose if 12 dossiers from the agency are given the first month, then that is all they can do for the whole year! 240 dossier for the USA is not a lot. The Netherlands is given the quota of 20. I have not heard yet for the other countries who have license. They are being told as they go in to pick up their authorization certificates from IBESR. I posted on my blog http://godslittlestangelsinhaiti.org/lifegoeson the full list of accepted American agencies and the ones GLA has contracts with. The agencies were told they would be allowed to turn in dossiers starting 4 of February.
IBESR sent out a notice that they would start accepting dossiers but the creches that I have contact with tell me that none of their dossiers have been accepted. We have tried twice to put in dossiers and both times have been told that they are not accepting dossiers yet. Social Services is just now studying our creche applications that we put together back in September. After they study them, then they will start issuing our yearly certificates.
I will keep you informed when we hear more from IBESR.
27 December 2012
IBESR has not given us the details yet about how they will implement the new adoption policies. We have been told that IBESR will choose the agencies that they will work with by the middle of January. At that time, we hope to know exactly how we will give proposals and do the paperwork for an adoption. As soon as they notify us of how they will implement the new policies, I will post it here.
We have had several dossiers come out of IBESR recently that were submitted in August and September. They seem to be working on dossiers sitting in IBESR now. We have a couple of dossiers in dispensation that are taking way longer than others and we have asked IBESR to please find out for us why they have not been signed. They have promised an answer by next week.
We have 5 children who received visas this month. One has already joined his adoptive family and we have 4 more who will be leaving in the next week or so. It is always so nice for us to see the children going home.
26 September 2012
IBESR called all of the Adoption Home directors together for a meeting on the 25th of September to talk to us about the new Hague policies that will go in to place on 3 November 2012. They were supposed to take effect on the 1st of October, but an extension was given of one month. All of us are very thankful because the new procedure will be a little more complicated although I do applaud IBESR for the changes they are making in their process. Effective 3 November, all families must work with an approved Hague certified agency or through their central authority. The rest of the changes in the procedures are on our end, here in Haiti. IBESR also says they will only work with a limited number of Hague agencies in each country. This is new. Each agency must apply to work in Haiti now and provide quite a bit of paperwork to be considered.
IBESR also called to let us know that the 1st of October through the 5th will be a mandatory seminar for our staff to learn how to care for children. I find that very interesting and of course, we said this is GREAT, but not all of our staff can come at the same time! We suggested that they have several seminars at different times for our staff to attend.
I feel very optimistic with all of the changes as long as Haiti does not finish ratifying the Hague Convention before they pass a new adoption law. The lawyer for IBESR said that they are working on the law and hopefully it will be done soon. They will then vote on it and we'll see if it passes.
3 August 2012
IBESR will not be opening the first of August as anticipated. The Director of IBESR says there is still a lot to be done before they are ready to take in new dossiers. I will keep you informed as I hear more.
Pray that they will get organized and ready to open soon. We still have quite a few dossiers there waiting for approval. It would be really nice if those would be completed and out soon
2 August 2012
In July, all creches (adoption homes) received a draft of new policies that IBESR is putting into place effective the 21st of August. IBESR asked that the creche directors look at the new policies that conform with the Hague Convention which Haiti voted on and passed a few months ago. IBESR administration asked us to review the policies and to give our recommendations.
The new policies offer more protection for children and will put in to effect some reforms in the way children are placed for adoption. There are quite a few new requirements for those orphanages already authorized to do adoptions but the exact implementation is not clear. Do we have to get these things ready for when we have to ask for authorization again which is in October or do we have to do it now? The new policies cost about costs but none of us know the exact costs yet.
All foreign adoption agencies working with creches in Haiti must also be registered with the Haitian government. So agencies are scrambling to get their paperwork that is required together and sent to Haiti. IBESR is requiring that these foreign agencies must be registered through the Minister of Social Affairs and personally, I have no idea how to do this for an agency outside of Haiti! So we will have to find this all out and apply.
IBESR administration wants to keep adoptions going, so we are praying that they will be flexible on the timing to implement these policies and realize that 3 weeks for some of the requirements is not feasible.
We do not foresee that the new policies will completely shut down adoptions for now, but there are still a lot of unknown factors that we are trying to sort out. I will keep you aware through posts as quickly as I can. I don't necessarily post things right away. I know some people do and all it does is cause panic! I would rather see the stress levels down and not having people panic by what they think might happen!
God is in control and I am relying on God to watch out for the children and the adoptive parents and giving us the things we need to keep adoptions moving at GLA.
13 June 2012
The Association of Creches is asking Mme Villedrouin for an appointment to meet and discuss what the ratification of the Hague Convention means for adoptions in Haiti. This meeting will probably be attended by the President of the Association and one or two other members. I will keep everyone informed as I hear more information.
