U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley yesterday told reporters that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton would not directly intervene in the case of 10 Baptist missionaries charged by the Haitian government with child abduction. The missionaries were arrested January 29 as they tried to take 33 Haitian children to the Dominican Republic.
"We have had regular consular access and meetings with the 10 American citizens," Crowley said. "I believe we have facilitated getting medicine to, or other needs to, our citizens. We are doing exactly what we would do with detained Americans anywhere in the world. … We are monitoring the course of their legal process to make sure that we think it's in accord with Haitian law. And we will continue to do that. This is a Haitian legal process. The matters right now involve whether these individuals have broken Haitian law."
Meanwhile, Christianity Today spoke with Michele Bond, the State Department's deputy assistant secretary for Overseas Citizens Services, which oversees international adoptions as well as other children's issues. Bond has also coordinated the government emergency taskforce on Haiti orphans already in process of U.S. adoptions.
Bond declined to comment directly on the detained Baptists, but addressed concerns that the incident might harm future involvement of evangelicals in international adoptions.
What impact will the Idaho Baptists incident have on foreign adoptions in Haiti?
My guess is this incident is not going to change the prospects for foreign adoptions in Haiti. The fact that some people don't go about arranging adoptions in the right way is not a surprise to any government. But because this case has gotten a lot of attention, it is a good reminder that ...