To read my other pieces on Haiti, please go to
Haiti: Adoption Business Trumps Aid
Haiti: Women’s Health Care: “All About Abortion;” Solar Powered Bibles in the Food Line
American Life League Says No to Condoms and Contraceptives for Haitians
Bastard Nation’s Statement on Haitian Adoption and Babylifts
Operation Pierre Pan Postponed; Politicians Pander
Haiti Child Evacuation: A New Operation Pedro Pan (my keystone Haitian entry)
Haiti: Misc. Updates on Adoption and Pat Robertson
Pat Robertson and Adoptee Rights
The shark pool grows hourly. I’ve been reading news articles, blogs, and tweets of numerous mock heroic evangelical childlifters “leading” babies out of Haiti like they are Henry Stanley bringing out Dr. Livingston.
But just a few days ago, it wasn’t the never-heard-if-’em church crowd, but important people, connected people, people who aren’t connected but know somebody who is connected that lead them out. I may write more about this at some later time, but tonight I’m adding three quotes about the Rendell lift as a supplement to what I wrote earlier today. This is about important people and priviledge–in their own words. The quotes are from an article accounting in great detail Rendell’s “rescue mission” into the heart of darkness I missed earlier today.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. January 19, 2010
Haitian orphans settle in; rescue team discusses trip
It’s Who You Know: The White House
...”I called the White House and told them I had two constituents who wouldn’t leave those kids,” the congressman said.
“Over a period of hours it was cleared by the National Security Council. Everyone at the State Department who was involved with this issue dropped what they were doing,” Mr. Altmire said…
Expediting Adoptions : Get ’em while they’re hot!
Catholic Charites (sic) also set up a “comfort room” on the third floor of the John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center adjacent to the hospital. at Children’s Hospital where children can sleep, play and be comfortable while awaiting placement with their adoptive or foster families, she said. The Red Cross stocked it with bedding and “we purchased additional toys to make it as homey as possible,” Ms. Kushma said.
The children are now in the comfort center eating chicken fingers and pizza. The younger children are eating baby food, bananas and playing with teddy bears.
Allegheny County Children Youth and Families will begin to work to process the children, many of whom have clearance for adoption. A family court judge will set up across the hall from the comfort room to handle placement of the children.
Marc Cherna, head of CYF, said he expects many of the children to be adopted today. Most have the paperwork completed and the adoptive parents have traveled to Pittsburgh. Mr. Cherna said as many as three quarters of the children may be adopted today. The others will be placed in temporary shelter here until their paperwork is completed.
It’s Who You Know: I’m the Governor of Pennsylvania!
He then heard the Haitian ambassador on CNN Saturday afternoon, and called him in Washington. The ambassador said it was important to have the governor of Pennsylvania on the relief plane in case any diplomatic complications arose.
UPMC helped arranged the Republic Airways plane, which left Pittsburgh at noon Monday and landed in Port au Prince Monday about 6 p.m. He said the fact that he was aboard did speed up the plane’s ability to land on the one runway at the busy airplort (sic).
(Doesn’t the P-G have a proofreader?)
Probably didn’t exactly hurt to have his wife along either-
(This from this NYT piece- http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/20/
“The governor’s wife, Judge Marjorie O. Rendell of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, went to Port-au-Prince to meet with American diplomats.”
This is all utterly infuriating. So (relatively) healthy children were expedited out of the country so they could munch on chicken fingers and enjoy a well stocked playroom? Am I wrong in thinking that these kids were given priority over children with trauma wounds who could have actually benefited from an evacuation for medical care? There is so much about this entire baby lift situation that is mind boggling. And did anyone tell the people in Pittsburgh that chicken fingers probably are NOT what these traumatized children would find comforting in the least? I don’t know how to begin unboggling my mind. So sign me: Boggled.
“Boggled” — you probably don’t want to read this:
“Cruise ships still find a Haitian berth:
Luxury liners are still docking at private beaches near Haiti’s devastated earthquake zone for holidaymakers to enjoy the water”
Sixty miles from Haiti’s devastated earthquake zone, luxury liners dock at private beaches where passengers enjoy jetski rides, parasailing and rum cocktails delivered to their hammocks.
