This past year has contained a lot of excitement for MLJ Adoptions’ families adopting from Haiti! The program officially opened in 2013, but there have been some setbacks along the way. When Haiti officially joined the Hague Convention in April 2014, the implementation of new regulations caused a slowdown for families waiting to receive referrals and then to bring their children home. However, this fall, our first two children joined their forever families!
The children who came home from Haiti this year were both four years old, one female and one male. The families waited 15 and 16 months, respectively, from referral to placement. One of our families who brought their child home this year said, “Thank you for everything. This has been quite a bumpy ride, but oh so worth it.” We are so excited that these children will experience the holiday season in the love a family!
In addition to two children coming home from Haiti, we had three families receive referrals this year.
- Male child, fifteen years old – 29 month wait from dossier submission to referral
- Male child, two years old – 11 month wait from dossier submission to referral
- Female child, 16 months old – 31 month wait from dossier submission to referral
We expect that families adopting from Haiti will wait 12-24 months to be matched with a child, and then 12-18 months to bring their child home. Haiti requires that families travel to the country twice, once at the time of referral, for a two week socialization period, and then for about one week at the very end of the process to bring the child home. We have been relieved that Hurricane Matthew has not seemed to upset the adoption process from Haiti, though we were very saddened by the devastation that the hurricane caused.
Although Haiti officially joined the Hague Convention in April 2014, they continue to move towards a complete implementation of the Hague process. Families adopting from Haitin and waiting on a referral can be matched with children in any of the IBESR-licensed creches, or orphanages, in the country. We hope that greater familiarity with the Hague process will continue to streamline adoptions and decrease wait times for families to be matched with children and to bring children home.
Right now, we have several families adopting from Haiti whose dossiers were submitted nearly 24 months ago. We are hopeful that 2017 could be a great year in our Haiti Program!
If you’re interested in learning more about adopting from Haiti, please contact us.
Photo Credit: Feed My Starving Children