News / Americas

US Addresses International Adoptions of Haitian Quake Survivors

Issue arises after Haitian authorities arrested 10 Americans for allegedly attempting to take children out of earthquake-ravaged nation without permission

TEXT SIZE - +

The Obama administration is stressing the need for strict and careful scrutiny of international adoptions to ensure that the best interests of children are protected and families are not separated. The issue arose after Haitian authorities arrested 10 Americans for allegedly attempting to take children out of the earthquake-ravaged nation without permission.

The State Department says the desire to rescue Haiti's destitute children is understandable, but that care must be taken to ensure that adoptions do not separate youngsters from their existing families. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, says the United States will only grant visas to those foreign children who have been formally approved for adoption by their home countries.

"In any other instance, you truly do not know if you are separating a family or not," said Mills. "And I think one of the things that is uniquely important in these kinds of situations, given the vulnerability of children, is that we are all as an international community focused on that particular goal."

Mills spoke with reporters in Washington.

An untold number of Haitian children were orphaned by last month's earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince and surrounding communities. In the weeks since, foreign interest in adopting Haitian children has skyrocketed. But aid groups that specialize in caring for the young, like Save the Children, say it can take months to conclusively determine whether a child has, in fact, been left without any surviving family members following a natural disaster.

The issue has gained prominence since Haiti arrested members of a U.S. church group, allegedly for attempting to take Haitian children into the neighboring Dominican Republic without the permission of Haitian officials.

Haiti has tough regulations governing adoptions but in the wake of the earthquake has suspended most foreign adoptions.

The State Department's Cheryl Mills says failure to respect due process in adoptions serves no one's interests.

"The real bottom line has to always be that we are seeking to always maintain families and children with their families when there are families present," said Mills. "And separating them does not ultimately serve the larger objectives that we have, which is ensuring that, in the end, orphans who are genuinely orphaned and have been adjudicated to be [adopted] end up with families who are seeking them."

Mills said U.S. officials have been in contact with their Haitian counterparts to ensure U.S. consular access to the detained Americans, but that the case has not been formally discussed between Washington and Port-au-Prince.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid

More Americas News

As Fires Die Down, Chileans Return to Ravaged Valparaiso

Many of victims in the city, part gritty port and part colorful retreat, were poor people in houses perched high on the city's remote hills
More

Kidnapped Venezuelan Journalist Freed

Globovision television journalist Nairobi Pinto was freed in city of Cua, 8 days after being kidnapped near her home in Caracas
More

Canada Taxpayer Data Stolen in Heartbleed Breach

Private information of about 900 people stolen from nation's computer systems as result of vulnerabilities
More

Photogallery At Least 12 Killed in Chile Fire

President declares state of emergency as firefighters battle blaze in port city of Valparaiso
More

36 Killed in Fiery Mexico Bus Crash

Four people reportedly injured in fire which erupted after the vehicle crashed into a broken down truck
More

Huge Fire Burns in Chile's Historic Port City

Firefighters struggle to contain blaze in Valparaiso, which so far has killed 16 people and destroyed 500 homes
More