New York, NY —
The U.S. government has promised to expedite immigration papers for
Haitian children who were already in the process of being adopted, but
some adoptive parents are learning "expedited" does not mean easy.
WNYC’s Marianne McCune has more.
REPORTER: Yves-Merry Telemaque headed to Florida on Friday expecting
to meet and bring home a one-and-a-half year old she began adopting in
September. But she waited all weekend and waited all day Monday. And
the child, Addison, did not arrive.
TELEMAQUE: There's no words for what has happened, you know. I left my
job, and everything I had, took care of my responsibilities in New
York to come to Florida, only to go home disappointed and empty handed, without any
REPORTER: Though the U.S. wants to expedite adoptions like hers, U.S.
and Haitian officials are struggling to make sure each adoption is
legitimate. And with so many documents destroyed in the earthquake,
it’s difficult. Last night Telemaque learned the Department of
Homeland Security needs a copy of the biological mother’s renunciation
of her parental rights before Addison can travel. And when she does
arrive in Florida, she could be held for days in a refugee
resettlement home while officials check Telemaque’s background and the
adequacy of her home.
Telemaque is a Haitian-American attorney and she says she’s documented
everything possible on her end. She's canceled all appointments this
week and is trying to get on a flight from Florida to Haiti to make
sure her adopted daughter is allowed to come.