“I just can’t see myself sunning on the beach, playing in the water, eating a barbecue, and enjoying a cocktail while [in Port-au-Prince] there are tens of thousands of dead people being piled up on the streets, with the survivors stunned and looking for food and water,” one passenger wrote on the Cruise Critic internet forum.
“It was hard enough to sit and eat a picnic lunch at Labadee before the quake, knowing how many Haitians were starving,” said another. “I can’t imagine having to choke down a burger there now.’
Perhaps some chicken fingers are available on board.
To their credit, the cruise ship did unload some supplies, and are paying wages to the local Haitians.
Oh, and they donated sun loungers.
Let’s just hope Cheryl Allen doesn’t fly her ass down there.
Can you imagine some foreign government strong-arming the US to take Amurican children out of the country?
“…But Haitian officials would let only 28 of the 54 orphans the sisters had brought to the airport to leave; the rest had not cleared all the hurdles for adoption. Seven had yet to be matched with adoptive parents, the Haitians said.
Then the sisters dug in their heels. “They just said no, they wouldn’t leave without all of them,” Mr. Altmire said.
For five hours, the delegation worked furiously to get the Haitian government to agree to let all the children go. The governor’s wife, Judge Marjorie O. Rendell of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, went to Port-au-Prince to meet with American diplomats. Mr. Rendell and Mr. Altmire lobbied the White House, which pressured Haitian officials.“
Let’s see now…we want to comfort children who have survived a horrific trauma that includes the deaths of their loved ones, fear for their own lives and loss of their homes. I know! CHICKEN FINGERS and ADOPTION!! EUREKA! Ain’t we the saintly ones, though?
(I hope the sarcasm comes through.)
And I agree with Boggled. What about the injured and sick children? Who is comforting them and offering them some co-called “better life?” Rendell smells. The bureaucratic lard is really greasing the adoption chutes.
I find it very disconcerting that many Christian *Missionaries* were the PAPs in the Haitian adoption pipeline. Are they adopting Haitian children or Christian Converts? Haiti is largely a Roman Catholic country, and as many well know the *True Christians* do not recognize Catholics as Christians. Years ago while working in Houston, TX, a co-worker who was Pentecostal told me, in my face, that the Catholic Religion was NOT a Christian Religion. This Pentecostal woman also invited me out to lunch, for the sole purpose of converting me at a burger place (no respect!)…she felt sure it was her “calling” to “save” the heathen that I am. I told her she was a “bible-thumper” and I had no need of her conversion…she was offended and told me she felt sorry for me!! What was worse for me..my burger got cold during her *preaching*! And those solar-powered bibles being passed out in Haiti, says it all for me. Methinks we have our own brand of Religious Wars going on, and the Haitian people are the pawns/converts in same. The earthquake just gave the *Christians* the perfect excuse to go in and “save” their Christian Converts. I myself, have no interest in any organized religion, wish I could say the same for many of the American PAPs waiting with loving Christian Arms for their Converts…O! Sorry, my mistake…children.
One of my brother-in-laws, who is most definitely of the Creamy Goodness, Saving variety of Christian, has gone to Haiti in the past on “Missionary Missions”, not to build sorely needed homes, but to build churches…this same Missionary Man is also an Internet Porn Addict. Thankfully he has never professed a Christian Desire to “save” Haitian children via adoption. There are worse things in the world that can happen to children outside of Natural Disasters.
To add: Just watching WGN news here in Chicago..showing the Haitian Orphans arriving at Midway Airport to go home with their ‘adoptive parents’. One woman looked old enough to be a grandmother! Some Glen Ellyn Bible Church members also are being interviewed, talking about God and THEIR orphanage in Haiti. They are writing letters to Neapolitano and Hillary to get “their” kids here. Bible Church has “foster parents” here waiting for the kids. Bible Church Foster parents who then will adopt the Haitian Children. Who are these Bible Church ‘foster parents’, who vetted them, who licensed these Bible People to be foster parents…the Glen Ellyn Bible Church Reverend…or could it be God Himself??
So, is the child trafficking in Haiti mostly religious fanatics rather than entrepreneurs looking to make money? The whole thing is sick, either way.
Miami Herald has taken a step or two back from Pierre Pan:
“Haiti’s orphans: What next?”
““I don’t think any government would want its children placed in planes and taken elsewhere,” said Marleine Bastien, executive director of Haitian Women of Miami. “I don’t know of any government that would allow that to happen.”