11 June 2012
FIRST, I WANT TO SAY…DO NOT PANIC! WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS YET FOR US IN HAITI AND AT THIS POINT IT IS ONLY SPECULATION OF HOW THIS WILL AFFECT ADOPTIONS IN PROCESS AND IN THE FUTURE. AS SOON AS I HAVE MORE INFORMATION, I WILL POST IT.
I just received this from Mrs. Diana Boni, co-chair of the Haiti caucus of the Joint Council of International Children’s Services in the USA.
This is from the Hague Conference on Private International Law located in the Netherlands.
I am pleased to inform you that Mr Guillaume (Lawyer – Project Manager, IBESR) and UNICEF have confirmed that the Haitian Parliament approved the Decree for the ratification of the Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption yesterday, Monday 11 June 2012. However, for the ratification to take effect at an international level and to consider Haiti as a State Party to the Convention, Haiti must deposit its instrument of ratification before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (the depository). The date of entry into force of the Convention will be the first day of the month following the expiration of three months after the deposit the instrument of ratification.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor has been designated as the Central Authority.
UNICEF informed the Permanent Bureau that the President of the National Assembly promised the inclusion of the approval of the Draft law on Adoptions into the legislative agenda in the following two weeks. The new challenge will be to ensure that the new Draft law is in accordance with the 1993 Hague Convention.
After speaking to Diana, we all agree that this ratification was inevitable. There was no sense worrying about it before it happened, so I tried to leave it in God’s hands. I have enough to worry about with all of the things happening at GLA!
Our new director of IBESR is a very intelligent and competent woman. She is right now, trying to reform IBESR and how it handles dossiers. I am praying that by the time IBESR reopens in August that a plan is in place to work with Hague policies and that approved policies are in place. The director said she wants to be ready so adoptions will continue without problems.
I am trying to look at this as a positive step into the future for Haiti and a protective measure for children as long as the Haitian government will comply with all of the Hague recommendations.
5 June 2012
We've recently received 2 passports and a dossier out of IBESR. Things are moving even if it is slowly. Magaly has gone to IBESR today to ask them to please approve some of dossiers so that we can get children home to their adoptive families AND have places for these 23 new children that came last Thursday. The children came after an orphanage in Kenscoff was closed by IBESR and the government officials. If IBESR would quickly move the dossiers through the system, we could take more children in emergency situations like the one that happened on Thursday. It is difficult to find places for the children when most orphanages are already over capacity with the number of the children in the orphanages.
11 May 2012
IBESR has now said that they will close from 4 May until 31 July 2012. They will be re-organizing and also catching up on all of the dossiers that are now sitting waiting to be processed in IBESR. They will also be coming up with a system for biological parent interviews and a form that will be given to the orphanage after the parent is interviewed that we will insert into the dossier. We hope that this means the parents will not have to go to Parquet to be interviewed also and maybe the US Consulate will take this into consideration also for birth parent interviews required only in Haiti.
GLA continues to give to proposals to waiting families and we will have dossiers ready to be submitted to IBESR on 1 August when they open again.
28 April 2012
IBESR will not be taking new dossiers until the 1st of June in an
effort to complete studying and authorizing the ones already sitting on
their desks and also finish the ones that have been given dispensations
in the last few weeks.
According to a source, the director of IBESR is wanting to clear the dossiers that have been sitting for some time waiting for approval. There were many in IBESR when she took over the position of Director in November 2011. None were signed until after February 2012 and so they are way behind.
We will continue to propose children and prepare dossiers so that on the 1st of June, dossiers can be turned into IBESR. We are looking at this as a good opportunity for IBESR to clear their work load and prepare for the new dossiers that will be ready and waiting in June!
(A rumor has it that IBESR will continue to take dossiers until May 5, but I have not been able to verify this. This extension supposedly is from the director when the Association of Creches and many lawyers protested IBESR's decision to stop taking new dossiers without informing anyone in advance.)
6 April 2012
The dossiers that received dispensations are not yet released from by the Ministry of Justice. I am not quite sure why they have not been given back to IBESR yet. We continue to check with IBESR a couple times per week to see when they will be released. Since it was a list of over 50 dossiers, it may just be taking them longer to type the approvals up. We have been told that as soon as IBESR is notified of the dispensation approval, they will work to get the dossiers approved by the director.
21 March 2012
After being gone so much from the orphanage in the last few months, I wanted to sit face to face with the lawyer today and find out what is happening with dispensations and other things going on in IBESR. We met at a hotel in Petion-Ville to sit together and share information. I was very pleased with the things I heard.
1. She showed me a list of 59 dossiers that have been given dispensation at the end of last week. They were all signed by the President’s office and then sent to the Moniteur to be published. We had 4 children on this list. This is such a relief! Although, one of the children on the list has not been there very long and the others have been there since before last summer! It is crazy the way they choose and pick.
2. She also had the names of 4 other children who will be out on the next list. So things are moving in the Dispensation office!
