Saturday, May 10, 2008

General Updates

IBESR / Parquet- from what I know, some families' files have been stuck in IBESR forever. (forever = 8 or more months)

Please note that what I am expressing here are my own opinions and conclusions.

Please know that since UNICEF has put so much pressure on the Haitian government, they are going over all documents/dossiers with a fine-tooth-comb and if there is just as much as a spelling error on a document (i.e. Archive), the orphanage has to get a new document. This can take some time. (Additionally, the U.S. Consulate personnel also made a visit to IBESR in March and that was perceived as pressure on IBESR, in addition to what UNICEF is doing. Officially, it is not called "pressure" because the official version is that Haiti is a sovereign country and as such UNICEF and/or any other country cannot tell Haiti what to do.)

Also, for a while families who have biological children were stuck in IBESR because Parquet would not process adoptions with biological children.

Mr. Gassant spoke of pressure that UNICEF and the French Embassy is putting on him to only implement the 1974 law that states "no biological children". I did not believe this until I learned that in March, the U.S. Consulate personnel went to visit with Mr. Gassant as well. (Obviously, I was not at the meeting, so this is not first hand information. However, my sources are reliable.)

Again the perception left with the Parquet Chief Prosecutor is that UNICEF, France and the U.S. do not want adoptions to proceed from Haiti and that "pressure is being applied". Maybe the respective embassy personnel and UNICEF personnel just want to ensure that all adoptions are done legally and properly, however the perception left is that it is "pressure" and that they are getting a "hard time for allowing adoptions".

So, for a while Parquet was holding on to adoption files with biological children. Even though the files had a presidential pardon, they were not being processed. I could not understand why UNICEF and other governments have more "say" than the President of Haiti? --- Why would the president not just put his foot down? --- I asked and was told that because of the dictator type past governments, the president wanted the different ministries to work it out themselves.

Recently, Parquet has been processing adoptions with biological children. IBESR is also signing out files with presidential pardons for families who have biological children.

Please know that files are not worked on in strict number order. If a file with a higher number is a file that has everything in order and there are no biological children, that file might get signed out faster than a file with a lower number where a family has biological children and/or a document has to be redone.

MOI - Ever since Madam Duret has taken over the office that processes the passport approvals, things have gotten much faster. Mr. Guignard still has to sign off on the letter that goes to Immigration, but with Madam Duret, things have been very organized and much smoother.

If you are a family whose file is stuck in MOI, then it is because there is a mistake with a document in your file (i.e. Archive or a typo on the adoption decree) and/or your orphanage has not done the "interview". An orphanage rep has to come in and provide additional information about the adoptive family, the adopted child and the birth family. Also, the rep has to bring in passport photos of the adoptive family and the adopted child. Some reps are faster at getting this done than others.

Immigration - has been an issue lately. Lots of paperwork has been getting lost and misplaced lately. The place is not exactly customer friendly and it is always really busy. There have been near-riots on several occasions in the last few weeks when people who have been waiting for their passports (not adoption passports - regular passports) have been told that their papers are lost and/or they have waited all day long to be seen, just to be sent away at the end of the day. It is utter chaos in the passport office on most days. On a daily basis, at least 300-500 people come to try to get their passports. So, in the midst of it all, orphanage reps are attempting to obtain adoption passports. Lately, some of the adoption passport paperwork has gotten lost/misplaced which means that the rep has to get the original documents replaced (i.e. birth certificate Archives, etc.) and has to get a new letter from MOI.

It is a struggle to get anything done... it always surprises me that adoptions get processed in spite of all these obstacles.


Anonymous said...

Hi Vera - we do not have bio kids at home and we've been in IBESR since mid August 2007 .... so that's 9 months. Is the IBESR process that same for Canadians as it is for American's? Hang in there everyone - the kids do eventually come home. Thanks Vera for all you do!!

Canada said...

Yes, the process is the same no matter what country the family is adopting from.

You need to check with your orphanage or lawyer to ask them if there were any documents that needed to be redone or replaced.

geralyn said...

We have been stuck in IBESR since Sept. 2007 and we have NO BIRTH KIDS. Our O tells us that nothing is wrong with our file and we just have to wait. What is going on for real. I have this gut feeling that something is wrong or it got lost and no one wants to tell us. Any ideas on why we are still in IBESR when we exceed all requirements and have no bio kids. said...

