Reuters is reporting that a group of ten Americans was stopped as they sought to cross the border from Haiti into the Dominican Republic with 33 Haitian children, ages 2 months to 10 years. The Americans, who report being with New Life Children’s Refuge, a charity based in Idaho, were questioned and taken to a jail cell at Haiti’s Judicial Police Headquarters. They apparently had no papers to prove they had cleared the children to leave the country.
Fears in Haiti are running high regarding the danger of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation of vulnerable children, so the un-authorized transport of these 33 children struck a nerve with Haitian authorities.
While it appears that the children were being taken to the Dominican Republic with the best of intentions, the incident will likely be used by those unfriendly toward international adoption as a reason to slow in-process adoptions and prevent future ones.