3. We have been having trouble with IBESR telling us dispensations were given for two children but we could not find them in the Moniteurs. We have a subscription to the Moniteur and get them weekly in a bundle. So the lawyer is looking into this problem. She has already found one that was missing and is searching for the other.
4. The people who receive dossiers in IBESR does not always read the information well before sending them off for dispensation. We have a dossier where the couple has an adopted child and their dossier has sat in IBESR for several months. I have been asking about it since December and have been told that all was okay and not to worry. I sent the lawyer a message every month since and she goes to IBESR and they told her we must just be patient and wait. Finally, last week, they told her they made an error and sent it for dispensation. They are changing this and will work on it to see that it is signed quickly. When so many hands touch the dossiers, it is very easy to have problems like this and it is so difficult to find out exactly what kind of problem we are trying to solve! This is just one of the frustrating parts of adoption paperwork in Haiti.
5. Judge Casimir has been replaced in the Civil Court and is no longer in charge of adoptions. A new judge, Raymond Michel, is now the adoption judge and we do not know yet what he will require from Adoptive families. He will decide If he wants to see adoptive parents or not. I will let you know more information when I get it.
6. RUMOR is that Madame President Martelly was at IBESR last week talking to the staff about orphanages and adoptions. Let us pray that this was a positive step.
I just wanted to share with you the good news that dispensations are moving. It may take a while for the dispensations to be printed in the Moniteur, but once they are then we can start having families come to Haiti to appear in front of their judges.
20 January 2012
Since President Martelly set up his government in October of 2011, we have not had many dossiers signed by IBESR or dispensations given by the President's office. A big reason was because the director of IBESR was new and knew very little about adoption. She needed time to study the situation before she would sign. She has now said that IBESR is open and signing dossiers.
It was the same problem with the office for dispensations. But I have heard that they also have started signing dossiers and approving them. So this is a positive step to getting more children home.
There was a meeting on the 18th between IBESR director and delegates from the Association of orphanages.
Here is the report of what went on at the meeting:
1. The New Adoption Law:
It was not discussed because it is still being looked at and changed. I do know that it was on the agenda for the Senate to look at today! I was told that they will be looking at the law that the Deputies already voted on. I hope that is true even if it does need some changes, surely they won’t change everything!
2. Treatment of the dossier in IBESR:
Director said that it would not take more than 2 months to sign a dossier.
An employee will be designated to contact the orphanages if necessary corrections need to be done or if any dossiers are missing documents. Right now, they sit and wait for someone to pass by and find there needs to be corrections.
The orphanages can pass by IBESR two days per week (Monday and Wednesday) to check on their dossiers.
The Director wants to receive reports from adoptive parents about how the children are doing post adoption for 5 years. She wants it to talk about how the child is developing, adapting, a report card if they are in school, and 6 photos. The director of each orphanage is responsible to turn these reports into IBESR.
3. PRESIDENTIAL DISPENSATIONS::
A presidential dispensation is required for all dossiers where the adopting parents have one or more biological children.
IBESR has started looking at/treating the dossiers again and will be signing them again.
All of the orphanages doing adoptions must send IBESR a list of their dossiers in IBESR,which are sitting in Presidential Dispensations with the name, IBESR number as soon as possible so that these lists can be communicated to the President’s office of Dispensations.
4. Number of years married, age of the adoptive families, and process verbal, etc:
Under the law of 1974, all couples must have been married at least 10 years.
The Director of IBESR proposes to meet with the IBESR personnel concerning:
a. Allowing couples who are infertile or sterile and can prove it medically to adopt if they have been married 5 years
b. For couples married 5 years but have lived together for 5 years and have a certificate “de vie commune (co-habitation)” to adopt..
The Process Verbal not to be required for the dossier to go to IBESR (right now, we have to make 2 process verbal. One where I represent my parents and then that is removed and replaced with the one the parents sign after they come to Haiti to see the judge)
d. Before putting a dossier into IBESR, every orphanage must take the biological parents to IBESR to have adoption explained to them. IBESR will be open two days per week for seeing biological parents. IBESR is developing a form for this purpose at this time.
e. IBESR is rebuilding their archives where they can store the adoption dossiers.
f. IBESR will give the Association a list of all licensed creches (adopting agencies) in Haiti. We are hoping this will help us contact more creches to get them to be part of the Association and be more involved in adoption activities.
5. Cost of processing the dossiers by IBESR:
IBESR will probably be raising their fees to treat a dossier to as much as $500 USD per dossier. This cost will depend on many factors. (to me this is not a bad thing, although it probably will force our lawyers to raise their fees since they pay IBESR out of their funds.)
These are the highlights and are from the report just sent to me. Sounds like it was a very good meeting.
