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Sinead Ryan: Why can't we adopt the orphans of Haiti now

Watching the news over the last few days, it's almost impossible, as a parent, not to want to take every single crying, bleeding and hurt child home from Haiti.

There they sit and lie, broken and bleeding, without parents, siblings, or friends.


Nobody is able to help them because of the overwhelming circumstances that have engulfed the country and its children.

Many, many more of them will die, either on the dirty, dusty streets of Port-au-Prince or from infection in a makeshift field hospital.

More still, fleeing in ramshackle boats to unknown destinations, will succumb to the waves. Their outlook has never been bleaker.

Some countries have taken the initiative and are adopting Haitian orphans.

Holland has taken a plane-load; the governor of Pennsylvania sent a private jet to collect dozens more.

All will be safely rehoused in their new homes -- yes, bypassing strict procedures and paperwork, but undoubtedly bound for a better life.

We, too, can do this, and should. We have hundreds of families in Ireland awaiting foreign adoptions.

Children's Minister Barry Andrews has suspended adoptions from Vietnam indefinitely -- a heretofore popular adoption country -- leaving many would-be good, kind parents without the babies they were hoping for.

Here is an answer, if we can do it.

These children are totally bereft of the most basic of human needs -- not just food and water, but kindness and love. We can give that to them. Now.

Nobody is suggesting that paperwork and procedure be ignored. Willy-nilly adoptions can lead to fraud, child-trafficking and even abuse.

But immediate fostering leading to later adoption is one way we can help immediately.

We've done this already: the children of Chernobyl come here every year to temporary foster families, thanks to the good efforts of Adi Roche and others. Some have gone on to be adopted.

We need to demand that our Government organise this immediately. Sending the Government jet to rescue children would be a start.


They can be housed temporarily before being given to families, where they will can start a new life and begin to put the horrors they have witnessed behind them.

The man who can do it is Andrews. If you are a loving family who would love to help an orphaned child, contact him at bandrews@oireachtas.ie or call (01) 618 3856 to demand action.