Racist Comments on Haiti Prompt Re-Post of Statement by Adoptees of Color Roundtable

As the title of this blog post states, some very rude and ignorant racial slurs were left in my inbox this past weekend. I have closed all sections to Comments as a result. Also, though I am of mixed white ethnic groups, I fully support adoptees of color. Here is a re-print of their excellent statement on adopting Haiti’s earthquake victim children:

http://www.adopteesofcolor.org/?page_id=14

Statement on Haiti

Jan 25, 2010

This statement reflects the position of an international community of adoptees of color who wish to pose a critical intervention in the discourse and actions affecting the child victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. We are domestic and international adoptees with many years of research and both personal and professional experience in adoption studies and activism. We are a community of scholars, activists, professors, artists, lawyers, social workers and health care workers who speak with the knowledge that North Americans and Europeans are lining up to adopt the “orphaned children” of the Haitian earthquake, and who feel compelled to voice our opinion about what it means to be “saved” or “rescued” through adoption.

We understand that in a time of crisis there is a tendency to want to act quickly to support those considered the most vulnerable and directly affected, including children. However, we urge caution in determining how best to help. We have arrived at a time when the licenses of adoption agencies in various countries are being reviewed for the widespread practice of misrepresenting the social histories of children. There is evidence of the production of documents stating that a child is “available for adoption” based on a legal “paper” and not literal orphaning as seen in recent cases of intercountry adoption of children from Malawi, Guatemala, South Korea and China. We bear testimony to the ways in which the intercountry adoption industry has profited from and reinforced neo-liberal structural adjustment policies, aid dependency, population control policies, unsustainable development, corruption, and child trafficking.

For more than fifty years “orphaned children” have been shipped from areas of war, natural disasters, and poverty to supposedly better lives in Europe and North America. Our adoptions from Vietnam, South Korea, Guatemala and many other countries are no different from what is happening to the children of Haiti today. Like us, these “disaster orphans” will grow into adulthood and begin to grasp the magnitude of the abuse, fraud, negligence, suffering, and deprivation of human rights involved in their displacements.

We uphold that Haitian children have a right to a family and a history that is their own and that Haitians themselves have a right to determine what happens to their own children. We resist the racist, colonialist mentality that positions the Western nuclear family as superior to other conceptions of family, and we seek to challenge those who abuse the phrase “Every child deserves a family”  to rethink how this phrase is used to justify the removal of children from Haiti for the fulfillment of their own needs and desires. Western and Northern desire for ownership of Haitian children directly contributes to the destruction of existing family and community structures in Haiti. This individualistic desire is supported by the historical and global anti-African sentiment which negates the validity of black mothers and fathers and condones the separation of black children from their families, cultures, and countries of origin.

As adoptees of color many of us have inherited a history of dubious adoptions. We are dismayed to hear that Haitian adoptions may be “fast-tracked” due to the massive destruction of buildings in Haiti that hold important records and documents. We oppose this plan and argue that the loss of records requires slowing down of the processes of adoption while important information is gathered and re-documented for these children. Removing children from Haiti without proper documentation and without proper reunification efforts is a violation of their basic human rights and leaves any family members who may be searching for them with no recourse. We insist on the absolute necessity of taking the time required to conduct a thorough search, and we support an expanded set of methods for creating these records, including recording oral histories.

We urge the international community to remember that the children in question have suffered the overwhelming trauma of the earthquake and separation from their loved ones. We have learned first-hand that adoption (domestic or intercountry) itself as a process forces children to negate their true feelings of grief, anger, pain or loss, and to assimilate to meet the desires and expectations of strangers. Immediate removal of traumatized children for adoption—including children whose adoptions were finalized prior to the quake— compounds their trauma, and denies their right to mourn and heal with the support of their community.

We affirm the spirit of Cultural Sovereignty, Sovereignty and Self-determination embodied as rights for all peoples to determine their own economic, social and cultural development included in the Convention on the Rights of the Child; the Charter of the United Nations; the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The mobilization of European and North American courts, legislative bodies, and social work practices to implement forced removal through intercountry adoption is a direct challenge to cultural sovereignty. We support the legal and policy application of cultural rights such as rights to language, rights to ways of being/religion, collective existence, and a representation of Haiti’s histories and existence using Haiti’s own terms.

