Amber Burton Small
JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC
11450 N. Meridian
Carmel, IN 46032
CARMEL, IN – May 18, 2010 –Adoption Attorney Michele Jackson and Adoption Coordinator Amber Burton Small of Jocham Harden Dimick Jackson, PC (JHDJ Law) traveled to Haiti May 12-14, 2010 to visit orphanages and deliver supplies. During their stay, they visited 4 different orphanages in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel, Tomasin, and Fermathe and met with 5 different directors to assess the facilities’ needs and discuss resuming adoptions from Haiti.
Jackson and Small discovered that orphanages are still lacking many supplies. Two orphanages were destroyed, with children currently living in crowded, temporary housing while funds are sought to rebuild. Two other orphanages lack electricity and cooking must be done over open fires. Food, water and clothing are still in short supply, with many Haitians, including children, wearing ill-fitting shoes. Infant needs include diapers and electrolyte replacement fluids. Energy bars and water purification tablets are needed to distribute to Haitians living in tent cities. Progress in the rebuilding process is slow, as aid workers are still trying to address basic survival and medical needs. Volunteers revealed that equipment is not available for demolition of damaged structures. Many are working only with sledgehammers and shovels and no safety equipment despite exposure to hazardous materials. Trash, rubble, and debris line the streets and choke canals and drainage ditches.
Orphanage directors are hopeful that adoptions will continue, with focus on “Category 3” children – those orphaned prior to the earthquake. Those children have abandonment papers or evidence and may be matched with adoptive parents. While there is still uncertainty about the length of the process, it is believed that adoptions should be processed within 6 months to 1 year. Haiti had at least 390,000 orphans prior to the earthquake and estimates now indicate as many as 2 million children are displaced or orphaned. These children are at greater risk of being victimized, and trafficking has been known to occur since the earthquake. Legitimate international adoptions are one solution.
Jackson practices exclusively in adoption and surrogacy. Her services include private and agency domestic and international adoptions as well as step-parent and second parent adoptions. In addition, Jackson offers other international family law services, including adoption contract reviews, international custody, abduction prevention, and orphan visa appeals.
Small, a certified paralegal, serves as JHDJ Law’s Director of Business Development. She works with all prospective clients and manages public relations for the firm. As Adoption Coordinator, she helps match birth and adoptive parents and assists with domestication of foreign adoption decrees.
JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC, is a Carmel law firm providing personalized service with a responsive and compassionate approach. The practice assists clients in all areas of family law, adoption, mediation, and business litigation. For more information, please contact Amber Burton Small at 317.569.0770, or visit https://www.hardenjacksonlaw.com.