It still is hard to believe. With somewhere around 750,000 orphans in Haiti and an essentially completely dysfunctional social structure, you would think that the government would be eager to see international couples adopt these children. Unfortunately Haiti has some pretty strict rules regarding adoption. According to this post from Bethany Christian Services Haiti blog, these are the basic requirements for adopting a child from Haiti...
Applicant requirements are:
-at least one applicant must be at least age 35 years (singles must be at least age 35)
-must be married at least 10 years (for couples)
-have no children
So at least one parent needs to have been married at 25 and stayed married for ten years to reach the age 35 barrier and have no children. By contrast, Russia has no limits on the number of years of marriage and as far as age of the parents: There must be no more than 45 years between the ages of the parent and child. That makes sense, it might not be a good idea for someone who is 50 to adopt an infant.
That is a big reason why the Haiti Orphan Project is so important. In some ways, adoption is the easy way for Haitian orphans. They are removed from Haiti and get loving homes in America but for every child adopted (and adoption is something I would encourage you to consider), there are perhaps hundreds left behind. With the very strict rules regarding adoption, adopting children from Haiti is awfully difficult and that consigns hundreds of thousands of orphans to a bleak future. The Haiti Orphan Project seeks to give these kids a chance to grow up healthy and well educated and hopefully these kids will live in Haiti and be a force for change in this island nation that has spent the last 200 years in nearly constant turmoil.
Caring for the least of these and especially the fatherless is a Gospel priority. As you prepare for Christmas only a week and a half away and your children eagerly await the presents under the tree, think about these children who will not only not have presents under a tree, they don't have parents to care for them. Instead of buying another theology book or giving money to a radio ministry, please prayerfully consider helping these orphans with a donation to the Haiti Orphan Project or another Christian group that ministers to the fatherless around the world.
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause. (Isa 1:16-17)