We offer this statement in solidarity with the people of Haiti and with all those who are seeking ways to intentionally support the long-term sustainability and self-determination of the Haitian people. As adoptees of color we bear a unique understanding of the trauma, and the sense of loss and abandonment that are part of the adoptee experience, and we demand that our voices be heard. All adoptions from Haiti must be stopped and all efforts to help children be refocused on giving aid to organizations working toward family reunification and caring for children in their own communities. We urge you to join us in supporting Haitian children’s rights to life, survival, and development within their own families and communities.

……………….

49 Comments follow on their website: http://www.adopteesofcolor.org/?p=6#respond

This one is my favorite:

“Comment by Leanne LeithJanuary 27, 2010 at 12:20 am”  

“Acts of benevolence by the color-blind privileged add yet another layer of violence to the personhood of vulnerable little people, compounding their losses. The redistribution of children of color is rooted in the marginalization of ethnic groups and the propensity to make fetish objects of their children. It is no charity to exploit a time of tragedy – or any time – to take a nation’s most valuable resource for personal gain.

It is a sad statement when those that capitalize on tragedy pat themselves on the back for their charity. The truly charitable would offer to help victims to help themselves. This feeding frenzy we are witnessing today by would-be child importers truly reveals the darkest aspects of man’s ability to rationalize the ugliest of acts.

It’s high time we respect the humanity of all peoples by preserving families and allowing them the dignity to build their own strong societies without the intervention of self-interested parties. THAT would be the action of an enlightened, advanced, civil society.”

And this one is second runner-up:

Comment by United Adoptees InternationalJanuary 26, 2010 at 9:10 am  

“…It is time that Adoptees all over the world become active and participate in the international and national adoptiondebate at all levels of society and decision making government bodies and show that the time of Infantilization and the monopoly on adoption by adopters and their politics is over.

The adoption triangle starts with the (intersts of) parents, not the adopters. It seems that everyone in the adoption debate forgot that. Including the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption.

We can change the world. Not by sitting down and wait, but to feel the power flowing within in us and everyone who is capable to understand what is really going on.”

 

Call for Signatures — Letter to President Obama, et al, From Family Preservation Advocate and The USA Adoption Community

Re-post with permission from Family Preservation Advocate Blogspot, at: 

http://familypreservation.blogspot.com/2010/01/call-for-signatures.html

Saturday, January 30, 2010

 Call for Signatures

 I am hoping to get individuals and organizations to sign on to this letter. 

To sign, please send an email to email@AdvocatePublications.com with your name, connection to adoption, location and a brief comment, if you’d like.  Please pass the word via email lists, blogs, Facebook…

TO:        President Barack Obama
              First Lady Michelle Obama
              Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton
              Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius

RE:        Adoption Practices

FROM: The Adoption Community

Now that Haiti has declared a moratorium on the post quake rush to adopt its children, we must continue to protect the Haitian children from any continued hasty removals by predatory groups who might fly in once the airports re-open to scoop up children, no matter how well-intentioned, as we reflect on the course of future adoption practices.

Those of us whose lives have been irrevocably shaped by adoption offer our personal insight and ask you to listen to our voices and painfully gained wisdom. Adoption can provide a caring and safe home, but must always put the best interests of children first. Adoption should always be about finding homes for orphans and children who have no family members able and willing to provide safe care.  Unfortunately it has become more focused on finding babies or children to fill a demand of those able to pay high fees to obtain a child. Thus, for the sake of all children:

* We beseech lawmakers to not be influenced by lobbyists for the multi-billion-dollar adoption industry or by the religiously based organizations and agencies, no matter how well-intentioned, who wish to use the redistribution of children for financial gain or to recruit members of their faith. Follow the advice of child welfare experts and NGOs with no motivation other than what is truly best for children.

 * We call for an end to federal programs that promote and encourage adoption, e.g. tax credits,  Children in foster care are being used as pawns to get such laws enacted and renewed and then be left behind while prospective parents use tax credits to adopt from elsewhere.

