baby haiti 311.
(photo credit: AP)
For S., the decision to try and adopt a child from earthquake-devastated Haiti was almost immediate.
minute I saw the images on TV and realized that it was such a huge
disaster, I knew it was my destiny to adopt a child," S., 40, who asked
not to use her real name, told The Jerusalem Post
"I know there will be lots of challenges, but when your heart
tells you to do something and the decision comes straight from the pit
of your stomach, nothing else seems to matter," said S., who recently
split from her husband and would raise the child on her own.
She added: "For me it does not matter if a child comes from the
belly or from Haiti, all children are a challenge for their parents."
S. is among more than 30 families that have
approached the Welfare and Social Service Ministry's Adoption
Department over the past 10 days requesting to take in children left
orphaned by the January 12 earthquake.
On Thursday, representatives of the Foreign Ministry and the
Welfare and Social Services Ministry met to discuss the fine details of
a policy for adopting Haitians orphaned by the quake.
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in an interview Sunday. "There is no central government here and those
who are in charge are dealing with more pressing matters."
Radian added that despite the severe problems
facing children left without relatives after the earthquake, adoption
has to be done very carefully.
"We don't want to send children to be adopted and then suddenly discover that their parents are still alive," he said.
On Friday, however, UNICEF warned that amidst the chaos in
Haiti, child trafficking and sexual exploitation had become a main
Despite the fact that Radian was still uncertain if the
adoption of Haitian children would become a reality, Orna Hirschfeld,
director of the National Authority of Inter-Country Adoption, said that
requests from Israelis to adopt from the Caribbean country had been
flooding the office.
She said that those who had expressed an interest included both families that already have children and those that did not.
While Hirschfeld could provide very few details on what format
adoptions from Haiti would take, she highlighted that standard
guidelines, including background checks on families and relevant
preparation, would be implemented.
"The minister [Isaac Herzog] has already set up a committee of
professionals to prepare for such adoptions," she said, adding "This is
all part of Israel's humanitarian effort to help Haitians."
Asked about possible complications of interracial adoptions,
Hirschfeld responded that they were not uncommon in Israel, where there
has been a growth in recent years of families adopting from Guatemala.
Health Ministry officials also said that they had yet to create
a formal policy for the health examinations of Haitian orphans that
could be brought here, including testing them for AIDS/HIV, malaria,
hepatitis, typhoid and other diseases.
On Sunday, ministry spokeswoman Einav Shimron-Greenboim said it
was waiting for the government to make a decision and that if it was
decided to allow adoptions from Haiti, the ministry would decide what
examinations were required.
Judy Siegel contributed to this report.
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