Haitian ambassador addresses adoptions
While Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendall is being hailed as a hero in many circles for flying a jet into Haiti, scooping up a group of orphans and bringing them back to Pittsburgh to find them permanent homes, Haiti’s ambassador to the United States, Raymond Joseph, issued a word of caution regarding a growing debate about adopting children orphaned by the earthquake.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security allows orphaned children from Haiti to enter the United States on a case-by-case basis. During a morning news conference to announce a command center at the Haitian Embassy, Joseph said not everyone was happy with that system. “One group says we don’t want to heard them like cattle, and then the other group says that we should do it speedily. How do we balance that? Well I think that we are balancing pretty well.”
Rendell brought a military transport out of Port-au-Prince Monday with 53 orphans aboard. According to the governor's office most of the children were under the age of 4 and already were cleared to be adopted, while six were in the process of being adopted. The children all were orphans prior to the earthquake, but were made homeless by it when their orphanage was destroyed.
“We have to take time to find out who the kids are, if there are parents there and who is the guardian," Joseph said. "You cant just pick up any kid in the street who needs it and send him to America where he is going to be adopted. You can’t do that.”
-- Hamil R. Harris
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