Would you adopt a Haitian orphan? Do they really need us?

Before the quake, Haiti had about 380,000 children in orphanages and now the U.S. State Department is estimating there could be tens of thousands more children left without parents.

From MTV News:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says:

“One area we are urgently focused on is the plight of Haitian orphans,” she said of the thousands or perhaps tens of thousands of children who were left without parents after the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck last Tuesday.

” ‘We will also be doing everything we can to unite the many children and families that have been separated in the aftermath of the earthquake and to do all that we can to expedite the travel of children who were in the line for adoption who have a legal, permanent home [or] guardianship waiting for them. We will not let red tape stand in the way of helping those in need.’ ”

“According to The New York Times, that process was already under way, as a group of 53 Haitian orphans touched down in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, the first of what is expected to be a large wave of children who will arrive in the U.S. after the country loosened its policy on visa requirements to expedite the adoption of parentless Haitian children by American families. It normally takes up to three years to adopt a child from Haiti.”

According to a Canadian Web site France will immediately take in 276 children from quake-hit Haiti who had been matched with French parents for adoption, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Wednesday.

While researching for this story I found another site from a children’s organization in Haiti saying that the situation is not as dire as the State Department is thinking and believes they will have far fewer children to place.

Here’s what SOS Children’s Villages reports on its Web site:

“Despite making a public statement discouraging people from trying to adopt earthquake orphans We have been inundated with offers from around the world from well meaning couples wanting to know how to set about adopting. Please could we make the following points very clearly:

  • Despite exaggeration in the media by people who wish to make a dramatic story, the actual number of children orphaned by the earthquake is likely to be 5-10,000, based simply on the experience of other major disasters. After the tsunami reports of 1.5 m orphans from the same sources turned out to be quite false, with the final figure of about 5,400. There were similar ratios of overall fatality to number of orphans created in each country.
  • There are hundreds of thousands of children in need of immediate help but most will have some traceable family somewhere. These children will need schools, homes and so on and longer term donations are needed to support them.
  • Of the 5-10,000 orphans typically, with support from family strengthening programmes such as those we already run in Haiti, 80-90 % would have family whom they know in some position to care for them. This leaves perhaps 1000 newly orphaned children aged 0-18 from the earthquake the older of whom with have deep linguistic and cultural routes and would have a difficult time adapting to competitive Western schooling etc. We expect to end up with many of these older  children, in the usual pattern of events. Perhaps 50 babies orphaned by the earthquake may be suitable for adoption whereas many children already orphaned were already in the process of adoption.
  • The total number of fatalities from the earthquake is likely to exceed 200,000 which is 2% of the population of Haiti, with a heavy concentration in poor urban areas. The current number of orphaned and abandoned children in Haiti is about 380,000 of whom more than 2% have probably died in the disaster. There are therefore probably fewer actual orphans in Haiti as a result of this disaster, although the number is still horrific and the conditions of they and other children have deteriorated sharply.
  • Children who have just been orphaned by the earthquake will not have been properly assessed with families traced etc until at least 18 months time, given the state of records and so on in Haiti.
  • Many thousands of couples worldwide have stated an interest in adopting an earthquake orphan. There is a huge mismatch between offer and actually need.”
  • I’m not sure what to make of the differential in numbers. I guess we will have a much better idea as the rescuers are able to match children up with their families. If there is a need, would you adopt an orphan from the Haitian earthquake? What would it mean to the children we already have?

    242 comments Add your comment

    TRACEY

    January 22nd, 2010
    9:40 pm

    My husband and I have 2 children. We would adopt a Haitian child but I am not sure how to do it. I would not want to wait years to get them. Can someone help? I am willing to give a home to a helpless child. Love Tracey

    Danny

    January 22nd, 2010
    9:48 pm

    I have been thinking about adopting a child for a long time. It hurts to see the destruction and knowing that so many children are homeless and hurt. Maybe now is the time that I get my home ready.

    michael

    January 22nd, 2010
    10:17 pm

    i feel really bad i will do anything they want me to do

    michael

    January 22nd, 2010
    10:18 pm

    i really feel bad i want to adopt a child

    TRACEY

    January 22nd, 2010
    10:32 pm

    it seems a lot of us are willing to take in a child. That is so sweet; It is so sad what happens around us. It is expensive to adopt, but if this is going to help out a child I think the government should think of the child and send them to a family that can Love them and help. …..Love Tracey….I wish I can do so much more.

