Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:February 13th, 2010 21:00 EST

American Church Group Trying to Rescue Haitian Children? Or, Trying to Pull a Fast One?

By Ron G Anselm


children of Haiti

     We have all heard in one form of the media or another, the news about the big earthquake that pummeled Haiti and basically left the country at the mercy of the world for help. We have had many good Samaritans that have taken time to go over to the earthquake ravaged country to try to help the people of Haiti and to try to help them get their country and lives back on track. There has been a great deal of good families in this country adopting Haitian children and bringing them back here to have a good family life and a good home.

     The news has been centered on the children of Haiti and has focused on one particular instance that has been in the public eye for a few weeks now which is the Idaho church group that went over there to try to rescue some of the Haitian children. In some of the news reports, there has been some criticism about this church group and their intentions. One of the big questions is were they trying to just grab some of the children, take them across the border without proper authorization? Or, was there more to the story? There have also been reports about the leader of the church group and how that person went about trying to get these children out of Haiti and how that person went about communicating to the rest of the group on how they were going to do it and if the group had the proper authorization to even think about taking children out of the country. The group did acknowledge now that they failed to get the proper authorization but stated that they were not intending to do anything wrong.

     One particular tidbit of information was that each of the children the church group from Idaho tried to save or take across the border had at least one parent still alive in Haiti. The parents of some of those children said that they were not giving their kids up to this church group for adoption but were giving them to the church group because those parents had been promised great educational opportunities for their children.

     It sounds like there may be some shady activity going on by the church group but also that the church group had good intentions other than what the media has portrayed trying to kidnap " these children. There also may have been some talk that the reason that these Americans may have been detained might be due to some possible Anti-American prejudice taking place in this case. Who knows?

     I myself have been over to Haiti many times when I was in the Coast Guard and stationed on the Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba (WMEC-907) and have been on many patrols where we picked up many Haitians that used to try to make it to the land of freedom or in this case Miami illegally and had to deport them back to their country. I can say that most of the Haitian people I have come in contact with seemed to be good people.

     So, for anyone to speculate that a few of these people may not like Americans and the reason why these church group members were arrested and some of the Haitian prosecution team were trying to prosecute because the church group is from the United States would somewhat surprise me if it were true.

     I think it probably is a misunderstanding and more than likely will get resolved. The Judge in the case, Bernard Saint-Vil recommended that the Americans be released from prison and allowed to leave the country. The church group still has to wait on the prosecution team to take the Judge`s recommendation in releasing them from prison and letting them come home or not and there still is no set date as to when the final decision will be made on what to do with the jail birds.  The prosecutors charged the group with child abduction with criminal intent which carries a jail term up to fifteen years. Stand by!