 * We encourage the formation of a federal department of Family Preservation that would allocate funds to help families in temporary crisis, whether financial or otherwise, receive the assistance they need to remain intact. Programs such as in-home care have proven highly successful and more cost effective than foster care removals which put children into high risk situations. 

 * We seek federal protection of the constitutional right to parent one’s own children that are currently being violated by state laws such as Putative Father Registries.

 * We insist on restoration of the rights of all adopted persons in regard to the discrimination they face in accessing their own birth certificate. We demand that the Federal government prevent states from issuing falsified birth certificates that state that adopted children are born to their adoptive parents, and that often change not just their names but their date and place of birth. This is state committed fraud and violates the basic right of every human to their identity. 

Signed:

Signed:

1. Mirah Riben, mother who lost a child to adoption, New Jersey

2. Gaye Tannenbaum, New York adoptee

3. Caroline Collins, adult adoptee currently living in Texas

4. Aileen Brown, Mother that lost her baby to the adoption industry at 16 years old and ignorant of the effects adoption would do to herself and lost child, who would like to prevent it from happening to other families, Wisconsin

5. Rosalind Maya Lama, Lost a child to the foster care and adoption industry in New York
currently reside in California

6. Cathi Robinson, Natural Mother, Missouri

7. Roe Ruggerio Callahan, Philadelphia, PA

8. Amanda Woolston, Tennessee Adoptee residing in Pennsylvania

9. Bonnie Taylor, WV. Birthname (Teresa Elaine McKinsey) Born in York PA, adopted in Baltimore, MD Found birthfather (Gary Lee McKinsey-deceased), still searching for birthmother (Juanita Carson-McKinsey-Dunkelbarger-?Brashear).

10. Hannah Hope, natural mother, Essex, UK

11. Amy L. Loring – Lima, NY – Natural Mother

12. Celeste Billhartz, adoptee, Ohio

13. Samantha Franklin, Reunited Adult Adoptee, Oklahoma

14. Janet Sousa,  adoptee and search angel.  Owner of The Eyes Wide Open Registry, an online Emergency Medical Locators for Adoptee’s registry – Tampa, FL

15. Robert Wilson Harrington McCullough Haight, adopted person, Missouri, still denied access to his Original Birth Certificate

16. Lorraine Dusky, reunited natural mother in New York

17. Sandy Blais, Adoptee – Canada – please it is time to stop repeating the mistakes of the past that we should have already learned from.

18. Susan Gill, reunited natural mother, Nebraska

19. Laurie Staley, Michigan adoptee, adoptive mom

20. Alyce M. Jenkins, adoptive mother and adoptive/family rights advocate , NJ

21. Mari Steed, Intercountry adopted adult (Ireland, reunited); Birthmother, Pennsylvania sealed-records system (reunited)

22. Rupert Wolfe Murray

23. Dana Lowrey, adopted person, mother to a son lost to adoption, Reunited with all family members, Roseville California

24. Theresa Hood, Pennsylvania-born adoptee residing in New York, denied access to my original birth certificate

25. Barbara Pasternak, CT. I’m a Mother who had no choice when I lost my son to adoption 50 years ago. An adoptee is not, should not, be a commodity.

26. Bonnie Parmelee, mother to a son relinquished in late 80’s, happily reunited. NY

27. Julie Kelly (reunited adult adoptee) Vancouver WA

28. Lori Trevino, reunited natural mother, Wisconsin

29. Ibbaanika Bond, a natural mother of a child on which an adoption was unsuccessfully attempted.
Kansas City, Mo.

30. Joan M Wheeler, birthname Doris M Sippel, New York Adoptee reunited 36 years,  I’m a half orphan, but sealed and amended birth certificate laws are meant to hide illegitimacy. I did not need to be “legitimized” by adoption. I needed to be raised with full knowledge of, and socialization with, my siblings, and father. Guardianship, not adoption; Family Preservation, not family separation.