23 December 2011
It has been awhile since I have had news to pass on to everyone about adoptions. On Monday, fourteen members from the Association of crèches had a meeting with the new director of IBESR, Mme Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin. Unfortunately, I could not attend but Magaly and Ernst attended in my place. The members of the Association had questions about why the director has not approved any dossiers since she took her position. Mme Jeanty Villedrouin said that she was trying to learn about her position. She said that she also has someone in mind to help her go over the dossiers who has experience with adoptions but she did not have the funds to hire her full time, so it is taking a while to look through the dossiers. She promised that she would be signing dossiers very soon.
Mme Jeanty Villedrouin also had concerns about the costs of adoptions in Haiti. I am sure that idea comes from talks with organizations that are working to limit adoptions from Haiti. Ernst and Magaly said that only a couple of directors were allowed to talk because of the time limit of the meeting, but that they did try to explain to her the costs of feeding the children, caring for them, medical care for the children, educations, supplies, etc! They also explained that adoptions did not cost so much until it started taking 2 years to finish an adoption plus the time the children spent in the orphanage!
I do not think that she has any concept of what it costs to care for the children. She suggested that the directors find sponsors to help with all of the expenses of the orphanage. I know for GLA that even with sponsors the expenses are very difficult to cover! And it is even more difficult for a Haitian orphanage to find sponsors for their children. They might not have the resources and media possibilities that GLA has available to us.
There is supposed to be a general meeting of all orphanages and creches on 17 January 2012. Because there are so many registered orphanages/creches now, she said they needed to find somewhere large enough for everyone to meet. At that time, we will be able to ask questions and share our thoughts with her.
President Martelly has started signing presidential dispensations again. We hope to see more coming out of IBESR soon. We have some dossiers that have now sat in IBESR for more than 6 months which has been discouraging when things were going so well for the last year. I hope that it gets back on track to taking 8 to 12 months again as soon as the new government gets organized. It seems to be mainly our families with children who are taking the extra time right now.
I have a meeting at the US Consulate on Thursday the 29th with the Adoption Unit Staff. I asked for the meeting to discuss what I have heard about the changes in the new adoption law and also the changes in IBESR. Please pray that I will be able to express my concerns clearly and be able to motivate them to help us lobby for adoptions for those children who will most benefit for a life in a family instead of an institution!
I spent today sending proposals. Some of the agencies are closed for the holidays and so it will be next week unfortunately before the proposals are delivered. For others, they will receive the proposals tomorrow, I have been told. I will be up working on finishing up two of the proposals early tomorrow morning. What better Christmas gift could these families get? I can’t think of one better gift than a new son or daughter! Can you?
13 October 2011
Adoptions are going very well. We had three dossiers signed in IBESR in the last few days and several are in passports! We have had a few dossiers arrive in Haiti and I hope to give a few proposals before I leave for Canada on the 23rd of October. We have a lot of sibling groups still waiting for "forever" families. Please be praying that we will receive more dossiers soon.
13 August 2011
It has been awhile since I updated everyone on how adoptions are doing here in Haiti. If a Presidential dispensation is not required, then adoptions are taking about 7 to 8 months until the passport is issued. We have not received any Presidential dispensations since President Martelly took office. Terriot, our adoption worker, says that two have been approved but we must wait for them to be published in the Monitor, the legal newspaper. We are praying that this happens quickly but it may take awhile!
Three dossiers went into MOI this week. I sent out one proposal and we received three new dossiers. A couple of dossiers went into IBESR. We have several families working on getting their dossiers ready to come to Haiti and then hopefully, we will be able to place more of the children in loving families.
4 March 2011
Haiti just signed the Hague convention agreement. They have not ratified it yet and I pray they do not ratify it for several years. The USA took 15 years from signing the agreement to ratifying and implementing it and even then the transition was not easy! If it took the USA 15 years, how long will it take Haiti to implement it without having to shut down adoptions for years?
I pray that someone in IBESR and the Haitian government will research this and know the consequences and not be swayed by UNICEF or foreign governments to try to move faster on this than they are prepared to do. Ratifying the Hague is the easy part, implementing it is going to be the HARD if not almost impossible right now!
Trying to implement it now would be a disaster to orphans in Haiti. Haven't we seen enough disasters in Haiti this last year?
4 February 2011
We are now accepting applications from families who qualify to adopt from Haiti and GLA. Download our PRELIMINARY ADOPTION APPLICATION and email it to email@example.com or send it via postal office to: God's Littlest Angels, 2283 A Waynoka Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80915, USA.
Must meet all of the below requirements to adopt at this time:
1. Couples must have been married at least 10 years. If you have documented infertility and no children in the home, IBESR might make an exception.
2. Have no more than 2 children in the home
3. Adoptive parents must be at least 35 years old. If married, one parent can be 35 and the other can be no younger than 27.
4. Must be Christian
For those couples and single mothers who do no meet these requirements, do not despair! A new adoption law will be voted on soon and hopefully, the requirements will be less severe.
I will post here and on my blog when the new law is voted on and passed.
Adoptions seems to be moving through IBESR faster than they were pre-earthquake! We had a dossier go through IBESR in about 1 month!
