February 5, 2010

Haiti's Children Best Served by Care, Not Removal

HAITI’S CHILDREN BEST SERVED BY CARE, NOT REMOVAL

SAN DIEGO, February 3, 2010 – Concerned United Birthparents (CUB) urges the
governments of Haiti and the U.S. to stand strong against suggestions that
the best way to help Haiti’s children is by removing them from their
families, culture and homeland.

A national non-profit of birthparents, adoptees and adoptive parents, CUB
shares the world’s concern for Haiti’s most vulnerable in the wake of the
devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010. But the 33-year-old non-profit
says it has a unique understanding of how important it is to reject
quick-fix solutions when it comes to a child’s life, especially in its time
of greatest need.

“Years of working with family members who were separated by adoption have
taught us that good intentions are not enough,” said CUB president Mary Lou
Cullen. “The hasty transfer of traumatized children, many with family status
unknown, to foreign shelters, foster care or adoption agencies, should not
be tolerated. Haiti's devastation should not be compounded by anything that
inadvertently, or intentionally, contributes to the risk of family
separation for any purpose.”

As the United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its partners – including
the Haitian Government and the Red Cross – establish safe spaces for the
hundreds of thousands of children separated from their families before and
after the earthquake, and begin to register all unaccompanied minors, CUB
urges the governments of the U.S. and Haiti to halt any further airlifts of
children or any new adoptions.

In addition, CUB urges that any groups with clear or potential conflicts of
interest – such as adoption agencies and ministries – be removed from the
decision-making process about how best to serve Haiti’s children.
Humanitarian policies should be applied on a case-by-case basis for those
children whose legal adoption had already been approved, and were in the
process of being adopted, with the support of the latest and best practices
in the field. “But,” Cullen says, “all other pending adoptions should be
immediately suspended.”

Haitians living in the U.S. should get help to locate their youngest
relatives on the island, and the transfer of any children with documented
parents or family members in the U.S. should be expedited, for temporary or
permanent placement.

The recent arrest of an Idaho church group for transporting 33 Haitian
children across Haiti’s border – without papers or approval – has drawn the
world’s attention to what can happen when well-meaning but ill-informed
forces swoop in to “help.”

MORE ABOUT CUB: Through a network of regional groups and an annual
conference, CUB provides mutual support for the ongoing challenges of
adoption – resources, referrals and a strong network – and works to educate
the public about adoption issues and realities. It also assists
adoption-separated relatives searching for family members, opposes
unnecessary family separations and supports adoption reform in law and
social policy.

6 comments:

Von said...

Yes, progress!!!!

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