[note: she was quoted in the first Pierre Pan article showing enthusiastic support]
Said Department of Children & Families Secretary George Sheldon, who has been meeting with state and federal authorities: “I don’t think the Haitian government, at this point, is wanting to give up their children.”
A senior State Department official told adoption and immigrant advocacy groups Thursday that the Obama administration is weighing what policy to adopt regarding Haitian orphans and “vulnerable” children who have not already been adopted by American families.
“There is a task force at the State Department that is looking specifically at the longer-term issues — not the ones you’ve got to address in the first 10 days, but the ones that need to be worked on in six months and after that,” Michele Bond, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Overseas Citizens Services, said during a conference call with the advocates.
[Marley, was this the call you were on?]
Among the significant hurdles: the quake destroyed virtually all of the struggling nation’s birth and parentage records, said Baltz.
[this is a very important statement, IMO]
Experts also warn that children can become re-traumatized by a relocation so close on the heels of a disaster. “A move to another country can create one set of trauma on top of another — which would be almost impossible for a child to recover from,” DiFilipo said.
[then why are they bringing so many children out?]
Currently, the federal government has taken the lead role in responding to the arrival of children from Haiti.
Only children with valid adoption papers or in the process of being adopted by a U.S. family before the earthquake struck Haiti are being allowed to enter the United States, federal officials said. Those orphans are receiving humanitarian visas.
[“in the process” means what?]
That will remain the U.S. government’s policy, officials said, and there are no immediate plans to expand it.
Article is worth reading in full.
“West Michigan’s Bethany Christian Services Coordinates Haitian Adoptions”
“(Grand Rapids, MI) — More than a dozen Haitian orphans will soon have a new home and a new family in West Michigan. Several families jumped on the first flight to Miami yesterday to pick up the newest addition to their family. Fourteen of 80 Haitian orphans coming to the United States were adopted by West Michigan families. Bethany Christian Services coordinated 58 of the 80 adoptions.
Pound Pup Legacy had this to say about Bethany a few months ago:
“The creation of “orphans” and the constant inflation of the meaning of the word “orphan” to enlarge the pool of adoptable children, is part and parcel of the Christian adoption wave that has been rolling over the United States in the last decade. Bethany Christian Service is at the epicenter of this movement. It is the most prominent member of the National Council for Adoption (NCFA) and despite it’s deceptive name, nothing more than a membership organization of Christian adoption agencies, with an influential voice in Washington DC.
To generate the number of adoptable children for this market expansion, the term “orphan” has undergone serious inflation over the years. Its original meaning related to children whose parents had both died. Under the influence of Christian adoption, the word now relates to every child that either doesn’t live permanently with its family, or has lost at least one parent. This definition creates the illusion there are hundreds of millions of children screaming to be adopted, helping adoption agencies to expand their client base. In reality, the demand for adoptable children has for more than a century exceeded the supply of adoptable children. Therefore, the inflation of the term “orphan” has two effects, it generates more demand in an already overheated market and it puts pressure on policy makers to make adoption practices even more lenient than they already are, enlarging the pool of adoptable children.”
Interestingly, Bethany’s news blog has since posted a link to this message from the US State Department on Haitian Children:
“Children Affected by the earthquake in Haiti
January 22, 2010
Haitian Children and the January 12 Earthquake
The Department of State is receiving inquiries from American citizens deeply touched by the plight of children in Haiti in the aftermath of the January 12 earthquake.
As Secretary of State Clinton said on January 20, “Children are especially vulnerable in any disaster, especially those without parents or other guardians to look after them. This devastating earthquake has left many in need of assistance, and their welfare is of paramount concern as we move forward with our rescue and relief efforts.”
Together with the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department is processing and evacuating as quickly as possible those orphans who were identified for adoption by American citizens before the earthquake.
We understand that other Americans, moved by images of children in need, want to open their homes and adopt other Haitian children who had not been identified for adoption before the earthquake. The State Department advises against this course of action at this time. Intercountry adoption involves strict safeguards and legal requirements that must be met to protect children from illegal adoptions, abduction, sale and child-trafficking as well as to ensure that any adoption is in the best interests of the child.
