Recently, The Department of State posted a release regarding inquiries from American citizens concerned about the plight of children affected by the earthquake in Haiti. We understand that some Americans want to respond to the need of the children in Haiti by opening their homes to the orphans created by this disaster, however, we want to reiterate that it can be extremely difficult in these circumstances to determine the eligibility of children for intercountry adoption.
Some children in Haiti have been temporarily separated from the parents and other family members, so the focus at this time is reconnecting families who have been torn apart by this devastating tragedy. If it is discovered that a child has been left parentless, they are often taken in by other relatives in the extended family.
During times of crisis, it can also be exceptionally difficult to fulfill the legal requirements for adoption of both the U.S. and the child’s country of origin. This is especially true when civil authority breaks down or temporarily ceases to function. It can also be difficult to gather documents necessary to fulfill the legal requirements of U.S. immigration law. There are many ways in which U.S. citizens can help the children in areas of natural disaster or conflict. For example, individuals who wish to assist can make a financial contribution to a reputable relief or humanitarian organization working in that country.
If you’d like to help, the following organizations are accepting cash donations:
- International Committee of the Red Cross
- Save the Children
- LDS Philanthropies
- World Vision
- Doctors Without Borders
- The American Red Cross
When making a donation to assist with the need in Haiti, make sure you are donating to a reputable organization.
[Edited 1/19/2010 - We've closed comments on this post because of the amount of response we've had regarding the adoption of children from Haiti. Currently, unless you are already in the process of adopting a child from Haiti, adoption from Haiti is not possible at this time. There is no information about what will happen to children who may be orphaned by the disaster. Please continue to check back for more information]