Haitian Parents Abandon Kids in Droves
Earthquake's devastation the last straw for many
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 10, 2010 10:05 AM CDT
In this April 14, 2010, a toddler who was orphaned in the earthquake is lifted onto a couch by one of his adoptive family members.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

(Newser) – The catastrophic earthquake that left at least 1.3 million Haitians homeless was the final straw for families that could barely afford to feed their children before. Now with aid dwindling, Haitian families are abandoning their children in skyrocketing numbers in the hope of offering them a better life—a 4-day-old girl left in a cardboard box outside a hospital, a 3-year-old holding a bag of folded underwear and a note, toddlers dropped off in hospital waiting rooms.

Haitian law requires that orphanage authorities do everything they can to reunite children with their birth families. Post-quake, that has often involved reuniting kids with families that do not want them back—or children who don't want to return, like 13-year-old Simon, who was crying at being reunited with his family. "If I go back with my big sister, I won't be able to go to school. She's going to make me sell water in the street—like I was doing before. I'll go back to a hard life."

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Showing 3 of 38 comments
May 11, 2010 3:34 AM CDT
try blaming overall ignorance and stupidity, of the Hatian people themselves...common sense should tell you...if you are dirt poor and can't afford to feed your own self..try not having kids...Haiti has been settled for a long time. And furthermore it is NOT the United States (or GOP's) duty to provide birth control to the planet. Haiti made it's own bed and it is Haiti's fault..Quit f***** and quit having children you cant afford
May 10, 2010 3:37 PM CDT
Too many kids. Very sad. Who would have thought that a country that is majority catholic would reproduce irresponsibly? Throw in the years that GOP administrations tied aid to birth control denial and we have another fine mess to blame on the religious right and their ancient superstitions.
May 10, 2010 3:09 PM CDT
You can send all the aid you want, but when the aid workers go home the old way of life returns. This is a lose lose situation. This island needs the same level of commitment that was given them over the previous 15 years. Before the quake they were starting to make their own way. Now that they have nothing it will look like Iraq without the benefit of oil.