Before a child can be legally taken to the United States for adoption, the Governments of both the United States and the child’s country of origin must first determine that the child is indeed an orphan. It can be extremely difficult during the aftermath of a natural disaster to ascertain whether children who appear to be orphans truly are eligible for adoption. Children may be temporarily separated from their parents or other family members, and their parents or family members may be looking for them. Moreover, it is not uncommon in an emergency or unsettled situation for parents to send their children out of the area, or for families to become separated during an evacuation. Efforts to reunite such children with relatives or extended family should be given priority.
In addition, some children who had been residing in orphanages before the earthquake were placed there temporarily by parents who could not care for them. In most of these cases the parents did not intend to permanently give up their parental rights. Even when it can be demonstrated that children have indeed lost their parents or have been abandoned, reunification with other relatives in the extended family should be the first option.
During times of crisis, it can also be exceptionally difficult to fulfill the legal requirements for adoption of both the United States and the child’s country of origin. This is especially true when civil authority breaks down or temporarily ceases to function. It can also be difficult to gather documents necessary to fulfill the legal requirements of U.S. immigration law.
The United States is cooperating directly with UNICEF and other relief organizations in Haiti to deliver needed supplies to Haiti’s orphanages and to provide assistance to other unaccompanied children. UNICEF is starting the process of registering unaccompanied children and will seek to unite children with relatives.
There are many ways in which U.S. citizens can help the children of Haiti now. For example, individuals who wish to assist can make a financial contribution to a reputable relief or humanitarian organization working in that country.”
Can this mean that from now on they intend to cease and desist – at least as far as Haiti is concerned?:
Saw this on a tip from “MissMeggles”, on Twitter:
“Metro Ministry Denied Haitian Orphans, For Now”
“A Metro Atlanta mission group, hoping to bring orphan’s eligible for adaption back to Georgia, returns empty-handed.
A private jet carrying members of God’s Plumbline Ministry of Marietta left Gwinnett County’s Briscoe Field Friday to take doctors, medicine, and food to the victims in Haiti’s earthquake zone.
But the Haitian government would not allow the group to take back the orphans because they were flying out on a private jet, donated by Kids-R-Kids of Duluth. The mission said the Haitians won’t allow kids to leave on non-military or governmental planes without proper U.N. paperwork.
“I get it that they’re trying to protect the children,” said Lynch. “But from my perspective it was really heartbreaking.”
Lynch believes the U.N. is worried about the risk of child-trafficking and is clamping down on adoptions.
However, the 22 orphans were picked up by Heartline Ministries, the the international adoption agency God’s Pumbline is working with, and flown back to Orlando.
Lynch says she can make another trip to Haiti to pick up more orphans as long as she brings the adoptive parents and the proper papers.
“If I can bring their (adoptive) parent with with me, then I can release them into their parents,” she said after their plane landed in Lawrenceville Friday night.
She hopes to bring back five or six as early as Tuesday.”
I had to read this several times to understand it.
This ministry was working with an adoption agency. The Haitian government refused to let the 22 “orphans” on the ministry’s plane. (And the plane belonged to someone else anyway).
Apparently the “orphans” were then flown out on another, unnamed plane, under the auspices of the adoption agency.
So the “empty-handed” line refers to the fact that someone else grabbed the kids instead. That someone…is the adoption agency who they were working with.
Well, at least they can go back and get another “five or six”.
(Wouldn’t it be easier if orphans came in easy-to-handle six-packs? Someone should work on this.)
planes on the ground
planes on the ground
looking like a fool with your
planes on the ground
They don’t call him fast Eddie for nothing. Don’t blame me, I voted for Swann.
There is so much out there, not sure you have links to this one yet, but Queer Korean Adoptee has another great blog and some good links to feminist groups helping in Haiti.
Here are two women of color groups she links to:
People who truly want to help Haitian children without buying one should give to groups that are there to help the Haitian people, in the short and long runs.
Let’s say for argument’s sake that removing plane loads of “orphans” from Haiti actually was in the best interest of the children. How about trying to place them with Haitian families in the US until the status of their relatives in Haiti can be determined. Why do none of the evangelicals suggest this as a temporary solution?
Still mind boggled
and in other news, God’s Littlest Angels agency has a plea on their website for all PAPs to send their final payment immediately. “Please ALL adoptive Families, send in your Final Payments for your adoption immediately… IN CASE we receive the visa’s for the children to leave… ” Can you say KA-CHING?
Nice catch, Boggled. As they say, “Follow the money!”