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EXCLUSIVE: Advocates Rip Blinken Over Biden Migrant Parole Program That’s Left Adopted Children Stranded In Haiti

  Advocates are slamming Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the State Department for failing to address adopted children that are strande...

 Advocates are slamming Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the State Department for failing to address adopted children that are stranded in Haiti due to President Joe Biden’s migrant parole program, which is overloading the one Haitian passport office in the whole country, according to a Tuesday letter from adoption advocates and lawyers exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The groups argue that the program that allows Haitians to receive legal entry into the U.S. using a newly-announced parole program has overwhelmed the only passport office in Haiti, where adopted children need appointments to obtain the documents, according to the letter. Biden announced on Jan. 5 a program to allow 30,000 Haitians, Cubans, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans each month into the country as illegal entries at the southern border from those countries surged. 

“Unfortunately, the program led to such a surge in applicants for Haitian passports, that there is virtually no possibility of obtaining a passport for children with legally approved, completed adoptions. They’re the legal children of U.S. parents, but they cannot get a passport—and therefore cannot get a visa to come to the United States,” President and CEO of National Council for Adoption Ryan Hanlon, one of the letter’s signatories, told the DCNF.

The rush to obtain passports has led to the formation of dangerous crowds desperate to obtain passports, which are required for the new program, as depicted in several videos circulating online and reports.

“A legal solution exists – and was used just this past Fall in Haiti – yet the Department of State has thus far refused to take action,” Hanlon added.

Bryan Hanlon, who is not related to Ryan Hanlon, and his wife Julie, are the adopted parents of Peterson, 5, and Gina, 6, who are both in Haiti and in need of passports to finally meet their parents. Bryan and Julie began the process in 2018 and are just waiting on a passport, but there are no appointments because the office is overwhelmed by people trying to obtain parole, Bryan told the DCNF.

“Everybody is trying to get a passport, but there is one passport office in the entire country. And it was already bogged down and it was already slow, and it was already hard and it was already unpredictable, but not like this,” Program Manager for Haiti, A Love Beyond Borders Stephanie Thoet, who is managing Peterson and Gina’s cases, told the DCNF.

“State Department in the sense of the U.S. Embassy has been completely unhelpful,” Thoet explained.

Bryan and Julie Hanlon aren’t alone in their battle, which now presents major security risks to the young children, Bryan explained. In the Hanlons’ case, their two children had to be evacuated from an orphanage due to gang violence and Peterson had to be placed in the care of a clinic for malnourishment for months.

“That’s where they want us to send our kids and you know, my kids are healthy and able, but I know that there are children who are being adopted that are in wheelchairs. How do they expect them to go through this chaos?,” Bryan Hanlon said.

A State Department spokesperson told the DCNF that it prioritizes such adoptions.

“Intercountry adoption is one of the Department’s highest priorities. We work to ensure that intercountry adoption remains a viable option for children in need of permanency throughout the world. We engage actively with the adoption community, stakeholders, and countries across the globe and use all appropriate tools at our disposal to identify and overcome barriers to intercountry adoption,” the spokesperson said.

“We understand that it is currently difficult for adoptive parents to obtain a Haitian passport to present for an adoptive child’s visa interview. We remain committed to helping adoptive parents navigate the often-complicated journey of intercountry adoption. We will continue to engage with the Haitian government on this issue and communicate updates with families, U.S. governmental agencies, U.S. accrediting entities, adoption service providers, state authorities, and the larger adoption community,” the spokesperson added.

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