Sorry for not having updated my blog much lately...but there has not been much to report on that has not already been written about.
IBESR - continues to require all adoptive families with children to obtain a "Presidential Waiver". Now, not only families with bio kids but families with adopted kids have to get the waiver. Since the "presidential office" (actually Ministry of Justice) only accepts 10 files at a time, this can be a really slow process for some families. It is frustrating because in the meantime the children continue to live in orphanages instead of with their families.
UNICEF keeps meddling in the adoptions, so they are not making things easier for the process. The interesting thing is that UNICEF talks a lot --- but you know the saying: "Put your money where your mouth is."? --- well they talk a lot but I do not really see them doing much for the kids in Haiti. When I speak with people who work with the kids, including Haitian government workers, they all agree with that. UNICEF is becoming a "bad word" because they meddle in things BUT cannot provide workable solutions and cannot assist in ensuring that all Haitian children have loving homes, food, education and medical treatment. In my opinion, UNICEF is just good at putting roadblocks in the way of children having loving homes, food, education and medical treatment.
Parquet - The newest "thing" is that thanks to our friends at UNICEF who are concerned that parents adopt children before they have met them in person, have put a bug in the ear of the judge in Parquet (court) in Port-au-Prince that all adoptive parents should come to court in Haiti. This way, supposedly, the judge can assure himself that the adoptive parents really want the child.
Maybe we ought to invite our friends from UNICEF and the judge to one of the many Haiti Adoption Reunions that are held on a regular basis.
* May - there was one in Washington D.C. at the invitation of the Haitian Ambassador to the U.S.
* August - there was a BIG one with over 200 families in Indiana.
* August - there is another one in Washington state.
There are adoption reunions on a bi-monthly basis in the U.S. and Canada. I would love to learn about adoption reunions in Europe.
Here is the "kicker" --- the prospective adoptive parents are supposed to attend a hearing with the judge in Parquet. But, they won't have an appointment (or court date), so they are expected to come and sit, and wait, and wait some more? In the meantime, protests continue in downtown Port-au-Prince on a regular basis, most recently last week over the minimum wage issue.
Also, as posted on this blog before...these protests have involved Parquet before especially when protesters have been arrested. Hmmm... So I would like to know how UNICEF and the judge are going to ensure the adoptive parents safety when the parents sit in Parquet for a week?
Ministry of Interior - I know that there are a lot of adoptive parents frustrated with the Ministry of Interior (MOI) process. Files have been stuck in MOI for many months, I know of some files that have been inside of MOI for a year!
Here is the issue... Thanks to our friends at UNICEF who are so worried about child trafficking, the workers in MOI have been instructed to go through every document with a fine tooth comb. This means that if there is as much as a misspelled word on any document, that document has to be done over again. That can take a long time for an orphanage to correct because it means that, for example, an adoption decree has to be redone.
In the meantime, that file is stuck inside of MOI...because an "a" instead of an "e" in a word could really mean that the child was trafficked (just kidding!) --- but that is what it comes down to.
Also, MOI does not trust Archives (where documents are certified), especially for documents that are less than one year old and have "half-page Archives" attached. For any such documents, the orphanage has to obtain a letter from the Ministry of Justice that certifies that the Archive is proper and legal. However, here comes the kicker...often that letter from the Ministry of Justice has a typo. What does that mean? It means that MOI cannot accept a letter with a typo and then the orphanage has to go back to the Ministry of Justice to get a new letter without a typo.
In the meantime, the document that was less than one year old, now is one year old...and that means that it needs to be a "full-page Archive" and no longer a "half-page Archive". Thus, then the orphanage is sent back to get a full-page Archive and this can take several months to obtain, especially if the log book is not in Archives yet.
I hope that you get the picture of the "spinning wheels"? The thing is that the people who work in the adoption related MOI office are one of the hardest working people that I have ever observed in Haiti. They want to get the files signed out and they often work right through their lunch break. However, they are bound by the "rules"...