America World has recently been licensed to process adoptions in Haiti. The program is open and accepting applications.HISTORY
Haiti is a Caribbean country that occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. While previously a French colony, Haiti declared its independence in 1804 as the first black republic. The country of Haiti is slightly smaller than the state of Maryland with a population of approximately 9.5 million people. Haiti was once one of the weathiest colonies in the Caribbean, largely based on its forestry and sugar-related industries. Due to deforestation, erosion, political unrest and natural disasters, Haiti is currently the poorest country in the Western Hemisphrere, with approximately 80% of the population living under the poverty line and more than 50% of them living in extreme poverty.
Haiti is a beautiful, mountainous country with a tropical climate. The people of Haiti are vibrant, hopeful people with a rich heritage. Children typically enter orphanages/creches in Haiti because of poverty, parental abandonment and neglect.ADOPTION PROCESS
After filling out an application, receiving approval through America World’s intake process, and signing an Agreement with America World, prospective adoptive parents initiate what we call the “paper chase," which takes 4-6 months to complete. During this stage of the adoption, families begin assembling their dossier (or set of adoption paperwork). America World assigns each adoptive family a member of our staff to work with to help them compile their dossier, which includes a home study and pre-approval from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Once this section of the dossier is complete, families wait to receive a referral of a child. America World works with Haitian orphanage partners to help match a child according to the family’s child request. The age, gender and health preferences of the child being adopted will factor into the wait time for a referral. The referral generally includes a picture, medical test results and a socio-biographical sketch of the child’s life. All children are tested for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and other medical conditions. Prospective parents are given the option to accept or reject the child referral they receive. When reviewing a referral, we recommend that families consult an international specialist with experience reviewing medical referral information. After families choose to accept a referral, America World works with them to complete the necessary paperwork to process the adoption through the Haitian court system.
Throughout the process the family can travel to Haiti to meet/visit the child. The two required in-country stays in Haiti are generally two to five days long. America World’s staff will coordinate travel logistics, including air and ground transportation, lodging, and some meals.