One of the many tragic side effects of the Haitian earthquake is that many people are now aware of the issue of child trafficking. As most people know ten American missionaries were arrested in Haiti after trying to take 33 Haitian children across the border to the Dominican Republic.
Although the Independent Adoption Center (IAC) is not involved in international adoptions, nor do we have any knowledge of whether or not these missionaries were involved in child trafficking it does recommit us to our mission of openness in adoption. We can certainly imagine the anguish any family would feel who did not know what had happened to their child. This is the same anguish birth parents feel when they relinquish their child for adoption, but are then banished from the child’s life. They never know if their child is happy and thriving. They have no way to know if they made the best choice for their child. In addition, every child, no matter how happy and well adjusted they are in their adopted homes, wants to know about their biological parents. This is completely natural, normal, and healthy.
For adoptive parents as well it is natural to want to know where did your child’s beautiful blonde curls came from, or if her artistic nature is something that runs in her biological family. What is her ethnic background? Even more importantly, are there illnesses that she may be susceptible to due to her family’s medical history?
IAC supports international adoption, including Haitian adoptions, but we do encourage openness in adoption. Often even orphaned children can maintain contact with extended family. Openness also diminishes the possibility of child trafficking.
If you are interested in finding out more about adoption in Haiti please visit the following web sites:
Joint Council on International Children’s Services
Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute