Canada Eases Restrictions to Fast Track Some Adoptions from Haiti

Canada has eased immigration restrictions to fast track some adoption of children from Haiti after the recent disastrous earthquake. Canadian Immigration officials will expedite adoptions that were already underway and had received preliminary approvals before the earthquake. Furthermore, the Canadian government is consulting Haitian authorities on “fast-tracking” their foreign-adoption approval process.

About 100 adoption cases had been identified and once the Haitian government confirms the status of individual cases, temporary resident permits will be issued to allow qualified Haitian children to enter Canada as quickly as possible.

Canada’s Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said, “Regular processing fees will be waived and the federal government will cover health costs until they can be covered under provincial programs.”

Mr. Kenney encouraged prospective parents who have launched Haitian adoptions and have not yet been contacted to call or email federal officials. He cautioned, however, that Canada is not opening its doors to a flood of new adoption cases nor other immigrants from the earthquake zone. He said, “Massive resettlement is not a solution to natural disaster. The solution is reconstruction, and we’re focused and dedicated to that.”

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said his party supports government relief efforts so far. But both he and NDP Leader Jack Layton urged the Tories to broaden Immigration’s definition of “family” to include siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins to ease Haitian immigration.

“We can’t understand why the government doesn’t seize the opportunity to show Canadian generosity and compassion,” Ignatieff said.

We think that Canadian government’s decision to fast track the adoption and family sponsorship process is a step in the right direction. Reconstruction rather relocation is the right strategy to deal with such major natural catastrophe.

The permanent residents and Canadians from Haiti chose to move to Canada leaving their other family members in Haiti. It was their own decision to move far away from their family members they might not even see again when they decided to move to Canada. Canadian government is speeding up the process to reunite the members of the family as defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act as soon as possible.

We support Canadian government’s relief efforts and appreciate its activities to fast track the immigration process for family members of the permanent residents and Canadians of Haitian origin.

Source: Canadian Press

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