31. Mara Rigge, Trinidad, California, Adoptee, Reunited With Natural Mother.

… … … … … …

As the author of this blog, Forbidden Family, and the author of the Book by the same name (see Widget at the Left) in which I state very similar legislative proposals on a Federal Level, I, Joan M Wheeler, suggest to add the following (no, this is not a contest as to who gets the prize for “winning” — this is to say that many of us have been saying the same thing for decades, without being heard). My proposals for Federal Legislation or a Constitutional Amendment are paraphrased from my book:

 –         to the proposed Federal Department of Family Preservation: whether financial or otherwise, Please add: “to protect our own domestic half and full orphans…”

 –         after Putative Fathers Registries, Please add: “and federal guidelines to discourage religious and social service programs (Crisis Pregnancy Centers) that encourage the relinquishment of infants from young mothers.”

 –         after, We seek federal protection of the constitutional right to parent one’s own children, Please add: “We seek federal protection of the constitutional right to our name at birth and our birth certificate at birth, and the right to be raised by our parents with our sibling groups intact.”

 and

–          “We seek federal protection to promote legal Guardianship instead of adoption to protect a child’s right to her name at birth, birth certificate at birth, and the legal right to continued social contact with parents, siblings, and extended family.”

 It might be helpful to add that the Amended Birth Certificate issued at the finalization of adoption should be an Adoption Certificate that details facts of adoption.

Press Release: Layers of Trauma for Haiti’s Orphans: A Webinar featuring Dr. Bruce Perry

PLEASE FORWARD TO APPROPRIATE PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL CONTACTS
Adam Pertman, Executive Director

Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute

 

 Layers of Trauma for Haiti’s Orphans: A Webinar featuring Dr. Bruce Perry
 
Monday, February 1st, 2010 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM Central Time
(a recorded version will be available subsequently)

 

This free webinar features Bruce D. Perry M.D., Ph.D., the Senior Fellow at The Child Trauma Academy. He will discuss the likely impact of the many traumas children coming home from the orphanages in Haiti have experienced.

The webinar will help prepare families who are now awaiting or have already received placement under the United States’ expedited program.

Dr. Perry will cover the impact of the multiple traumas on this group of kids, explain what parents can expect, and give advice on how they can ease the transition for their child. The webinar will have practical advice for adoptive parents, adoption professionals, and interim caregivers.

Please forward this invitation to any family awaiting a placement from Haiti as well as staff and/or interim caregivers for these children. In order to give priority to families who will benefit the most from this live webinar, we ask that you refrain from inviting those who are just starting to explore the option of adopting from Haiti.

Dr. Perry will address specific trauma-related questions from the audience as time allows. We ask that you submit questions in advance through the registration form.

PLEASE NOTE: this session is intended for those families who were in process of adopting from Haiti prior to the earthquake and are therefore receiving an expedited placement of their child. The Haitian adoption process itself as well as advice for those looking to start the process of adopting from Haiti will not be covered.

This webinar is brought to you by Adoption Learning Partners, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, the Joint Council on International Children’s Services and Heart of the Matter Seminars.

To register, please click the register button below:

click here 

 

Guest Post- HAITIAN ORPHANS, ADOPTEES & THEIR UNKNOWN U.S.BABY BROKERS & TRAFFICKERS

by Lori Carangelo of AmFOR – Americans For Open Records.

