Before the January 12, 2010 earthquake, an estimated 50,000 children were living in Haitian orphanages, and the number of children now orphaned has risen by tens of thousands, according to aid groups. Many people in other countries are eager to find a meaningful way to help, and adoption is one possibility.
 Is it a good idea?
Concerned with the possibility of child trafficking, the US National Council for Adoption is opposed to any expedited efforts to process new adoptions in Haiti, and also generally frowns on "baby lifts," the practice of wanting to adopt in times of emergency. You may want to remember that adoption is a lifelong commitment, and that there may be easier and better ways to help right away with what is going on in Haiti.
But if you were considering adopting anyway, and want to do something with a longterm positive impact on someone's life, adoption from Haiti or elsewhere could be incredibly meaningful.
 What should I do next?
The best way to help an orphaned child right now is to provide humanitarian aid to Haiti. Thousands of children are at risk of illness and death because they are not getting adequate water, food and medical care. Once the situation in Haiti stabilizes, the normal adoption process will start again and families can be matched to children.
To get things started already, people interested in adoption can contact the agencies placing children from Haiti and fill out this form.
 More details
The standard procedure for adopting a child in Haiti involves receiving appropriate documentation from the Haitian courts and from the Institut du Bien Etre Social et de Research (IBESR). The general steps include receiving a legal release from the child's birth parents or custodian, submitting this release to the IBESR which, after examining certain factors, will issue an authorization of adoption, then presenting this authorization to a civil court which will then grant an official adoption decree to the adoptive parents. The child also needs to obtain a Haitian passport so that he or she can leave the country. See http://haiti.adoption.com/
However, because there is such a serious need now and documents traditionally required to go through a formal adoption process are likely lost in the rubble, the U.S. government is being asked to grant Haitian orphans referred to American families humanitarian parole to the United States, thus expediting the release of children who already received adoption clearance by the Haitian government.
Scroll to the bottom of the Joint Council on International Children's Services Haiti web page to find out about adoption agencies around the United States with connections in Haiti.
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