Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Quake in Haiti is Speeding Up Adoption Process
Time Magazine: Haiti's Orphaned Kids: How the Quake Is Speeding Adoptions, by Siobhan Morrissey:
Dressed in an orange floral pinafore with her hair neatly pulled back into cornrows, 7-year-old Marie Guerline Clerge Bryditzki could serve as the poster child for increased efforts to place Haiti's orphans in adoptive homes following the devastating earthquake.
Although Marie has living biological parents in Haiti, she is going to live with a family in the U.S. that has been trying to adopt her for the past two years, says Dixie Bickel, director of God's Littlest Angels, the agency outside of Pétionville that arranged the adoption. Exactly a week after the Jan. 12 7.0-magnitude quake, the paperwork was in order and Marie was set to fly out of Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince. (See TIME's exclusive photos from Haiti.)
"The only good thing to come out of this [earthquake] is to see babies go home as babies," says Bickel, explaining that before the earthquake, it usually took at least two years for the adoption of Haitian children to go through. "Nine years ago, it only took three months," she says, adding that both Haitian and American bureaucracies are to blame. Where the Canadian embassy can process the necessary visas in three days, it's not unusual for the U.S. embassy in Port-au-Prince to take upwards of six weeks, she says. . . .
See also: NY Times: Girls’ Rescue From Haiti Expands Family by Two, by Susan Saulny.