http://www.amfor.net/babybrokers/#haiti

     Haitian born adoptees currently being adopted in the U.S., Canada and France will have a difficult time when they begin searching for answers to “Who am I?” and “Are my parents looking for me?”  On 1-7-10, a 7.0 earthquake destroyed Port-au-Prince, Haiti, killing an estimated 200,000 inhabitants and leaving [at least] tens of thousands of children assumed orphaned, in addition to about 380,000 pre-earthquake orphans (estimates are by UNICEF).  American would-be adopters, the Catholic Church, international adoption agencies and independent adoption facilitators applied pressure on the Haitian government in order to airlift the alleged orphans before anyone could confirm whether their parents or relatives are still alive — At this writing, the first 500 or so alleged orphans were airlifted to the U.S. (according to the U.S. State Department)and 900 children were in process of being adopted from Haiti and placed in U.S. homes.
     According to The Toronto Star (in “First Haitian Orphans To Arrive Today” by Allan Woods, 1-24-10), “In all, 154 Haitian children were approved in a fast-track adoption process, agreed to by the Canadian and Haitian governments…  Officials suspect many orphans, either given up for adoption at birth, or those who lost parents in the earthquake, are being illegally spirited out of their homeland by childless families or organized traffickers [or sexual predators] hoping to profit from Haiti’s administrative chaos… making it difficult to say how many children may have been snatched from hospitals, streets or orphanages in this battered city, or where they are going… The earthquake brought down the government building that housed all those records; it also killed the judge responsible for giving final approval to adoptions.”
    It is known that 53 children were airlifted to Pittsburgh (ABC World News, 1-19-10) and Catholic leaders pushed both Haitian and U.S. governments to airlift [an unknown number of]children to South MiamiHaitians have long been frustrated by what some call a “double standard” that allows Cubans who touch dry land [Miami] to stay in the U.S. while Haitians who came illegally must hide in the shadows or face deportation. “Haitian parents with American-born children have been deported, even if there is no other parent in the country to care for them,” said the Rev. Roland Desormeaux of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a Delray Beach church with a large Haitian membership. Children born [or adopted] in the United States are automatically U.S. citizens, so they get to stay.  [AmFOR Note:  At this wriing, Haiti has halted the “free for all” airlifting of children for U.S. adoptions but given the high numbers of unattended children, they will continue to be taken whether Haiti approves or not.  

The U.S. is the largest market for stolen children in the world [as reported by the United Nations Rights of the Child Project].  One wonders whether the same number of Haitian children would be stolen for “legal guardianships” that would allow future changes and are not as profitable or as politically correct as the “done deal” of permanent, sealed adoption.]

United Adoptees International Says Adoption is a Last Resort Not First Aid

UAI-United Adoptees International Responds to Expedited Dutch Adoptions as Not “Humanitarian Aid”. This is an example of what Not to do “for” Haiti’s children:

THE NETHERLANDS, Amsterdam, January 18, 2010 – Following the humanitarian disaster in Haiti, humanitarian aid is on its way, but also; expedited adoptions, possible abduction of children and forced relinquishment for intercountry adoptions to the West. The removal of children in times of disasters and wars under the guise of adoption, according to the vision of United Adoptees International (UAI), is not the right form of humanitarian aid. Concerning Haiti, the reaction of the Dutch government is an irresponsible response to the situation in Haiti where currently monitoring and surveillance cannot even be maintained. However, the Dutch government has decided that adoption will be the first priority and already agreed to 110 adoptions from Haiti. Of these, 56 adoptions were approved by the Ministry of Justice in an accelerated manner, arguing that these were already in the ‘pipeline’. Due to this, the Nederlandse Adoptie Stichting (NAS) and the largest Dutch agency Wereldkinderen, under pressure from prospective adoptive parents, took their chance to put pressure to get even more (risky) adoptions from Haiti.The facts and history teach us that adoptions from Haiti are risky and generally carelessly made. In 2003 the Dutch Youth Inspection called then for a strict control, after several reports of careless adoptions from a Dutch Adoption Agency. In 2005 a Unicef report warned for high risks regarding adoption from Haiti also.
At that time the Dutch agency had to close their dubious adoptions from Haiti.

 
Subsequently, the UAI reported on May 13, 2008 in the media about about a dramatic adoption from the same agency who opened another channel in Haiti, that was illustrative for multiple adoptions from Haiti. An adoptive couple told their story during a national TV broadcast of EénVandaag. They showed an Adoptee from Haiti who will probably stay the rest of her life in a mental hospital in the Netherlands.

Given the terrible disaster and the appalling situation in Haiti, the current “baby lift” operation is inspired only by emotion and a neo-colonialist way of thinking: “Our children are better off in the West ” as one of the Adoption Agencies involved in the ‘Babylift’ claimed. Just in these situations ,the UAI considers it no more than wise and logic to go through the required procedures, especially in the situation of chaos.

In times of disasters and wars, every time again it appears that children are moved prematurely to the West, before governments know how to deal with the disaster itself. The term ‘baby lift’ operations was originated during the Vietnam war in the seventies, where children were flown per aircraft to the United States. Without checking whether the children were actually orphans or relinquished by their parents. Many Vietnamese parents have searched for years unsuccessfully for their stolen children. But that is not where it stopped, still these kind of activities are still taking place and a recent example is Zoe’s Ark. A French ‘relie’f organisation which attempted to smuggle one hundred children from Chad for intercountry adoption under the guise of humanitarian aid.

