US official visits Haiti to help with adoptions

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Associated Press

Posted on February 4, 2014 at 1:00 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 4 at 1:34 AM

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A U.S. State Department official is visiting Haiti to help the impoverished Caribbean nation improve its procedures for adoptions by foreigners.

The agency said in a statement Monday that special adviser for children's issues Susan Jacobs is in Haiti for three days to discuss adoptions following Haiti's recent ratification of the Hague Adoption Convention.

An estimated 50,000 children in Haiti live in orphanages, in part because many parents give up their children because they can't afford to take care of them. Many of the orphanages are poorly run and have little oversight.

Some Haitian children are trafficked into the neighboring Dominican Republic or elsewhere. The United Nations Children Agency recently estimated that at least 2,000 Haitian children were smuggled across the border in 2009.

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