Email received today: Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 5:22 PM
SOS believes that brothers and sisters should always stay together.
Nature was cruel enough to turn children into orphans in a matter of minutes. But mere minutes cannot determine the future of these orphaned children. The global community must now be responsible enough to take the time to determine these children’s fates.
You may have seen in the last several days a planeload of orphans from Haiti making their way to Pennsylvania, undoubtedly to be adopted by parents in the U.S. This is a wonderful story of survival, rescue and adoption. But it’s not the whole story…
These particular children already had adoptive parents waiting to raise them with love and security. They presumably had been through the process that determined that no close relatives existed to take them in. Haitian children who have just lost their parents in the earthquake have not been through any such process.
In the weeks ahead you will see many stories about what should happen to these children. This is our position.
Our Position on this Sensitive Issue:
* SOS Children’s Villages believes in the rights of every child, including orphaned children.
* We believe that a coordinated approach needs to be taken by relief agencies in Haiti to identify, register and document unaccompanied children as quickly as possible.
* We believe in the earliest possible reunification between children and their families.
* We caution ALL ORGANIZATIONS working in Haiti against making premature decisions on permanent care (adoption) of orphaned children.
* We believe that siblings should always stay together.
* We believe that a parental figure should always be present.
* This is absolutely a sensitive and complex issue … but decisions made now will impact these children for the rest of their lives. Shouldn’t the first consideration be family ties — brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles? If there is a chance at reunification with parents or close relatives, isn’t that the best option?
If there is a chance that siblings could stay together and grow up together, isn’t that better than being split apart?
SOS Children’s Villages will remain in Haiti for the long-term. We will provide secure, stable homes for orphans as they mature. We will prepare them for lives as independent adults. Please support SOS as we pave the way for a brighter future for these orphans. Sponsor a Disaster Orphan now.
SOS Children’s Villages – USA
1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 1 888-SOS-4KIDS or 202-347-7920