The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Reunite Haitian families

While many would like to adopt orphaned children, it’s not the right solution to the crisis

When tragedy hits, American evangelicals are quick to respond.  
 

They ignite and react immediately, feeling called to love unconditionally and serve a higher purpose. After the recent earthquake in Haiti, Americans wanted to help, but some felt called to do more than write a check or send survival kits. They wanted to adopt Haitian children.  Can you blame them?
 

They see a 30 second commercial featuring grief-stricken children and want to change things. Is this bad? No. It’s human nature, especially for evangelicals, to want to save people from danger and loneliness—both spiritually and physically.  How can they do this? Some feel adoption is the answer—give the children what they need by bringing them here.
 

But is it really that simple? These people’s intentions may be pure, but this quick reaction is not the trick to restoring Haiti.
 

In an interview with Christianity Today, Michele Bond, the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for Overseas Citizens Services, made a good point: right now Americans should not be asking how to adopt Haitian children, but instead how to help them find Haitian families.
 

Although the Haitian government is not accepting new adoption applications, it is working with the U.S. State Department to expedite the adoptions that were in process before the earthquake.
 

There are ways to help give Haitian orphans families without adopting them. Evangelicals who are moved to make a difference should give financial support or volunteer with organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross that are dedicated to search and rescue and reconnecting families.
 

If Americans were to scoop up all the Haitian orphans and bring them back to America, they would be taking more than just children from the broken country. They would be taking away a chunk of Haiti’s identity–possibly the one thing that’s still intact.
 

Some people want to remove the orphans from horrible situations. This seems like a quick fix. Instead, the efforts to change things should be redirected to remove the horrible conditions present in Haiti, not the people.
 

Mothers lost their babies in the earthquake, husbands lost their wives and children lost their parents. While households may be incomplete, the nation is not. The one thing the Haitians have left is each other. Those who survived are the future of the country.
 

Don’t forget: Haiti is a family in itself, and generous, family-centered Americans should help build that family, not their own.

 

Mallory McCall is a senior journalism and religious studies double major. She can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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