14 December 2010
Two days ago I heard that the Netherlands was not going to allow any adoptions from Haiti until at least March of 2011. They quoted a couple of articles by UNICEF and another Social organization about the disorganization of the Haitian process.
Now, for all of us who have seen years of Haitian adoptions, I do not know if the adoptions process here has EVER been organized! There has always been problems with the adoption process in Haiti!
It makes me sad to know that three families that were waiting for a proposal will not receive the children that we chose for them! I sent proposals for them back in September, but the government will not allow the proposals for these families to go forward. I can understand not allowing new adoptive families to start the process, but you would think that families that have had their dossiers in Haiti for a year waiting for a child could finish the process!
I got good news today for French families. Eleven months after the earthquake, France has passed legislation that allows the adoptive children from Haiti to join their French families even if the process is not finished! American, Canadian, Dutch, and Luxembourg families have all been raising their children since January. I am thankful that the French government finally are allowing children to join their adoptive families, but sad it has taken so long for them to make the decision!
This will affect 3 children for GLA families and a couple of children still here for Bresma families. We do not know exactly how this is going to work, but I sent Terriot to the French Embassy today to get more information. I was gone and did not see him when he came back to the office, so I do not know what he found out. Will find out more tomorrow.
According to the information I did get through French families, the French and Haitian governments have an agreement where the children can leave without all of their paperwork finished and the Haitian government has said they will allow all European adoptions to be finished in Haiti.
We have had lots of trouble finishing any adoptions for evacuated children. Now that the civil court judge wants to see the child and parents, we have 30 adoption cases stuck in Civil Court! The children do not have passports or paperwork to return to Haiti, so their adoption cannot be finished! Hopefully, this agreement will allow these adoptions to be completed here so that the children can have their Haitian paperwork to show that they have a valid adoption in Haiti.
Pray that this actually happens and we can finish the adoption process for all evacuated children!
16 November 2010
Adoptions are open in Haiti. We are accepting children into the orphanage and accepting dossiers for families to adopt them. This is the first time in several years that we have more children than we do adoptive families waiting to adopt! I realize that since we are only accepting families who meet the 1974 criteria that it is more difficult to find families that meet all of the criteria, but I have faith that there are families for each of these children. Hopefully, after the national elections on 28 November and with the new senators taking office in February, we will see movement on them approving the new adoption law.
We are working hard to get children paper ready for adoption and finding families for each of them. We are sending children and their parents for DNA by the carload, and trying to get them all done as quickly as we can get the parents here.
The adoption process in Haiti in the last 10 years has been a long drawn out process. I am very interested to see how the whole process goes now. I am certain that it will be a bumpy journey getting through the adoption system here in Haiti post-earthquake. But we have to find families for these children, or where do they go? A Haitian orphanage? No, they need families and that is our goal for each and every one.
11 September 2010
I sent 11 proposals to families on our waiting list. I will start accepting a few new applications by will only accept families meeting the criteria of the 1974 law exactly. We do not want to have new families adopting who will need a Presidential dispensation (waiver). So only couples or single women who are 35 years old need apply. Couples must have been married 10 years and have no biological children.
When the new law passes, then we will change this rule, but for right now, we will not ask for presidential dispensations. This does not apply to any dossiers already in Haiti.
I am doing this because of the disorganization within the adoption process since the earthquake. We cannot count on getting a Presidential dispensation in quickly and so most orphanage directors are now only taking families that meet the requirements of the law exactly.
11 July 2010
I received word this week from my staff that the new adoption judge, Mrs. Joceline Cazimir, declared that she will not sign any adoption papers until the adoptive parents with their adopted child appears in front of her in Haiti. This is very upsetting to me. My staff came home with this news and feels like it came from pressure from some other organization either IBESR or UNICEF. Recently while she was in Europe at a meeting about adoptions, she said that she did not think parents and children who had left Haiti would need to return and now all of sudden she has changed her mind.
Adoptive parents would be foolish to come back to Haiti with their adopted children. They do not have passports nor visas. If they are brought back to Haiti, they will have to stay until their adoptions are finished and passports issued! We have a power struggle going on between IBESR, Parquet, Civil Court, and the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister signed for all of the evacuated children to leave Haiti and no one said a thing until it was all done and over with. Most countries are finishing up the children's adoptions in the adoptive country. I wanted to finish a Haitian adoption too but if the Haitian government is throwing roadblocks into our path that makes this impossible, then we wait months to finish the adoptions if needed.
Now parents will be required to come to Haiti 3 times. They will come at the beginnig of the process to appear in front of the local Judge, they will have to appear at the Civil Court, and then come at the end of the adoption to take their child home. The law does not require this civil court visit, so now Mrs. Cazimir is making up new rules. The Canadian government is considering stopping adoptions from Haiti for 3 to 6 months because of the adoption process being so disorganized right now.