Some files are stuck in IBESR for 6-9 months. What orphanage are you adopting through? Do you have an IBESR file number? Sometimes the lawyers don't turn in the files right away. For example, the orphanage gives the file to the lawyer in March, but he does not turn it in until April because that is when he gets some other files out of IBESR.

Just email me privately, instead of posting on the comment section.

anita said...

Hello Vera,
We are an adoptive family from the Netherlands. And we have three bio-kids(all daughters) and we are in the adoptionprocess to adopt two brothers. We went in the IBESR in May 2007 and gone out Februari 2008 I think?! Now we are waiting for the presidential approval for almost three months now.Did anyone also wait so long for the approval?
Greetings and great compliments for what you are doing!!!!
Anita said...

I am not the presidential approval expert...but from what I know, when your file is ready to come out of IBESR, the files are taken to an office (separate from IBESR) where the presidential approval is given.

I have heard it two ways... one is that there is an actual letter that is attached to your file with the presidential approval.

The other one is that there is a list of families that are basically entered on a spreadsheet and signed off as having presidential approval.

What I do know is that the presidential approval is a formality. It is not where a family has to plead their case or where the orphanage has to plead the family's case as to why they should get the presidential approval.

I have no idea why it would take so long to get that approval.

Anonymous said...

Something that I found interesting is that when I spoke with a representative from my Congressman's office about Haitian adoptions, he actually appeared to know a little bit about the issue. He said he had just been to a conference on international adoptions that had been put on by the government. He said that at this conference, Haitian adoptions were described as the third most corrupt in the world. (Or maybe it was in the top three for corruption. Not that it really matters becuase either way it makes Haitian adoptions look bad.) But if that information is being put forth by the US government than is it any wonder that both the Haitian side of things and the US side are facing increased scrutiny? The whole ranking of countries is just interesting to me. Who decides what actions constitute corruption? And how to you compare abstract things? For example, other countries charage enerally cost ten thousand dollars more than Haitian adoptions and I know of at least two countries that require parents to bring large sums of cash (not checks, not money orders, cash) to present directly to the orphanage directors. Both of those seem to be huge concerns but how do you compare those monetary issues to the "bending of the 1974 law." How do you decide which is more corrupt? It saddens me that as Vera was saying before Haiti is getting tagged as plagued by illegal or corrupt adoptions. Especially when as Vera was saying most of the orphanages/agencies are doing things correctly.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last comment. In those countries where adoptive parents are asked to bring cash donations. Where is that money going? How is it used? There does not seem much accounting. Yet, does the US Embassy scrutinize those adoptions? a BIG FAT NO.

So, that means that there is a double standard. BIG TIME!

Processing the orphan investigation and visa portion takes 24 hours. Nobody questions the cash donations in the other "established countries".

What is happening in Haiti is a big witch hunt as Vera has pointed out. Why is that? Has UNICEF found any sold or stolen kids in adoptions? BIG FAT 'NO'.

There are so many children that need homes in Haiti that there is no need to steal or sell kids.

Personally I would like to see a list of the so called corrupt happenings in Haitian adoptions that were presented at that conference. Adoptions in Haiti take such a LONG time and leave such a HUGE papertrail, where is the corruption?

I find the comparison with witch-hunt correct because similar to the witch-hunts of the middle ages, there is this frenzy to find something that is NOT there!

Anonymous said...

After one year in IBESR (2 bio. kids) I am starting to wonder if we will ever get out.
Is there no word yet on what is going on in IBESR??? I realize that there is pressure from UNICEF/other governments, but seriously is it possible that we may never get out?
I am just beginning to think that Haitian adoptions are going to shut down altogether and that scares me to death.

anita said...

Hello anonymous and Vera,
I would react on the last comment concerning the long wait in IBESR.
I have wrote my story on the fifth comment. I am Anita from the Netherlands. We are, as I wrote, an adoptive family from the Netherlands with three bio daughters and in the adoptionproces to adopt two brothers. I was also feeling down about the proces as you can read, but yesterday we are finanly out of the IBESR after 1 year and 5 days. We went in the IBESR on 10 May 2007 and 17 March 2008 the IBESR gave their approval. The approval from the President toke 2 months and then the IBESR gave our dossier free on 15 May 2008. So have faith and you will come out of the IBESR believe me. It is a long way, but the will gave you the approval, because the gave it also to us. I hope you feel a little better!!??
Anita Dijk

Anonymous said...

Hi Vera, at MOI after the interview is done by the Orphanages, what is the next things that happens at MOI. How long is the wait before approval. Can you clarify.