Thursday, April 3, 2008


Madame, Monsieur,

Je souhaiterais par la présente recevoir des explications de l'UNICEF concernant le sujet suivant.

Récemment, des représentants de l'agence pour l'adoption américaine ont rencontré M. Claudy Gassant concernant son refus de signer les décrêts d'adoption internationale qui se trouvent dans son bureau du Parquet de Port au Prince.

Selon les personnes présentes au rendez-vous, M. Gassant aurait déclaré ne pas signer ces dossiers d'adoption en raison de la pression exercée sur lui par l'UNICEF pour qu'il applique la loi haïtienne sur l'adoption de 1974 qui n'autorise que les familles et célibataires sans enfant biologique à adopter.

Les dossiers d'adoption ont été examinés par l'IBESR et ont tous obtenu l'accord de son directeur. De plus, les parents adoptants ayant des enfants biologiques ont reçu une dispense du Président Préval. Cependant, M. Gassant refuse de délivrer et de signer les décrêts d'adoption car il subit la pression de l'UNICEF pour appliquer la loi de 1974.

Je suis persuadée que l'UNICEF n'exerce aucune pression sur les personnalités officielles du gouvernement ou de la justice de pays souverains comme Haïti. Néanmoins, c'est bien la raison invoquée par M. Gassant pour expliquer son refus de signer et de retenir environ 300 dossiers dans son bureau du Parquet.

Je sais que de nombreux enfants sont décédés dans les crêches en raisons des conditions sanitaires et qu'ils auraient pu aisément être traités dans les pays de leurs parents adoptifs comme la France, les Etats-Unis, le Canada, les Pays-Bas pour ne citer qu'eux. Malheureusement, comme les dossiers de procédure d'adoption étaient bloqués ces enfants ont péri inutilement.

Vous remerciant par avance pour vos éclaircissements sur ce sujet, je vous prie d'agréer, Madame, Monsieur, mes sincères salutations.


Dear Madam/Sir:

I am writing this letter to receive clarification from UNICEF regarding the following described matter.

Recently, U.S. adoption related agency representatives met with Mister Claudy Gassant regarding his refusal to sign international adoption decrees that are in Mister Gassant's Port-au-Prince Parquet office (court).

According to the persons present in the meeting with Mister Gassant, he stated that the reason he is not signing these adoption decrees is because of UNICEF's pressure on Mister Gassant to enforce the 1974 Haitian Adoption Law that states that only families and singles with no biological children can adopt.

The adoption files have been examined by IBESR and have a valid IBESR adoption approval. Additionally, the internationally adopting parents who have biological children have received a letter of Presidential Pardon from President Preval. However, Mister Gassant refuses to issue and to sign the adoption decrees because of UNICEF's pressure to enforce the 1974 law.

It is my understanding that UNICEF does not assert pressure on the government or judicial officials of sovereign countries, such as Haiti. Nonetheless, this is the reason Mr. Gassant gave as to why he has not signed and is holding approximately 300 adoption files in his Parquet office.

I know of several children who have died in their orphanages because of medical conditions that could easily have been taken care of with medical treatment in their adoptive parents home countries, France, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, to name a few. However, because these children's adoption files were held up in the process these children perished unnecessarily.

I appreciate UNICEF's clarification and response in this matter.



Anonymous said...

Wonderful draft!
I am not able to translate this myself, but will gladly sign when it is translated....
As parents stuck in IBESR for nearly one year, We cannot thank you enough Vera for your work on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Hello Vera, what are we suppose to do , do you want that many people sand this letter ?

I think Natalie is going to translate in French for you!!


Kathy Eden said...

I can't translate either but wanted to thank you for writing it...well done!

lori said...

Thank you for writing this letter. I would like to sign it as well if needed. My son was one of the children who died while we waited in IBESR.
May God Bless the work of your hands.
lori tugwell

Anonymous said...

HI Vera
I also plan to sign your petition, it is all well and good to make adopting more difficult but where are the solutions for all the hungry, homeless, abused, child slaves and prostitutes. I would have thought they would be a priority to UNICEF before making international adoptions more difficult. Or it is their 'policy' is to deal with something that can be changed easier.Very Sad. You talk alot about UNICEF but no mention about the 'Hague Convention' which is probably what they are trying to acheive, as I have heard USA is heading towards this as well, and then you will see a HUGE drop of international adoptions to the USA and from a VERY selct set of countries. I don't think you can discuss this topic without mentioning the Hague Convention. This means only countries who are a member of the Hague can adopt children to another Hague country and as noted in Haiti proposed new laws the criteria is stricter (poverty is not a reason to give up your child for adoption(??)) and seems to me more difficult to fulfil. Hence some countries like the USA don't want to join. For e.g. we are Australian, if we were not expats (i.e if we were currently living in Australia)then there is NO way we could adopt from Haiti as Australia is a member of the Hague Convention and Haiti is not. And Haiti is where our children are we are so sure of that as clear as day/night, black/white.

The idea is to protect the children and we all certainly want that!! Anyway that is not helping our files to be signed off by IBESR, does ONE bio children need presidential approval? I am getting so confused!!!
Great cause and great blog.
Good Luck with it all. Good luck with finishing your studies. You have our support.