Who are the children of Haiti

The Republic of Haiti (Ayiti) is a beautiful Caribbean country with a fascinating culture containing elements from French, African, and native Taino cultures. The overall population in Haiti is roughly 10.4 million people with the population being divided between 95% black and 5% mulatto. Haiti is a mountainous nation making up the western one-third of the island of Hispaniola while the Dominican Republic makes up the eastern two-thirds of the island. Haiti is world-famous for its incredible colorful art and lively music (konpa). The capital of Haiti is Port-au-Prince. 

Haiti remains among the least developed nations in the world, ranked 168th out of 187 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index (2014). According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, about 80% of the population is estimated to be living below the poverty line with more than 60% living in extreme poverty, unable to access sufficient food to eat. Due to these very difficult economic issues in Haiti, there is a high rate of infant mortality and a lack of access to healthcare and education.

Children in the Crèche/Orphanage

In light of economic struggles in Haiti some Haitian parents make the difficult decision to place their child with a local crèche/orphanage with the expectation that their child will be adopted internationally. The birth parents are very grateful to have a home where their child can be fed, clothed, and provided access to both education and healthcare. The child match process requires that birth parents come to IBESR for an orientation and two interviews with IBESR officials to ensure the birth parents’ understanding of adoption and their desire for their child to be made available for adoption. Birth parents will also be required to sign a legal document giving up their parental rights in court.

There are also abandoned children and children with no living birth parents residing in our partner orphanages in Haiti.

Children’s Health
  • When a child comes to live in the crèche/orphanage, a full examination of the child is performed and there is routine medical care provided to the child. The child will receive routine check-ups and any necessary medical treatment in the crèche/orphanage or in the local hospital.
  • The population in Haiti has a high rate of tuberculosis, so families are encouraged to have their child tested after they are home.
  • The children are tested for sickle cell, VDRL (syphilis), Hepatitis B, and HIV when they enter the crèche/orphanage. Some children are delayed developmentally due to their challenging beginnings, but most children are not far behind in the normal development stages. CCAI will work with our partner orphanages to get information on any developmental, cognitive, or emotional delays and/or issues that a child might be dealing with.
Child Referral and Socialization Trip

IBESR in Haiti handles all child referrals and matches. Once an adoptive family’s dossier has been approved by IBESR, the family will receive a referral for a child(ren). If the adoptive family decides to accept the child referral, they will travel on a 15 day socialization trip to meet and spend time with the prospective adoptive child(ren). This trip is required for all adoptive parents.

Adoptive parents will stay at the orphanage or a guest house owned by the orphanage and will have the opportunity to bond with their child(ren). During this trip a social worker from IBESR will visit with the adoptive parents, interview them, and then write an official recommendation. This recommendation is one of the final steps in becoming officially matched with a child(ren) and being approved as an adoptive family by IBESR.

Post-Match Update

After a child is officially matched by IBESR to an adoptive family, CCAI will receive updated information periodically from the crèche/orphanage, which will be shared with the adoptive family as soon as it is received. At times, updated photos are also received and shared. 

Pre-adoption Visitation

IBESR does not want prospective adoptive families to visit children in Haiti before they are officially matched by them. It is CCAI understands that the pre-identification of a child for adoption may ultimately result in IBESR rejecting that match.

Children’s Health at Placement

CCAI wants families to have a realistic expectation of their adopted child and what their first few weeks together may be like. It is important to remember that an orphanage is not a home, so some of the children may have:

  • physical or mental developmental delays 
  • malnutrition
  • colds
  • rashes
  • scabies
  • mulluscum (a mild skin disease)
  • bug bites
  • parasites
  • possible lead exposure
  • effects from water and/or air pollution 

For more information on known health risks in Haiti, please visit the World Health Organization’s website at http://www.who.int/en/. Despite these issues, most children have had their basic needs met and will flourish once they become a part of your family.