Haiti is OPEN to intercountry adoptions.
CCAI GENERAL OVERVIEW OF HAITIAN ADOPTION
Prior to the January 2010 earthquake, Haiti was considered the poorest nation in the western hemisphere. Children were orphaned or abandoned primarily due to the extreme poverty of their families. Poverty is also the catalyst for the use of the restavek system in Haiti, in which poor parents send their children to serve as slaves in the homes of wealthier families. There are an estimated 225,000 restaveks, and these children are especially vulnerable to physical, sexual and other forms of abuse.
For the fifth consecutive year, Haiti has been named a Special Case by the Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. For years, Haiti has served as the source, transit and destination country for the trafficking of men, women and children – specifically in the areas of forced labor and forced prostitution. Major obstacles to combat this are that Haiti lacks the legislation to criminalize these forms of trafficking, and therefore the national police child protection unit, the Brigade for the Protection of Minors, does not pursue these cases as there is no statutory penalty for either forced labor or prostitution of children.
Due to the devastation of the earthquake, there now exist even greater challenges to the vulnerable children of this nation, and to the intercountry adoption process. The Minister of Social Affairs recently estimated that the number of orphans has risen to 570,000 children. The increased presence of NGOs and faith-based organizations has brought greater awareness to the issues effecting these children, particularly in relation to child trafficking.
On January 18, 2010, the United States allowed for Special Humanitarian Parole for Haitian Orphans, which allowed those adoptions that were in place prior to the earthquake to be completed quickly. This special program came to a close on April 14, 2010, and the regular processing of intercountry adoptions from Haiti resumed. Haiti’s adoption authority, the Institut du Bien-etre Social et de Recherches (IBESR), informed the U.S. government in April that Haiti would allow for the adoption of children who were documented as adoptable prior to the earthquake, or those who were relinquished afterwards.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE ALERT & NOTICES
October 17, 2012 - Alert: Update on Haiti's New Adoption Procedures
September 14, 2012 - Notice: Haiti Announces New Adoption Procedures
July 16, 2012 - Alert: Haiti Approves Ratification of the Hague Adoption Convention
May 4, 2012 - Alert: Temporary Suspension of New Adoption Cases
June 27, 2011 - Alert: Pursuing Independent Adoptions without Licensed Angencies Increases Risk of Delays and Fraud
June 21, 2011 - Notice: Special Advisor for Children's Issues Ambassador Susan Jacobs Travels to Haiti to Discuss Intercountry Adoption
HAITI ADOPTION INFORMATION
All of the information listed below is from the following source:
Haiti Web Page, U.S. Department of State, Office of Children's Issues
Number of Adoptions to the U.S.
Hague Country: No
Central Authority: Institut du Bien Etre Social et de Recherches" (IBESR)
In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Haiti also has the following eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents:
Residency Requirements: Haitian law does not require prospective adoptive parents to reside in Haiti, although Haitian courts and/or the Institut du Bien Etre Social et de Recherches (IBESR, the Haitian adoption authority) may require American prospective adoptive parents to travel to Haiti before the adoption is finalized. The U.S. Government does not require adoptive parents to travel to Haiti at any time during the adoption and immigrant visa process.
Age Requirements: Under Haitian law, the prospective adoptive parent must be 35 or older. For married couples, one prospective adoptive parent may be under age 35, provided the couple has been married for ten years and has no biological children. The adoptive parent must be at least 19 years older than the child they intend to adopt. These restrictions can be waived with permission from the President of Haiti.(please see note below on "Waiver of Ineligibility.")
Marriage Requirements: Adoptions by married couples require the consent of both spouses. This restriction can be waived with permission from the President of Haiti. (please see note below on "Waiver of Ineligibility.")
Note: U.S. immigration procedures still require the signature of both spouses on the USCIS Form I-600 (Petition to Classify Orphan as Immediate Relative).
Other Requirements: Haitian law permits adoptions by single parents, provided they meet the age requirements. Adoptive parents who already have children will need to obtain a waiver from the President of Haiti. This requirement is commonly waived.
Waiver of Ineligibility: While Presidential waivers of ineligibility are sometimes issued, they are difficult to obtain and require a lengthy period of time to process. Prospective adoptive parents who do not fit the guidelines should consider not adopting in Haiti.