This just in from this morning- nothing official yet- but things are looking better! PTL!
January 16, 2010
Thank you for registering your adoption with Joint Council. The database allows us to keep you updated on the latest information and how our ongoing efforts effect you and the children you are adopting.
It is the position of Joint Council that the U.S. government should immediately grant humanitarian parole to all Haitian children being adopted by a U.S. family. At present, Joint Council is appealing with the U.S. government, specifically the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to issue humanitarian paroles for any child that has been referred to an American family. If DHS issues humanitarian paroles, the children would not need a visa to enter the U.S. and be united with you. This would minimize the paperwork and possibly eliminate the need to find documents, which have been destroyed in the earthquake. Given the urgent needs of the children and the fact that they have you, we believe that humanitarian parole is the most humane solution. We will continue to work this weekend and into next week to achieve this goal. Again, please remember that at this time, we do not have confirmation from the Department of Homeland Security regarding humanitarian parole, but we are working towards that goal.
From our many, many meetings with Members of Congress, the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security, we feel that you should know that your government is working very hard to find a solution which will help get your children into the safe, permanent and loving setting of your family.
We are also working with Members of Congress, particularly the offices of Senator Mary Landrieu and Senator James Inhofe, to get emergency relief to the often overlooked orphanages. We are compiling lists of orphanages including their location and providing this information to emergency relief organizations via Congress. We are collecting the information from a wide variety of sources including the information you provided when you registered with our database.
Our Responses To Your Calls and Emails
Everyone at Joint Council, our staff and volunteers, recognize the need for you to contact us via calls and emails. Please know that we are working hard to respond as quickly as possible. We do ask that you recognize the tremendous amount of inquiries from adoptive families, the public, governments and the press. If you have not received an answer to your call or email, please expect a response in the next two days. In order to get back to you, we are utilizing many volunteers, so we ask that if our responses are not complete or seem brief, it is only because of the volume and need to use volunteers in our ongoing efforts.
Updates and Information
Please continue to reach out to us and to periodically check our website (www.jointcouncil.org), our Haiti webpage (www.jcics.org/haiti.htm), our Facebook page, and our blog (http://betheanswerforchildren.wordpress.com/). Yesterday alone we posted over 4 updates, so please continue to check in.
We hope that informing you of our collective efforts, particularly in Joint Council’s appeal for humanitarian paroles, will provide you with at least a small amount of comfort. Our hearts and our daily efforts continue to go out to you and the children you are adopting. This is why we do what we do.
All of our best wishes,
Tom DiFilipo, President & CEO
Rebecca Harris, Director of Programs & Services
P.S, When/if we get an answer on humanitarian parole for the children, we will first publish to our website and simultaneously send you an email.