Haitian Kids Taken by Baptists Weren't Orphans

But desperate families are giving up kids voluntarily to get them out
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2010 9:04 AM CST
Three of the deatained Americans listen during an interview with the Associated Press at police headquarters at the international airport in Port-au-Prince.   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
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(Newser) – Many of the 33 children a group of American Baptists tried to take out of Haiti without the proper documentation aren't orphans at all, and officials at an orphanage where the children were taken after the Americans were arrested are trying to reunite them with their families. But the reality is that more than a few Haitian parents are giving up children voluntarily to give them an opportunity to escape squalid post-quake conditions, the AP reports.

"Some parents I know have already given their children to foreigners," says one parent who's planning to do the same. "I've been thinking how I will choose which one I may give—probably my youngest." Says another father of seven, who finds he can't do anything for his children: "They would be better off in another country. I'd like one of them to go to the United States." A spokeswoman for the group of detained Baptists acknowledged that they knew they didn't have the right paperwork for the kids, and were just trying to do the Christian thing by getting them out of horrifying conditions.

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