    Kitsie Morris

    January 22nd, 2010
    10:36 pm

    My husband and I are not wealthy, but do pretty well. We’ve raised seven children who are now (almost) on their own. We have love in our hearts and a wonderful home. We CAN adopt a child or siblings, depending on the adoption fees. There must be a need for loving people like us.

    Monet

    January 22nd, 2010
    10:40 pm

    If it wasn’t for all this red tape I would adopt or foster tomorrow. My family has so much to offer.

    sandra

    January 22nd, 2010
    11:10 pm

    I hope that the children will find good ho,es I hope to find a child I only have one son i fill the need to help in this way but do not have the money . I wish to no what to do

    Rebecca in Alaska

    January 23rd, 2010
    1:27 am

    My husband and I have been watching the special on tv and had the thought to adopt as well. Now I’m not sure what to think. Some of these children probably have family members that can take them but the onditions are still horrendous! Perhaps there is a way to “foster” them until conditions are better.
    We have raised our 6 kids and have enough love and room for a child, even if it is temporary. Money has always been tight but we still managed.
    The previous comments about the “baggage” these children carry is a valid point, but, these children and people need our help NOW! If we could we would take them all! Alaska is harsh but its heart is BIG!!!

    Carolyn Skaggs

    January 23rd, 2010
    2:54 am

    I want with all my heart to adopt one of these children. If they ahve no family or the family cannot care for them these beautiful children have the ‘God given right’ to be loved and cared for and to ahve a family if they do not have one. I have one grown son. I have my own home. Ihave a room that would be this child’s room. I have so much love, caring, concern and I am a therapist so I have been and would be a good paretn. I ahve so much love to give a child taht has been through what these children have been through. I ahve God, the Lord Jesus Christ and He created these children and wants them to have parents. I am not sure who repsonds to this post but I want to adopt one of these beautiful children.
    God bless you. I hope someone will contact me.

    Mozo

    January 23rd, 2010
    2:55 am

    I would simply love to adopt a little boy from Haiti. My wife and I are both ministers at an African-American church. We adopted triplet girls over 10 years ago, and have never regretted it. We would enjoy having a son. Our girls would greatly love a little brother. Sign me up!

    Helena Vrettou

    January 23rd, 2010
    5:26 am

    I would adopt one or two kids if there was need. I’ve already done it once !

    Michelle

    January 23rd, 2010
    8:13 am

    I believe that the organization SOS is trying to do right by these orphaned children in all honesty.
    The children have already been traumatized enough to this point. Many of us in the U.S. have
    been seeing all the faces on TV and feeling guilty and sad for the kids. We all know that we as a whole (including our homeless) have it a million times better than anyone in Haiti. That is a normal reaction to
    have. The truth is Guilt fades….If someone was not planning on adoption prior to the earthquake and only
    wants to adopt because they feel sorry for the children? This can cause a lot of problems too.
    With all the good intentions initially, who knows how the child will adapt or the adoptive family.
    I believe that a foster situation with the option to adopt later would be the most realistic option.

    Debbie

    January 23rd, 2010
    11:11 am

    I am a Registerd/Licensed Foster Parent/Adoptive Parent in Maryland. I have been for over 3 years. In that time, I have only been called on rarely to provide assistance, due to the affluence of the area in which I live. (Not much need for me to act, not many kids in need here.) My DSS keeps me on the roles though “in case” they need my empty beds, rather than share my info with other counties in my State. The US should allow folks like me to adopt these children using the US approved Homestudy I have, instead of requiring a private sector Homestudy to adopt from private adoption agencies. These children could be brought here and added to the US system and find homes. I have room in my heart and life for at least 2 children. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti, and the orphans. I was taken aback by the SOS agency comments. Seriously??? Too many people coming forward??? There were already over 300,000 orphans there and they haven’t placed them yet, and they have the gaul to discourage families from wanting to volunteer to give these children a better life? That spokesperson needs to find a new job…they are not in the right line of work.

