The number of adoptions in Haiti has increased in recent years. Do you know how to adopt a family member in Haiti? Read on to learn about the adoption process in detail.
Haiti is one of the developing countries in the western part of the US. More than 80% of the Haitians are below the poverty line. The children living in Haiti are orphaned or abandoned because of poverty, and these children stay in orphanages (or creches) till some family adopts them.
Do you know how to adopt a family member in Haiti? Haiti is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, and there have been some changes in the regulations and guidelines related to the Adoption process. To adopt a family member in Haiti, you need to fit into Haiti’s convention standards and guidelines. Generally, it takes one to three years to complete the adoption process.
In this article, let us look at the adoption process and eligibility criteria to adopt a child in Haiti.
Why Are There So Many International Adoptions From Haiti?
Haiti is one of the poorest countries that are near the Caribbean. There have been a lot of natural disasters in recent years in the Caribbean. This has affected parts of Haiti as well.
More than 7% of the people in Haiti are unemployed. Due to political unrest, poverty, and natural disasters, the vulnerable children in Haiti are abandoned and left to fend for themselves. As per reports, there are more than 1 million orphans in Haiti.
It is estimated that more than 30,000 children live in orphanages and care centers in Haiti. The IBESR regulates the orphanages in Haiti. As per IBESR reports, 80% of children living as these orphans have one living biological parent.
So why are there so many adoptions in Haiti? Why are children given for intercountry adoption in Haiti? Due to extreme poverty, most of the biological parents in Haiti have given up their children in orphanages.
The earthquake in 2010 has left thousands of families in Haiti with no shelter. So the parents had to send their children to creches or orphanages as they thought their kids would receive care, food, and have a better life.
But still, in many cases, many orphanages had to close down due to lack of resources, and many Haitian children were kidnapped and trafficked as well. With the Hague Convention, now the adoption process is well regulated.
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What Are The Haitian Adoption Laws
IBESR regulates the process of Haitian adoption. Under IBESR, Haiti has its adoption requirements and eligibility criteria for adoption.
- In 2013, private adoptions were made illegal as per the law. This means the parents who want to adopt from the US must only work with the IBESR licensed adoption care centers in Haiti, which have a green light status. This green light status means these licensed orphanages have met the standards for quality care of the kids.
- The adoption law in Haiti does not allow the family members to choose who will adopt their child unless the parents who want to adopt are the child’s relatives.
- As per the 2013 law, the adoptive family must have stayed in Haiti for five long years. Even if the adoptive families are US citizens and looking to adopt domestically, the children cannot relocate to the US unless the adoption criteria are met.
Who can Adopt In Haiti?
If you want to adopt a child from Haiti, you must meet the Hague Convention standards and adoption guidelines.
- Citizenship. If you want to adopt internationally from Haiti, one parent must have a citizenship of that country.
- Age Of Parents. The adoptive parent must be aged between 30 to 50 years. If a single parent is looking to adopt a child, they must be aged 35 years and above. Parents have to be at least 14 years older than the child.
- Employment. The adoptive parent must have employment proof and a stable income of at least $10,000. Though there is no minimum income required.
- Criminal History. Family members or adoptive parents with any criminal history like child abuse or domestic violence are not eligible for adopting a child.
Who Can Be Adopted In Haiti?
Children aged up to 15 years are available to adopt in Haiti. However, they must meet the eligibility requirements. Also, the child’s parents must turn over the parental rights through court. If the child is deserted and left alone, then the local authority can give the child’s consent to the adoptive family.
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Process Of Adoption In Haiti
Since the Hague adoption convention, there have been changes in guidelines and adoption processes. When adopting a child from Haiti, the process and travel times often overlap.
Even if you receive the child’s approval and are allowed to meet and bond with the child, you may still have to wait for some time to get the approval from Haiti’s authorities and court.
How To Adopt A Family Member In Haiti?
Let us look at the process of adopting a family member in Haiti.
#1 Application And Approval
To adopt a child in Haiti, you first need to choose an adoption service provider, review the eligibility criteria and fill out the application. Once the application is approved, the agency will provide the adoptive families with the adoption guidelines and other important information.
Once the application is approved, you need to be ready with your dossier. This includes USCIS filing for international adoption and compiling other essential documents. To make sure the adoptive parents are well prepared for the adoption process, the service providers make sure the parents have gone through the adoption training process necessary by the Hague Convention.
#3 Child Referral
Depending on your general approval, age and health, IBESR will refer a child. You will receive all the child’s details, including their medical history, age, and pictures. You can take up to 2 weeks to review the child’s history and then accept or reject the referral.
If you want to go ahead with the referred child, you must travel to Haiti to meet the child and complete other paperwork at the US embassy. The travel time and bonding with the child usually take 15 days.
#4 Complete The Adoption Process
To complete the adoption process, the CAN’s representative will have to update the application and get it approved by the IBESR. Once it is granted, the adoption has to be presented before the court for approval. You can then travel back to Haiti to get the child home.
From receiving the child referral to completing the adoption process, you need to follow the below steps.
- Apply for a child’s eligibility by filling a form I-800 through the USCIS.
- Travel to Haiti to bond with the child and social worker.
- After receiving the child’s approval for adoption, you need to fill DS-260 form for a visa.
- Complete the adoption process and submit all the required documents.
- Before taking the child, make sure to obtain their passport, visa, and birth certificates. Visas may take a few months.
How To Adopt A Relative’s Child In Haiti?
To adopt a child in Haiti, you must be at least 14 years older than the child. But in case you are adopting a relative’s child, you can be nine years older than the child. Children aged between 3 months to 16 years can be adopted. However, children over 12 years need to give their consent.
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How Do I Become Eligible For Adoption?
After choosing the adoption service provider and completing the home study, you need to apply to USCIS to be eligible for adoption. You need to send the I-800A form to USCIS to determine if you meet the standards to be the adoptive parents.
Once USCIS approves your application, your ASPs will send all the necessary documents to the Haitian authority to get approved. Once both countries approve the adoption application, you can start with the child referral process.
How Long Does It Take To Adopt From Haiti?
It generally takes one to three years to complete the adoption process in Haiti.
The time frame in the adoption process includes:
- Finding the ASP and completing the home study: 6 months.
- Applying for adoption eligibility: three months.
- Child referral: six to eight months.
- Travel trip to bond with the child: Approximately 15 days.
- Approval through USCIS: approximately eight months.
- Travel trip for child adoption: Approximately seven days.
Haiti Adoption Costs
Approximately it takes $25000 to $40000 to adopt a child from Haiti. The air cost, accommodation, and other travel expenses are not included.
Usually, the adoption expenses include the program fees that range from $10000 to $30,000, third-part fees that include the application and adoption process fees, travel costs from $5000 to $8000, and the post-adoption costs that are approximately $2500.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Orphanages Are There In Haiti?
On an estimate, there are around 760 orphanages in Haiti.
More than one million orphan children live in Haiti due to poverty, earthquake, and physical disabilities.
Can I Adopt My Niece From Haiti?
As per Haitian law, a child is not allowed to travel to the US for adoption. The adoptive parents must complete the adoption process as per the law and eligibility criteria before a child living in Haiti can travel to the US.
A Few Final Words
To adopt a family member in Haiti, you must meet the Hague convention standards and eligibility criteria. You will have to travel to Haiti a few times to schedule interviews, bond with the child, and complete the adoption process.