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Haiti Orphanages Are Overflowing–But Not with Orphans

Facilities face closure because 80 percent of 'orphans' have at least one living parent.

According to the New York Times, many Haitian orphans "aren't orphans at all." At least, not in the traditional sense.

The Times reports that roughly 80 percent of the 30,000 Haitian children living in orphanages may have a living parent who–due to poverty, health, or other circumstances–has abandoned the child.

But the government is attempting to enact reforms that would close many Haitian orphanages, and reduce the number of children living in others, in order to clamp down on child trafficking and abuse. These reforms would align Haiti's policies with international adoption standards.

A UNICEF-financed inspection revealed that only 112 of Haiti's 725 orphanages are accredited; 72 of the orphanages operate in sub-standard conditions–and may participate in trafficking some 2,000 children across the border annually. American missionaries have worked to help close the worst of the homes, but so far only 26 have been shut down.

CT has regularly reported on Haiti and orphans, including whether ...

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