Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Let's Hear it For the Haitian Government
Let’s hear it for the Haitian officials who stopped 10 Americans with a busload of Haitian children at the Dominican Republic border. Let’s hope that images of these Americans sitting in a Haitian jail discourage others planning to save children while supplying the rapacious American demand for foreign children.
We at FMF thought sanity had prevailed over the initial rush to bring Haitian children to the US for adoption and we could turn our attention to other events. After all, respected voices in international adoption, including Susan Soon-Keum Cox, Vice-President of Holt International Children’s Services, and Jane Aronson, director of Worldwide Orphans Foundation, have urged restraint. (Red Tapes Holds Haitian Families Together and Putting the Brakes on Haitian Adoptions
We were overly optimistic.
Haitian officials caught these Americans, eight whom were affiliated with two Baptist churches in Idaho, trying to cross into the Dominican Republic with 33 Haitian children. Led by Laura Silsby, CEO of PersonalShopper.com, an online shopping assistance company, they were on their way to Cabarete, DR where they had turned a hotel into a makeshift orphanage. Operating under the auspices of New Life Children’s Refuge which Silsby had incorporated on November 25, 2009, they planned to build new facilities in nearby Magante which would eventually hold 150 children and provide them “with a solid education and vocational skills as well as opportunities for adoption into a loving Christian family.” These facilities would also include “villas for adopting parents to stay while fulfilling requirements for 60-90 day visit” according to the New Life website.
At least some of the children were not orphans. Their parents told reporters for the NY Times that they agreed to allow their children to go with the missionaries because the missionaries had promised the children would receive an education in the DR. The missionaries told the parents that they would be able to visit their children and the children would be free to come home for visits.
We’ve seen this before. The mass removal of Native American children and Australian aborigine children. Operation Babylift and Pedro Pan. Orphan trains and Georgia Tann. A fanatical rush to save children resulting in needless suffering for them and their parents. Meanwhile, there are 123,000 American children are in foster care awaiting adoption.
In other news on the Haitian front, fifty children were brought to Utah under the auspices of the Wasatch International Adoption Agency Monday night. WIA is planning to bring 15 more who are “stranded” in Haiti, caught up in bureaucratic red tape” according to ABC news in Ogden.