FROM U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES:
WASHINGTON – The Haiti government has requested that the United States provide them with a final list of orphans being considered under the Special Humanitarian Parole Program for Haitian Orphans. As a result, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will stop accepting new requests for consideration under the special program as of April 14, 2010, and will resume regular processing of intercountry adoptions.
USCIS believes the vast majority of adoption requests for orphans who meet the criteria of the special program have already been submitted. Since January 18, USCIS has authorized parole for more than 1,000 orphans under the special program, and as of April 5, approximately 340 cases are still being considered. The unprecedented program included safeguards to ensure that each child granted parole was truly available for adoption and had been matched to a suitable U.S. citizen for adoption.
In response to the emergency situation in Haiti following the January 12 earthquake, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano authorized the use of parole for two specific and limited groups of Haitian children:
* Children who either had full and final adoptions completed by their U.S. parents before the earthquake and who were legally confirmed as eligible for intercountry adoption by the government of Haiti.
* Children who were far enough along in the adoption process that both the U.S. and Haitian governments could verify the identity and eligibility of the children for adoption, and the U.S. government could confirm the suitability of the adoptive parents.
Going forward, intercountry adoption cases involving Haitian orphans will again be processed through normal procedures. The government of Haiti has already begun accepting new documents for adoption cases and the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince has resumed regular processing.
More information about humanitarian parole and intercountry adoption is available online at http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarianparole and http://www.uscis.gov/adoptions, or by calling USCIS toll-free at (800) 375-5283.