    Sherri

    January 23rd, 2010
    11:54 am

    I’m a mother of 2, a n older son(9) and a little girl(3). My husband and I are trying to adopt (we’d take children that need to stay together) it’s been a hard go with the organization being busy but we’d love more children. If we could adopt and give these children a loving home we would. Not knowing the cost and the red flags going on but these children do need someone to care, love and give them a good life they deserve! Thanks

    Mitzi

    January 23rd, 2010
    7:34 pm

    Yes, we would adopt immediately. I am married with 2 children already and we have plenty of space for more kids. We just need to know what to do from here? We can even come to Haiti to pick the child up. Isn’t that better than a child being in Haiti right now suffering! Can someone rush the process? Why make these kids suffer any more?

    val

    January 23rd, 2010
    9:03 pm

    they make it so hard to adopt childern there are hundreds of kids that dont have a loving parent or parents they make u go threw courses on how to be a parent cost thousands of dollars only the RICH can afford to adopt you dont have to go threw home studies to have a baby why do they make you do it to adopt? they need to ease up on things i would love to have a brother or sister for my son he would love to have someone to play

    Donna Burke

    January 23rd, 2010
    10:03 pm

    I would adopt a child/orphan from Haiti who needs a loving family. We are less interested in an infant, as we already have a 14 and 19 year old. We’d love to be of assistance to a school age girl.

    barbara fox

    January 23rd, 2010
    10:58 pm

    i have raised 6 kids i would love to adopt any child in need. i just dont have the 3 or 4 thousand it takes to do so. you would think that love would outdo money?

    chantay

    January 24th, 2010
    12:52 am

    Yes, where are they and how I get information to adopt. Does anyone have the info? I am at winds2heave@yahoo.com

    OpenUrHeart

    January 24th, 2010
    2:23 am

    I would feel blessed and lucky to be able to adopt or even foster one of these amazing children. I don’t have much, but what I do have I’d give to them. I wouldn’t know how or where to begin. I’ve always been told how expensive it is to adopt and I just think that is wrong. Every child needs and wants a home. Love, support, loyalty and respect. Willing and able familys should be able to find a child who in return can be placed with them. It’s that easy. I understand measures are needed to make sure these children are going to safe homes, but it shouldn’t be about money. Every organization asks us for money, to donate, but we are talking about giving a child a new lease on life. I would rather send money to a fostering or adoptive family who has giving more then thier wallet. They have given thier hearts.

    Just some of my thoughts.

    Prophetess J

    January 24th, 2010
    3:15 am

    Father God is Faithful, and Jesus loves us with an everlasting love. Children are God’s gift. The orphans are very, very special to the Lord Jesus. His desire is for us to reach out to them and love them. As a minister of the Lord, I admonishes the church especially, to adopt even one orphan. You will experience the Blessings of the Lord continually. For all of you who have adopted or foster an orphan with pure motives the Lord honors you! May His peace continue to be yours.

    claudia

    January 24th, 2010
    2:44 pm

    I understand that some people, including myself, would like adoptions to be faster, but I also understand that there has to be certain procedures done in order to assure a child’s safety. Nowadays, the trafficking of children is one of the main problems worldwide, and skipping some of the steps for adopting could only jeopardize and cause more harm to a child’s life. Right now, I am inquiring about all the steps for adoption, because I would really like to adopt 2-3 children. This is something that I have beeen talking with my husband, of 12 years now, since we first got married. We already have 4 children from our marriage, but we think that we have enough love to give and share with children that really need it. Our love is based in our family, always being together. I hope and wish with all my heart for Haiti people to find and get all the help they need. God bless them.

    Deanna

    January 24th, 2010
    5:50 pm

    My husband and I have wanted children for years and tried everything medically possible. We had given up hope and the adoption process is ardurous and so expensive we never thought it an option. We both work stable well paid jobs, have a wonderfully supportive family to help us. We would love to give a child from Haiti a stable loving home but aren’t sure about the process.

    dixie pixie

    January 25th, 2010
    10:55 am

    @ Connie Jenkins–

    My husband and I have been trying to adopt for over three years. How did you manage to adopt 5? I would take a child, infant to 11 years old, from here or Haiti or wherever else!

    Donna lowery

    January 25th, 2010
    6:51 pm

    Yes They Need Us No We Can Not Fly To Get Them

    Donna lowery

    January 25th, 2010
    6:52 pm

    And Cant The State Pay For Them To Come Here. Why Not Cause There Just To Lazy To Help Them People In Haiti Survive.What Are They For?You know…?!

