Friday, February 12, 2010

Help Haiti's Orphans - Here's How!!!

Friends,

I am behind... WAY behind on posting to this blog. I am going to update very soon, but for now I need to inform you of an opportunity to advocate and support the orphans of Haiti. This is an urgent matter for the lives of many orphans so please read on and then ACT, SHARE, and PRAY!

As many of you have seen on the news, the impact of the Haiti earthquake on orphans has been devastating. And now... there are more orphans in Haiti than ever. Immediately after the earthquake both the US and the Haitian governments were open to bringing orphans into the US via humanitarian parole. But then UNICEF stepped in. UNICEF has money which = power and apparently they also have an agenda that is 1. PRO-CHOICE and 2. AGAINST international adoption. Over and over again I have watched UNICEF representatives on CNN and other news state their view that children are best kept in their own culture and that though it seems like there are a lot of orphans, most of them will be absorbed back into their communities and orphanages. UNICEF's calm and seemingly intellectual approach is everything but. While they calmly state that adoption is not the answer, children lay behind them with barely any clothes, looking underfed as they swat away flies and cry. You tell me - if Haiti could not take care of the 380,000 orphans that were there BEFORE the earthquake, then how in the WORLD are they going to handle the thousands of orphans created by the earthquake. It's insanity... no CRUELTY... to not offer at least some of these orphans a hope and a future. They may not get to keep all their culture (though, as an adoptive parent of one child from China and another from Ethiopia and I attest to the fact that we encourage the learning and experience of those cultures in our daughter's lives) they may get to keep their LIVES!!!! If only we do something now before it is too late. Orphanages are now overcrowded with new orphans and the Child Welfare Act that states that children should not be adoptable for 2 years after a tragedy like this earthquake (in order to make sure families have time to step forward and reunite with their children) is holding hostage those orphans whose parents relinquished their rights before the earthquake. Just because they were not matched to a family before the earthquake they are being held back for 2 years from being adoptable under the Child Welfare Act and this simply is not logical.

So here is the good news: Rep. Hoekstra recently introduced legislation H.R. 4603 (the HOPE Act) to Congress which addresses some of the Haitian orphans that were not previously covered by Humanitarian Parole Policy as of Jan. 18. Remember, that for the last few weeks the only orphans allowed to come to the US were those who were matched to families BEFORE the earthquake and all other children fell under the Child Welfare Act keeping them stuck in Haiti even if their parents legally relinquished their rights to the child/children before the earthquake. But The HOPE Act addresses those Haitian orphans that were not covered by the DHS policy exemption by: Having DHS create a ³third category² to expand their humanitarian parole policy on a case-by-case basis for Haitian children who were legally confirmed as orphans eligible for intercountry adoption prior to the earthquake on January 12, 2010. If a suitable family is not found to provide care for a Haitian orphan, under the HOPE Act they would be eligible for placement in the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program. This legislation is aimed at helping those Haitian orphans that are eligible for intercounty adoption but did not yet have a prospective family at the time of the earthquake.

Here is a link to where you can read about this Hope Act for yourself: : http://chrisitianallianceblog.org/?p=433?a1657b90

To help this Act pass through PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE look up (you can google it) your local Senators and Congressmen and email them (or call in) your approval of this H.R. 4603 Hope Act!!! Please take a little time to do this and then share this information with EVERYONE you know. And after that - pray! Pray for God to move mountains for these orphans that have no voice without ours. This is the time for the church to rise up and BE the change!

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