Humanitarian Parole Announced for Haitian Orphans!

18 01 2010

Secretary Napolitano has announced that humanitarian parole has been granted to Haitian orphans in the process of being adopted by U.S. adoptive families!

Congrats to the children and families!

Thanks go out to everyone who advocated for humanitarian parole and to Secretary Napolitano!

Below is the announcement and fact sheet…

SECRETARY NAPOLITANO ANNOUNCES HUMANITARIAN PAROLE POLICY FOR CERTAIN HAITIAN ORPHANS

WASHINGTON—Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, in coordination with the U.S. Department of State, today announced a humanitarian parole policy allowing orphaned children from Haiti to enter the United States temporarily on an individual basis to ensure that they receive the care they need—as part of the U.S. government’s ongoing support of international recovery efforts after last week’s earthquake.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to help reunite families in Haiti during this very difficult time,” said Secretary Napolitano. “While we remain focused on family reunification in Haiti, authorizing the use of humanitarian parole for orphans who are eligible for adoption in the United States will allow them to receive the care they need here.”

Humanitarian parole into the United States may be granted by the Secretary of Homeland Security to bring otherwise inadmissible individuals into the country on account of urgent humanitarian reasons or other emergencies. The humanitarian parole policy announced by Secretary Napolitano today will be applied on a case-by-case basis to the following children:

  • Children who have been legally confirmed as orphans eligible for intercountry adoption by the Government of Haiti and are being adopted by U.S. citizens.
  • Children who have been previously identified by an adoption service provider or facilitator as eligible for intercountry adoption and have been matched to U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents.

Under applicable laws, unaccompanied minors entering the country without a parent or legal guardian will be turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Today’s announcement expands the humanitarian relief that the U.S. Government is extending to Haitians in response to the devastation caused by the earthquake. Last week, Secretary Napolitano announced the designation of Temporary Protected Status for Haitian nationals who were physically present in the United States as of Jan. 12, 2010—allowing eligible Haitian nationals to continue living and working in the United States for the next 18 months. Those who attempt to travel to the United States after Jan. 12, 2010 will not be eligible for TPS and will be repatriated

More information about humanitarian parole and TPS is available at www.uscis.gov or by calling USCIS toll-free at (800) 375-5283. DHS encourages U.S. citizens with pending adoption cases in Haiti to send us detailed information about their cases to HaitianAdoptions@dhs.gov.

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SECRETARY NAPOLITANO ANNOUNCES HUMANITARIAN PAROLE POLICY FOR CERTAIN HAITIAN ORPHANS
On Jan. 18, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, in coordination with the U.S. Department of State (DOS), today announced a humanitarian parole policy allowing orphaned children from Haiti to enter the United States temporarily on an individual basis to ensure that they receive the care they need—as part of the U.S. government’s ongoing support of international recovery efforts after last week’s earthquake.

DHS and DOS are working together to issue travel documents (either immigrant visas or humanitarian parole authorizations) for children who fall into the two categories described below. Once these children are cleared to travel, the U.S. Embassy in Port au Prince will facilitate their evacuation to the United States so they may be united with their American adoptive parents.

Under applicable laws, unaccompanied minors entering the country without a parent or legal guardian will be turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement.

All cases will be evaluated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Depending on their circumstances, and information available some children will receive immigrant visas with permanent immigration status and will require no further processing. Those who enter under humanitarian parole status will need to have their immigration status resolved after arrival.

Eligibility for Humanitarian Parole

Category 1

Children who have been legally confirmed as orphans eligible for intercountry adoption by the Government of Haiti, were in the process of being adopted by Americans prior to Jan. 12, 2010 and meet the below criteria.

Required Criteria

  • Evidence of availability for adoption, which MUST include at least one of the following:
  • Full and final Haitian adoption decree
  • Government of Haiti Custody grant to prospective adoptive parents for emigration and adoption
  • Secondary evidence in lieu of the above.
  • Evidence of suitability for adoption, which MUST include at least one of the following:
  • Notice of Approval of Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition
  • Current FBI Fingerprints and background security check clearances
  • Physical custody in Haiti plus a security background check

Category 2

Children who have been identified by an adoption service provider or facilitator as eligible for intercountry adoption, were matched to prospective American adoptive parents prior to Jan. 12, 2010 and meet the below criteria.

Required Criteria

  • Significant evidence of a relationship between the prospective adoptive parents and the child AND of the parents’ intention to complete the adoption, which could include the following:
  • Proof of travel by the prospective adoptive parents to Haiti to visit the child
  • Photos of the child and prospective adoptive parents together
  • An Adoption Service Provider “Acceptance of Referral” letter signed by the prospective adoptive parents
  • Documentary evidence that the prospective adoptive parents initiated the adoption process prior to Jan. 12, 2010 with intent to adopt the child (filed Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, and/or Form I-600, Petition to Classify an Orphan as an Immediate Relative, completed a home study, located an ASP to work with in Haiti, etc.)
  • Evidence of the child’s availability for adoption, which could the following:
  • IBESR (Haitian Adoption Authority) approval
  • Documentation of legal relinquishment or award of custody to the Haitian orphanage
  • Secondary evidence in lieu of the above
  • Evidence of suitability for adoption, which MUST include at least one of the following:
  • Notice of Approval of Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition; OR
  • Current FBI Fingerprints and background security check clearances

Other Orphaned or Separated Children

Given the severity of the disaster in Haiti, we understand that there are additional children that have been orphaned and/or separated from relatives and may also be in varying stages of the adoption process. DHS and the U.S. Department of State continue to evaluate additional eligibility criteria and will provide additional information as soon as it is available.

USCIS encourages U.S. citizens with pending adoption cases in Haiti to send us detailed information about their cases to HaitianAdoptions@dhs.gov.

Please visit the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov and the U.S. Department of State website at www.adoption.state.gov for more information and updates.

– USCIS –


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4 responses

19 01 2010
Danelle Kilpatrick

I’m sad to say that my husband and I were advised to let our FBI fingerprints expire..so also our notice of approval is expired since 6/07/09.
Our dossier was sent to Haiti in Sept of 07. Because of the length that this adoption is taking we had planned to get new fingerprinting done when we were notified that we were in the end stages. As far as we know we are only in IBESR still.

Should I send in the expired I-171H Form anyway and hope that it is enough?
Sincerely,
Danelle Kilpatrick

19 01 2010
Mark Resor

I wanted the notifications of new posts.

19 01 2010
Laura Conners

In order for us to take custody of our children via the humanitarian parole, will we need to be certified in our state as foster parents?

19 01 2010
Joe

I was very disappointed coming away from the Joint Council conference call this morning. It’s great that we have humanitarian parole, but it needs to be applied sooner than later; in other words, applied when the children have been evacuated to the safety of the US and not while they sit in a dangerous situation waiting for their paperwork to be evaluated “case by case.” If this is the best the USCIS, DOS, and DHS can come up with, then we need to send them back to the drawing board. Common sense and not bureaucracy needs to rule the day here. Maybe Ed Rendell can come back for the rest of the kids!

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