There is a meeting this week between IBESR, Parquet, Civil Court, and MOI and this will all be discussed. We need to get in touch with as many of the adoption lawyers in Haiti as we can before this meeting so they can contact officials and petition them to look at this situation in a way that is best for the children. We also need foreign governments to help straighten out this situation.
16 June 2010
I am home and working on the adoption files. The French files have moved through the system well while I was out of Haiti. All other files have been slow because many families are needed at Parquet before the files can be released. Tomorrow (17 June) we will start broadcasting over several radio stations requests for missing parents to call us or come to GLA. We will also ask family members of these parents to call us if they have information about the parents. Hopefully, we will find more biological parents who can then go to Parquet for their interview. We will also be able to show Parquet officials that we have tried to find the parents and maybe they will give a waiver for those that we cannot find.
Because there is a new judge at the civil court, the greffier that we work with says we must repay the fee for the civil courts. This comes out to $90 USD per dossier. We have 29 dossiers in the civil court waiting for judgment. None of these are French dossiers. They are all for children who have already gone to their adoptive families. I just found this out when I returned to Haiti. I sent the money down to the Greffier on Tuesday and hopefully, the dossiers will be signed quickly and we can get them legalized and sent to the adoptive parents.
I am being told that for our European families they still must come to Haiti to appear in front of the local judge before Parquet will sign the dossiers. This is for children already with their adoptive families, but the families had not come to Haiti before the children were evacuated. I do not think this applies to American or Canadian families since both governments are having the parents finish the adoptions in the USA and Canada.
The new Adoption Law has been voted on by the Deputies and has now gone to chambers in the Senate. Several orphanage directors are petitioning different Senators and the Chief of the Senate to get some of the articles changed in the law. One of the articles says that single woman can adopt only if they are divorced or widowed. We would like to see that changed and the divorced and widowed taken out of that article. I will keep you updated on what I hear.
If anyone is inquiring about the biological parents of your adopted child and if they have passed by GLA, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can write him in English or French.
I am restarting the current adoption status page. If you are an adoptive family, use your password to get into the page and see if your adoption status has changed.
3 May 2010
Many of the orphanage directors are hesitant to turn in new dossiers for children that came to live in orphanages after the earthquake to IBESR because we have not had clear directions from the IBESR director. We are just a little uncertain and do no want to submit files and then have them rejected by the director. The different Haitian ministers during interviews in the media are saying that adoptions are closed in Haiti. Mme Bernard Pierre said they are not closed. So I have decided that I will start proposing children and turning in files in June instead of right now. Hopefully, by then we will know what IBESR is accepting or not accepting.
Many government offices are open but not necessarily doing all aspects of their jobs or are very slow at doing their work. We are legalizing papers now, getting signatures authorized, and people tell me MOI and Immigration is functioning and we can get passports. So Terriot, our adoption worker, is taking papers to all of the different government departments to get them legalized, stamped, and then on to get the passports.
I will keep you posted as we find out more information.
25 March 2010
IBESR refuses to give authorization papers to any children who have already left Haiti. The Prime Minister asked the orphananges to finish the adoption for all children leaving, but IBESR is afraid that the orphanages will use the IBESR authorization papers to take other children out of Haiti illegally. So at this time, we cannot finish any adoptions where the dossier is still in IBESR except for those cases where the children has not left Haiti. IBESR has forgotten what January was like in Haiti. Half of the key people in IBESR took their own children out of Haiti after the earthquake to a safe place!
Magaly, my Haitian administrator, is the one that talked to them today. GLA has always been given high praise by IBESR staff who have visited the orphanage. Magaly reminded them of this. She invited them to come and see the orphanage and the children we have here. They did not want us to take in children who needed help. They were upset with Magaly when she told them that we had taken in children living outside to help save them and especially the premature babies. IBESR is supposed to be the protector of children!
After much talking, they did agree that we can do adoptions for NEW children who have come into the orphanage since 12 January 2010 if their parents have given them for adoption and signed before the judge. They also said if parents were deceased, then if we have a family consent for adoption we can proceed. I do not think we can do adoptions yet for abandoned children, but we do not have any abandoned children at this time so this is not an issue.
So we will start giving proposals to families whose dossiers are already finished and in Haiti starting tomorrow.
We can do adoptions for any children still in Haiti. We must take those children down to IBESR for them to see the child. We will also be doing DNA on all children that are new to GLA so there can be no question that the parents are the parents. This is if we can find some place that is still doing the DNA exam!!
5 March 2010
Good News! Monday, 8 March 2010, the new Civil Court Judge (Doyen), Jocelyne Cazimir, will be in her office and signing civil court adoption judgments according to the greffier that we work with! This is very good news for all of the families waiting for the judgment before they can take their child home. The judgment is the finalization of the adoption.
22 February 2010
We have been told that we must finish all adoptions here in Haiti. IBESR wants us to continue the process through the Civil Court's judgment. This means that all children will have a legal Haitian adoption when we are done.