NGO’s like the Red Cross, Unicef and World Vision, continuously calls at times for a temporary stop of adoption or a careful approach in times of crisis. These institutes simply need more time to get children back to their parents or to reunite with their family. The UAI in the mean time, made contact with several aid agencies including Plan Netherlands and asked them for their point of view on the disaster in Haiti. They are highly concerned about the situation in Haiti and in particular the high risk of child abduction. Since 1973, Plan Netherlands has worked in Haiti and has 143 employees on the spot. It is one of the largest development organisations. During disaster like these Plan has, in addition to providing medical and other resources, as first priority the protection of children to prevent the exploitation, abduction and abuse. From personal experience Plan knows that in times of crisis, the risk of abduction of children can be very high.

The UAI, therefore, considers the response of the Dutch government premature and not very considerate but too much motivated by emotions instead of properly thinking through the long term consequences for the Adoptees and their Haitian families. And after all the adoption scandals of recent years, one would have expected that the Netherlands now would had learned their lesson in this area. But the reality now shows an opposite picture. And the question is, whether that is really in the interests of children and parents in Haiti.

Adoption is a last resort, not first aid

 

SOS Cautions Against Premature Adoption of Haitian Children

Email received today: Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 5:22 PM

SOS believes that brothers and sisters should always stay together.

Dear Joan, 

 
 

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.

Heather Paul
Executive Director

SOS Children’s Villages – USA
1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 1250
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 1 888-SOS-4KIDS or 202-347-7920

Help the Orphans of Haiti Without Adopting Them Out of Their Homeland by Donating to SOS Children’s Villages

This message arrived in my email today.

It IS possible to provide for suffering children in Haiti by providing care right in their homeland. SOS Children’s Villages has been providing such care for children – especially sibling groups – and their extended families for 60 years. — Without permanent separation from their homeland and their extended families by closed adoption by foreigners.

SOS Children’s Villages is in complete support of the United Nations Rights of the Child.

 

Dear Joan,

Where will they go? Where will the thousands of children who have lost their parents in the Haiti earthquake go? This is the question that we have all begun to struggle with and address as the real devastation becomes clearer. Will they stay in their own country? Will they be placed with relatives, or temporary holding facilities, or be adopted by Americans and Europeans? Will brothers and sister stay together, or be pulled apart?

You, as an SOS supporter, already know what we collectively think about these issues. We believe that extended family should always be the first refuge of an orphaned child. We believe strongly that siblings should stay together. We believe that a Mother figure should always be present. Based on these guiding principles, that have been part of the SOS culture for 60 years, we will address the orphan crisis unfolding in Haiti. You already know what we’ve been doing as immediate concerns for children’s health and safety:

 *   Made a shipment of ten tons of supplies, that arrived yesterday in Haiti. These supplies included water, canned food, medicines, tents, sleeping bags, lamps, shovels and metal scissors. Created temporary shelters for unaccompanied childrenin the SOS villages in Santo and Cap Haitian.

 *   Begun to provide trauma counseling to child survivors; this effort is being escalated with the arrival of SOS child counseling experts from Costa Rica into the affected area.

 *   SOS is on the ground, helping to address the immediate needs of the people of Haiti, especially children. We will also be in Haiti for a long time to come. SOS Children’s Villages has operated programs in Haiti for 30 years. We will be with the children who have just lost their parents for many years to come. We will watch them grow up. We will care for them. Let’s make sure the right decisions are made for these children.

Help support SOS as we provide immediate assistance, as well as begin to address the unfolding crisis for the children who have lost their parents.

Heather Paul
Executive Director
SOS Children’s Villages – USA

P.S. Please help SOS to continue saving the lives of those in need in and around our Villages in Haiti. Donate now.

SOS Children’s Villages – USA
1001
Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 1250
Washington, DC 20036
Phone:
1 888-SOS-4KIDS or 202-347-7920