Due to the recent humanitarian crisis, there are a number of Haitian children that are available for adoption. It is important to follow Haitian adoption laws properly to avoid problems with both Haitian and American law enforcement and protect your custody claim with the adopted child. The entire process for Haiti adoption, done properly and according to law, will take up to 24 months but will ensure your Haiti adoption is legal and protects the welfare of the child.
Thankfully, adoption is not as simple as picking a child as one would pick a puppy for adoption. The first step in the process is to file an application for adoption with the appropriate agency or organizations. There exist a few reliable adoption services that will work with both governments on your behalf. This application will be ask you for basic information and may ask about your intentions in adopting a child.
The adoption service will then proceed to do a home study to ensure that your home is a proper place for a child to live. The adoption agency will typically provide this service and report the results of the home study to Haitian authorities, ensuring that you are a proper parent. The adoption service will have social workers that will evaluate your home so that the adoption agency feels secure in recommending you as an adoptive parent to the Haitian government.
You will at this phase, need to complete a dossier that represents your application to the Haitian government. As such, the documents must include a French translation and a reliable adoption service will be able to assist you with this. A typical dossier will include testimony from the prospective adoptive parents on why they want a Haiti adoption. This stage will take about four months to complete.
The Haitian Adoption Authority, once they are convinced you are a fit parent will begin the process of identifying a child whose needs match your ability. This authority, in conjunction with other Haitian government agencies, may take as long as 18 months to certify the adoption. This part of the adoption process is especially difficult for families as the waiting period is unpredictable and tends to be long.
After the adoption is certified, the adoptive parents will travel to Haiti and bring the child to the United States. There will be two trips to Haiti. One trip will be to file the necessary paperwork with the Haitian courts and to visit the child to be adopted. The second trip will be to bring the child home.
aPlease note that if you were in the process of an adoption prior to the Jan 2010 earthquake, there exist waivers to quickly process these orphans and bring them to the United States. In the unlikely event that your Haiti adoption has still not processed, you should contact the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services immediately.