2 February 2010
24 January 2010
All orphans from the earthquake will not be available for adoption at ths time. First, they must be determined to be true orphans and not just seperated from their families. Then the Haitian government must declare them as abandoned. After this all happens, they will be available for adoption. But at this time, Haitian adoptions are not being processed. The government is not functioning in all areas. It may be months before they are up and running completely. It will take Haiti a long time to bounce back after the disaster. At this time, GLA will not be taking any new dossiers. We will wait and see what the Haitian government decides to do about the orphans and adoptions. I am praying that they wil allow adoptions of orphans to happen in a quicker time frame and get these children into families but until we know for sure, we will not take applications.
23 January 2010
The French government has asked for documentation on every adoption that is approved by IBESR. As soon as I return to Haiti, I will get the information together and sent to the French Embassy. We sent 2 children home today to their parents but these children already had their dossiers in the French Embassy and were had their visas. The children and staff knew that they were going home soon.
The Canadian Embassy decided on Thursday evening to allow the children to go to Canada to their adoptive families. They wanted us to send the children out on Saturday in the middle of the night, but we did not want the children to be traumatized an more than they have to be. We asked the Canadian Embassy to wait until Molly, Joyce, and I returned to Haiti on Sunday. They were okay with this and told us today that we can leave with the children on Monday orTuesday and 4 staff from GLA can travel with the chilren. We thought this was a much better scenario instead of putting the children on a plane with people they have never seen before! It only meant a delay of a couple of days.
I am the children's voice. They cannot speak up for themselves. We all love them them very much and have been with them since they came to GLA . I just want what is best for them and I do not feel turning them over to strangers for a 5 hour plane ride is what is best for them. I ask GLA families to please accept and understand my decision.
20 January 2010
Today, the US government issued 77 humanitarian paroles for GLA children and 6 visas. Our children will be going to the US soon to join their families.
GLA sent 23 children to the Netherlands and 14 children to Luxembourg tonight on a chartered plane. We are so thankful that the Dutch adoption agency NAS in cooperation with The Dutch Consular General in Haiti and the Dutch Ministry made this happen!
15 January 2010
U.S. citizens with pending adoption cases in Haiti are requested to contact the Department of State at AskCI@state.gov for information about their adoption case. In your inquiry, please include: full name and contact information of parents, full name(s) of child(ren), date(s) of birth of child(ren) [if known], and the name and contact information of orphanage.
14 January 2010
Our lawyer was able to get through to us today. She says all of the government buildings downtown were damaged or destroyed! She reported that Judge Rock CADET was killed in a building collapse.
I have asked our lawyer to petition IBESR and the government of Hait to allow all children in the adoption process to be allowed to join their adoptive families. We are all going to need beds for orphans who have lost their family in this disaster! I need all of my families to contact their adoption agencies and government officials to allow these children to leave Haiti without a Haitian passport on Humanitarian or Refuge visas! I KNOW the USA government can issue emergency passports for situtations like this because they did it for me during a crisis in Haiti from a poison in a children's fever medicine and children were dying. We sent 11 children out of Haiti during that time and most did not have a Haitian issued passport. Please find out if your government has such a system in place! (All DUTCH Families: Please work through NAS to get these children home. They are trying to get ALL children in process and not just those finished in Parquet. So join forces with NAS and not to confuse the issue with the Dutch Government.)
Some of your dossiers are thankfully with us in our office. Others are wtih other government sections and we do not know if they are intact or not. I do know that the National Palace, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, DJI building which is part of the legalization department, National Cathedral is gone. I do not know about Immigration or IBESR!
I do not know if this is possible but let us explore the possibility of getting the children out so that we can take in more orphans.
9 January 2010
We were told that on Friday, we would receive 7 more dossiers out of the courts. Now, when the court clerk says that dossiers will come out of the courts, he means that they will have been signed by the judge and sent back to Parquet for legalization, signed and sent back to us. Our adoption agent, Terriot, did not receive the dossiers. Terriot's motorcycle broke down yesterday afternoon on is way back to the orphanage. The clutch went out. So finally at six o'clock, he called to tell us that he would not be back and that the dossiers were not done yet! Hopefully, Monday, the dossiers will be in our hands.
7 January 2010
Some of my French families were confused by the last paragraph of the posting below. I changed it a little to make it more clear to them hopefully. For those dossiers that are now in Parquet, we have started contacting birth families to have them go to Parquet for their interviews. This has NOTHING to do with dossiers in courts who have already passed through Parquet adoption section once. Court papers must pass through Parquet again after signed by the judge in the civil courts, but they go to Parquet's legal section for legalization. They do not pass back through the adoption section.
