Port-au-Prince Parquet - Judge Cadet is requiring families whose adoptions are processed through the Port-au-Prince court to attend in person.
U.S. Embassy Meeting - Last week Wednesday, I attended a meeting at the U.S. Embassy to which Judge Cadet, Madam Pierre (IBESR), M. Guignard (MOI) were invited also. M. Guignard is out of town, so his second in charge attended. Representatives from the French and Canadian Embassies were also in attendance as were other orphanage directors/ representatives. I really think that this meeting's real purpose was to get the Haitian officials to see that the parents are thoroughly screened and thus maybe the Haitian officials would stop making the adoption process more difficult.
For example, UNICEF keeps talking about disruptions, parents not knowing the children they are adopting and child trafficking. This presentation at the U.S. Embassy really "drove home" the point that parents are well qualified to adopt and that "child buying" is illegal under U.S. law. Also, the consular official made it very clear that if there is so much as an inkling of fraud, misrepresentation or suspicion of child buying, the child's visa will not be approved.
When I spoke to some of the officials later this week, they seemed to understand the process a bit better, but at the same time, they were annoyed because the invitation stated the start time as 9:00 a.m. but the meeting did not start until 10:20 a.m. Some of the Haitian officials felt slighted by that and one said that this was "disrespecting my time".
I think that the dialog needs to continue and that Haitian officials understand that parents who are adopting are not "rogue adopters" but thoroughly screened for fitness to adopt. Also, there needs to be a continued education that on the U.S. side of things, the adoptions are thoroughly examined and that contrary to UNICEF's concerns illegal and fraudulent "stuff" cannot make it through the system.
In Haitian adoptions, there are way to many cooks in the kitchen (as the saying goes). That is why things are so slow and frustrating. It is almost like every step is its own adoption process. It would be nice to get the departments/ministries/court to communicate with each other and to trust each other's process.
During the meeting USCIS and the U.S. Consulate representatives explained the approval process that American families have to go through in order to be approved to adopt.