Spots Available for Families Interested in Adopting from Haiti

12
Jan

Haiti July 2013 055 SquareIf you are interested in adopting from Haiti, there are still openings in MLJ Adoptions’ Haiti International Adoption Program. We have not yet had to limit the number of families accepted into the program for a variety of reasons, and, at this time, dossiers are able to be submitted to Haiti immediately upon completion. This is great news for prospective adoptive families hoping to adopt from Haiti!

Over the past two years, adoptions in Haiti have seen significant changes. In order for a U.S. adoption agency to conduct adoptions from Haiti, it is now required that the agency be both Hague Approved/Accredited and hold an official approval from the Institut du Bien-Etre Social et Recherches (IBESR), Haiti’s central authority on adoptions. Upon Haiti’s transition to Hague, IBESR approved 20 U.S. adoption service providers to conduct adoptions from Haiti. MLJ Adoptions received the official approval on January 21, 2013, which was valid through late 2014. So as to continue working in Haiti beyond 2014, MLJ Adoptions successfully completed the reauthorization process and, in December 2014, received a renewed approval from IBESR that is valid through late 2016.

Haiti has done a wonderful job transitioning into a Hague adoption country, but it has been a slow process. While only approved agencies were able to submit dossiers to IBESR starting in early 2013, the entire transition to Hague was not complete until April 1, 2014. By the time that transition was complete, there were already a significant number of adoptions being processed under pre-Hague adoption procedures. It is speculated that for this reason, Haiti imposed a quota on the number of dossiers that each agency is able to submit in order to have sufficient time properly process both new and old cases. This quota applies not only to U.S. adoption service providers, but also to any authorized providers in other countries.

Currently, the quota allows each approved agency to submit one dossier per month; an additional five dossiers per year may be submitted on behalf of families adopting children with special needs. This means, in practice, that any given agency can submit no more than 17 dossiers per year. With the knowledge that there are so many children in need of loving and permanent families, this quota seems very small and may be a bit frustrating for both adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents. However, it is understandable that Haiti would be cautious and not want to overload itself with new cases until most or all pre-Hague cases have been completed and the Hague process is well established and running smoothly.

There is one caveat to the quota that is very positive. Within the quota, adoption service providers are able to accrue allowable submissions starting with the adoption service provider’s initial date of approval. This means that any month that MLJ Adoptions does not submit a dossier to IBESR, we accrue one dossier submission to be used on a future date; multiple dossiers may be submitted each month as long as there are enough accumulated spots available.

Unlike many of the other agencies currently approved to do adoptions from Haiti, MLJ Adoptions did not have a Haiti adoption program prior to Haiti’s implementation of Hague. This means MLJ Adoptions did not have families in process for adoption from Haiti when the quota went into effect. It took quite a few months before MLJ Adoptions had any families ready to submit their dossier to Haiti, which means we were able to save quite a few months submissions for later, and we have not yet caught up to our quota. Currently, we have 15 submissions available and less than ten families currently in the process of completing a home study or dossier. As the program grows, the one dossier per month quota will become more imposing, so if you are interested in adopting from Haiti, we encourage you to get started soon!

Please contact us for more information on adopting from Haiti.

Stacy Jacobs is the MLJ Adoptions Associate Program Director for Eastern Europe and Latin America. She is the mother of four children, three biological daughters and one son adopted from Guatemala.