U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced they will conclude their Special Humanitarian Parole Program for Haitian Orphans on April 14, 2010. This special provision allowed for expedited immigration for children that had been determined to be orphans and officially matched with an adoptive family prior to Haiti’s earthquake. To date, more than 1,000 children have come to the U.S. under these special provisions in the past 2 ½ months, and several hundred more cases are currently under consideration. (Approximately 14 percent of applications for humanitarian parole were deemed ineligible, primarily due to inadequate documentation.)
Adoptive families that are currently in process or have already applied for the Humanitarian Parole program by midnight on the 14th will still be considered for humanitarian parole. After the 14th, all adoptions will need to go through the normal adoption process, including application for an I-600 visa. Also of note, CIS has now resumed its normal adoption process as well, and has begun accepting applications for I-600 visas for children that would not have been eligible for the special Humanitarian parole.
See below for the official US CIS press release on this issue.
Special Humanitarian Parole Program for Haitian Orphan
Final Opportunity to Request Consideration
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will stop accepting new requests for parole under the Special Humanitarian Parole Program for Haitian Orphans effective April 13, 2010, because the Haitian government has requested that the United States bring the program to a close. While USCIS believes that the vast majority of requests for special parole have already been submitted, any remaining prospective adoptive parents or adoptive parents will have until April 14, 2010, to submit a request under the special program.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established the special parole policy and process as part of the overall U.S. government response to the January 12, earthquake. The policy and process was designed to address the circumstances of a specific group of vulnerable Haitian children:
- those who either had full and final adoptions completed by United States citizen parents before the earthquake or,
- who were far enough along in the adoption process that both the governments of Haiti and the United States could verify the identity and eligibility of the children for adoption, and the United States government could confirm the suitability of the adoptive parents.
To date, more than 1,000 Haitian orphans have been approved for travel to the United States to join their adoptive families under this expedited process. USCIS is in the process of considering several hundred more requests and anticipates that ultimately some 1,200 children will benefit from this program.
USCIS will process all requests for parole under the special program received at HaitianAdoptions@dhs.gov by April 14, 2010. USCIS is no longer accepting “walk-in” requests at the USCIS embassy in Port-au-Prince.
Initiating a Case
If initiating a case by sending an e-mail to the HaitianAdoptions@dhs.gov mailbox, please include in the subject line the last name of the prospective parent(s) and the name of the child to be adopted.
Please also provide the information below to help us process the case as expeditiously as possible:
- The name(s) and date(s) of birth of the adoptive parent(s);
- The name(s) and date(s) of birth of the orphaned child(ren);
- The address and contact information for the adoptive parent(s), the adoption service provider, if applicable, as well as the caregiver for the child(ren) in Haiti;
- A signed Form G-28 or privacy waiver if you wish USCIS to communicate about your humanitarian parole request with an attorney or other representative;
- A recent photo(s) of the child(ren); and,
- Documentation showing that the child was either:
- Being adopted prior to January 12, 2010 and was legally confirmed as an orphan available for inter-country adoption by the government of Haiti through an adoption decree or custody grant to suitable U.S. citizen adoptive parents; or
- Identified by an adoption service provider or facilitator as eligible for inter-country adoption and matched to prospective American adoptive parents prior to January 12, 2010.
Please see the Fact Sheet on the Humanitarian Parole Policy for Certain Haitian Orphans for additional details on the evidence that supports a request for parole. If you do not have all of the evidence necessary to establish eligibility for parole and are in the process of gathering that evidence, you may still submit a request to the e-mail box before the deadline, with an explanation of the evidence you are seeking to obtain. You should also, at a minimum, provide the following information:
- Full name(s) and date(s) of birth of the Haitian child(ren);
- Full name(s) and date(s) of birth of the U.S. prospective adoptive parents;
- Contact information for the prospective adoptive parent(s).