The Legal Complexities of Adopting and Hosting Children from Haiti


So many hearts and homes have been opened to help the children of Haiti, following the devastating earthquakes. The MLJ Adoptions, Inc. team has volunteered several hours and days, researching reports, confirming details, and making contacts with those in Haiti, in an effort to create opportunities for as many people to help as possible. The situation has been changing and will likely continue to change; however, here is our current understanding and how you may be able to help.

Humanitarian parole is available to orphans that were identified as orphans (legally abandoned) prior to the tragedy. Children that have been orphaned by the earthquakes are not currently eligible for a humanitarian parole visa. Efforts will be made to connect these children to extended family members before legally deeming them an orphan who could be adopted.

MLJ Adoptions, Inc. is involved in a "grass roots" effort to bring Haitian children to the Central Indiana area on a Humanitarian Parole visa. This is a complex and difficult process at this time. While we are hopeful to provide a hosting opportunity, we recognize that we may be limited to our Haitian adoption program.

Human trafficking is always a concern following a tragedy like this and therefore, government are cautious about granting visas and allowing international adoption. As a Hague Approved agency, MLJ Adoptions, Inc. is committed to the protection of children and the prevention of child trafficking.

There is no official moratorium on adoptions in Haiti at this time; however, a concern has been raised about starting new adoptions. Inter-country adoption of children from Haiti will likely be necessary; therefore, we do not anticipate a complete moratorium on Haitian adoptions for quite a while. Even if Haitian adoptions stop for a period of time, due to the orphan crisis in Haiti and Haiti’s history of international adoptions, we believe that this will only be temporary and not a permanent termination of adoptions in Haiti. However, there will likely be delays in a Haitian adoption, and there may be a period of time when adoptions are not occurring.

Those in the U.S. and Haitian governments have taken various positions regarding inter-country adoption between the U.S. and Haiti. While some want to ease the process, others would like to stop the process. In the past, Haiti did not require that adoptive parents utilize a licensed agency; however, this is one change that has been suggested. You may want to contact your senator and representative and ask them to support helping the orphans of Haiti and ensuring international adoptions proceed in a safe manner that prevents child trafficking. The U.S. government does have the ability to screen all adoptive parents and keep international adoption safe for the children.

MLJ Adoptions, Inc. is committed to finding loving homes for the orphans of the world. We recognize that just as there is an orphan crisis today in Haiti, there is an orphan crisis every day around the world, with an estimated 147 million orphans world wide. While we continue to research reports, confirm details, make contacts, and create opportunities for you to be involved; we also continue our work in every other country where hosting opportunities and adoptions are currently more predictable.

MLJ Adoptions is a Non-Profit, Hague-Accredited adoption service provider located in Indianapolis, Indiana, working in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Isles. We are passionate about serving children in need.