Locals want to adopt Haitian children, but cannot

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Many thoughts are with the children who are suffering in Haiti after the deadly earthquake, especially for those who lost their parents.

Lifeline Children's Services in Birmingham has been inundated with calls from people who want to either foster or adopt an orphan from Haiti, but unfortunately, they can't.

Executive Director Herbie Newell says the U.S. and Haitian governments are not processing new adoptions.

That's because in the midst of the devastation and chaos officials are having a hard time determining which children have no one to take care of them.

"They want to make sure they don't send those children out of the country for adoptions. Only children where literally there are no family that want to take care of them," said Herbie Newell. "Haiti has to rebuild infrastructure to be able to identify legitimate orphans."

About 1,000 adoptions from Haiti are being processed right now,  but that's because those adoptions were identified and matched before the earthquake.

Newell says it could be six months to a year before the adoption process for children in Haiti will resume.