I know that many of our families think that the paper trail for the adoption process is a simple one that once you get one signature, you are done in that section. I wish that was true, but it is not. In IBESR we need 4 signatures before the dossier is finished. In Parquet, we need signatures from different people BEFORE the dossier enters Parquet , a signature from the lawyer in charge of adoptions, and then a stamp after Parquet. In the civil courts, the head judge for adoptions must sign, the greffier must sign, the judge must sign again to legalize the signature of the greffier, and then the Parquet legalization department must sign. Now if the legalization department finds errors in wording, such as MANDATAIRE (Power of Attorney), on the document which was supposed to be removed, they send it back to the court clerk for correction. In Attestation, a clerk must type the form, another clerk must check the signature against the one on file, and then only the director of Archives can sign that the signature is a good one. For MOI, the dossiers must travel through 2 different offices and all of the documents are studied before it is signed. In Immigration, we turn the dossier into the receiving office, from their it goes to many different sections before it is returned to us as a passport! i believe there is 5 different offices that touch the dossier before it is given to us as a passport!
This does not take into consideration the Justice and Foreign Affaires offices that legalize all of the paperwork! We lose more paperwork in the Justice Legalization department than any where else in the system! We then have to ask the judge to remake paperwork that they have lost! When we turn paperwork into Legalization, it is no longer attached to the dossier but has to be taken out and individual papers given to Legalization.
Ordinarily, I find the system confusing so I do not share this with all of our families. But I have some families who cannot understand why different sections take so long and I want everyone to be aware of the complexity of the adoption process in Haiti. Even what I listed above is probably not all of the steps! Every once in awhile even I find out about a step in the process that I did not know about!
Nothing in Haiti is easy...
6 January 2010
Magaly, Terriot and I met this morning with our lawyer and the greffier (court clerk) to discuss the length of time it was taking for files to finish in Parquet and the Civil Court. After I returned from the US in December, I found that dossiers that we thought were in Parquet, had been returned to the greffier (court clerk) to have the new process verbal added and also the letter of requete (asking for consideration of the file) had to be retyped. Instead of sending that back to us to type, the court clerk kept all of the dossiers in his office. He was going to retype them all himself. I can do this in 1 minute on my computer. He takes a long time to do it because of electricity problems in his office plus he is running all over Port-au-Prince working! The Parquet also changed their system and said that the new process verbal that the judge in Kenscoff does after the adoptive parens visit had to be added before it entered Parquet. Everyone had been told to add them after Parquet and Parquet decided they must be added BEFORE Parquet! This is okay for the court to do this, but the greffier (court clerk) did not notify us! Thankfully, we had the process verbals to give him and he put them into Parquet after I returned to Haiti.
The dossiers in the Civil Court that came out last week are still listed as being in courts because after the civil court, we have to get the act of adoption. The adoption process will not change until the act of adoption is done and the dossier has moved into attestation.
Some families have written and wndered why dossiers in the civil courts have taken so long. We had about 20 dossiers in the civil court waiting to be signed. (We received 7 recently) I too wondered why things were taking so long. What has happened is that the court is requiring added wording in the civil court document. So all 20 of the dossiers had to be redone with the new wording added. Instead of the court clerk sending them back the orphanage, he kept them to change himself. He will NOT do that anymore.
I spent today retyping some papers for Parquet and hopefully, things are now done and everything is in the proper place. We should get dossiers from the civil court on Friday. I will keep everyone informed about what is going on as I know things!
We have already started contacting biological families to have them go to Parquet for their interviews for those dossiers that just got turned into Parquet. Hopefully, Parquet will sign the dossirs quickly after the birth famiies appear before them.
5 January 2010
Tomorrow morning, I have a meeting with the lawyer and one of the court clerks. I am trying to find out why it is taking so long to get the court papers signed. I asked for a meeting so we can plan how to make this whole process to go faster! Hopefully, I will have some answers and plans when I come home tomorrow!
Haiti is getting closer to passing a new adoption law. There was a notice in the Monitor newspaper talking about the new law and how the Parliment would handle debating and voting on the law! Many people here have told me that we will be lucky to get a new law this year since it is an election year. I am hoping they are wrong and the lawmakers will vote and pass a new law that will benefit the children!
1 January 2010
This past week, we received 7 dossiers out of the courts. It took several calls to our lawyer who is spending the holidays in New York with hr family to get the dossiers, but thankfully, we finally received them! There are several more that we are waiting on and they should be out next week. I found out that the court papers that were originaly typed here had to be changed because the Judge added some wording he wanted on the documents. This seems to be why it has taken so long. Hopefully, we have come to an agreement over how this will be done from now on to cut down on the time needed to do it!
Adoptive families start coming to GLA again on Tuesday to go in front of the judge. This has seemed to work very well when parents come. We have found that the children have done alright with the visits and their routine does not change while the adoptive parents visit. For some of the older children, we think it has been a great experience! It has helped for them to see their parents and know that they are coming back later to take them home!
The government will be working again next week. I do not know if every office will be working on Monday but next week sometime, they will all be working again!!
Please pray with us that 2010 will see adoption time to be less. I really want to see children going home quicker in 2010!