    Donna lowery

    January 25th, 2010
    6:55 pm

    Can You Pay The 3 Or Four Thousand Dollars To Fly o Haiti Just Two Times? I Cant

    Donna lowery

    January 25th, 2010
    6:57 pm

    I Meant To Haiti Two Times .Its Only 8 Thousand Dollars

    Donna lowery

    January 25th, 2010
    6:59 pm

    Kelly Freeman

    January 27th, 2010
    8:24 am

    I am a single woman that has had the privilage to raise 4 very wounderful children. I am 47 years old and I have plenty of time and am finacialy stable . I fibd n=m y self feeling a bit lost now that my Children are grown and raising children and loving them seems to be what I do best. After hearing of this tragidy I have thought of little else except the children left without homes and families who love and care for them . This is the one thing that I feel I am more than willing to do . Helping to give a child that has not been able to or would ever be able to have the love and care in witch I feel I could provide would be the greatest gift I could give. I believe that I am a very loving and caring mother that puts nothing above the needs of a child no matter where they come from. I am able to give them the Love , nurturturing, stability,structure and home in which all of Gods children deserve to have. Please let me know what I can do to make this happpen for a deserving young child, God Bless and I am looking forward to a responce as soon as possible Thank You and my God be with you all as well as the children

    Melanie

    January 29th, 2010
    12:16 pm

    We would love to adopt an orphan and give him/her a home that she will be loved and have opportunities! I was a former teacher now a stay at home mother and would love to be able to give an orphaned child a loving home!

    Barrack Obama

    January 31st, 2010
    9:15 am

    Do we not have any children here in the US that need homes? I would say that when we can answer that question and say “NO” we have homes for every one of our children and they are well taken care of”. Then we “might look somewhere else. Are we just enabling a country when we give aid, or should we teach them how to fish for themselves? At what point do we say we have too many people in one country? Why don’t we all just move over there and they can move in here and take everything we have worked for! We might as well….. You idiots!

    Lily

    February 1st, 2010
    3:05 am

    I think that I would adopt a child from any country, I am a single mom of 2, and its hard, but I still want to and will, there would not be anything more humbling and meaningful to me than to give love to a child that is in need, and al children need to be loved and care for.

    me

    February 1st, 2010
    11:43 pm

    Imagine that you’re at work when whatever natural disaster is most probable in your state strikes. For me it would be an earthquake, for you it might be a flood, volcanic eruption, or hurricane. The natural disaster has toppled telephone poles and cell phone towers, damaged roads, and collapsed bridges. You try desperately to contact family members but no phones are working.

    What was a simple 45 minute commute this morning has become an almost impossible journey. The freeway is impassible and roads are covered in debris. It takes you almost a week to reach home. When you finally arrive you receive word that your sister and her husband were seriously injured and did not survive. As you absorb this loss you worry about your three year old niece and five year old nephew.

    After several frantic days you make it to your sister’s destroyed house only to find out from her neighbors that your niece and nephew have been taken by foreigners to be cared for in an orphanage. You are thankful to hear that they survived and are determined to find and care for them. Unfortunately, the neighbors don’t know which organization took the children. All they know is that they spoke only a little English and wore matching green shirts with words in either Spanish or Portuguese written on them.

    You are frantically searching for the orphanage when word reaches you that foreigners have begun flying plane loads of children out of orphanages to be adopted in other countries. You start to panic for fear that by the time you find this orphanage it’ll be too late. If your niece and nephew have been taken to another country you may never be able to find them and bring them back. It’s now a race against time.

    Jennifer Miller

    February 21st, 2010
    10:41 pm

    I would adopt a child in a heartbeat! They need love!

    Jenice

    February 23rd, 2010
    2:21 am

    I absolutely would adopt a child from Haiti, ever since the tragic earthquakes, I have pondered the thought a thousand times , surely I dont know exactly how to go about it but through faith ,hope and love this will be answered. I feel when you are to adopt a child you must learn about the childs culture just as they are to learn yours as a family we set the lifestyle and enviroment .

    annoymous

    March 3rd, 2010
    8:21 pm

    No I would not adopt a child from Haiti. I agree that the culture is to different. I believe that I would put my own family and children at risk of abuse. I believe that even in pre teens and adulthood that they may betray the family trhat took them in. This happened to clean out all the 80% HIV infection there, the witchcraft, devil worship and even human sacrifice is preformed there. I am a Christian and do not believe they can even be converted.

    Bob Watson

    April 16th, 2010
    5:27 pm

    Why are there so many orphans (380,000 +) for a relatively small population?

    lrlr

    August 18th, 2010
    11:01 am

    Enter your comments here

    christina

    August 18th, 2010
    11:04 am

    Enter your comments here
    hi i dint have any kids but would love to adopt. i would adopt from any place in the world i cant have my own kids but i have plenty of love to give to any kids. i wouldnt mind adopting two at one time so if u know anybody who need help with their babies let me know on my email at fivefootdime86@yahoo.com. im located in las vegas nevada

    christina

    August 18th, 2010
    11:06 am

    YES I WILL ADOPT FROM HAITI!