«REPUBLIC OF HAITI Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST) Institute for Social Welfare and Research (IBESR) The Law Reforming Adoption was ...»
Article 45. Adoptability must be established by the central authority to ensure that the adoption is the appropriate measure for the child, considering his or her best interest. This evaluation is composed of the
1. An evaluation that includes
a) Information about the child’s identity;
b) The child’s social environment;
c) The child’s personal and family background;
d) The child’s legal status;
e) The medical status of the child and of his or her family;
f) The child’s particular needs; and
g) The child’s expressed willingness to be adopted, according to his or her discernment capacity from the age of 12.
2. The identification of special-needs children upon conclusion of the evaluation and their inclusion on a specific list prepared by the central authority to facilitate the search for an adoptive family.
3. The social evaluation of the child’s parents or legal representative by the central authority.
4. A report including the above information upon completion of the study by the central authority.
Article 46. The central authority has parental authority after the consent to adoption has been duly signed and the withdrawal period has elapsed, as stipulated in Article 44.
If the Haitian central authority (for domestic adoption cases) or authority of the receiving country (for intercountry adoptions) considers the petitioners to be qualified and eligible to adopt, it shall prepare a report including information about their identity; their legal capacity to adopt; their personal, family, and medical situation; their social environment; their motivation for adopting; their ability to undertake an adoption; and the children that they could care for. The central authority must prepare files of adoptive parents residing in Haiti.
The files of adoptive parents residing abroad must be transmitted to the Haitian central authority by the central authority or by an adoption agency of the hosting country.
Article 48. Adoption files of prospective adoptive parents must include documents as established by the internal regulations of the central authority.
Said regulations will be published in the official journal of the Republic by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.
Article 49. The central authority shall undertake a matching process for adoptable children following the authority’s established procedures and always considering the best interest of the child.
For domestic adoption, the Haitian central authority shall transmit the result of the matching process directly to the candidates. For intercountry adoption, the central authority shall transmit the decision to the central authority of the hosting country or to the adoption agency involved.
Article 50. Future adoptive parents must give their approval, in writing, to the matching of the child proposed for adoption within 15 working days of the matching process notification. This approval must be communicated to the Haitian central authority directly for domestic adoptions or through the adoption agency or central authority of the receiving country for intercountry adoptions.
Article 51. For intercountry adoptions, the Haitian central authority and the central authority of the hosting country must agree to the result of the matching and agree to continue the adoption process.
Article 52. Once the approval of the adoptive parents has been received, the Haitian central authority authorizes a period for the adoptive parents and the child to get to know each other. This socialization period is mandatory; it cannot be less than two weeks, whether for domestic or intercountry adoption.
Article 53. The central authority, within 10 days after the socialization period, authorizes or refuses to authorize the adoption based on an evaluation report.
Article 54. All documents included in the file are submitted for certification to the responsible clerk of the court of first instance, through the attorney chosen by the adoptive parents.
Article 55. After deliberation, the court of first instance, by reasoned decision, grants or refuses the adoption. In case of refusal on procedural grounds, the file shall be transmitted to the central authority for necessary action.
In case of refusal on substantial grounds, adoptive parents can appeal within 30 days of the judgment. The decision of the appeals court may be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Article 56. The appeal to the Supreme Court against the judgment of the appeals court is filed by the appellant in accordance with the form and schedule prescribed by the Code of Civil Procedure.
Article 57. The clerk of vital records of the adoptee’s hometown shall register the adoption decision and issue an adoption certificate within five days.
Article 58. Adoption takes effect on the date the final decision of adoption is pronounced.
Article 59. In the case of intercountry adoptions realized with countries that have signed the Hague Convention, the central authority delivers a certificate within 10 business days after the issuance of the act of adoption.
Article 60. The chargeable and payable costs and expenses, including reasonable professional fees, of persons involved in the adoption are fixed by a table prepared by the central authority.
Directors, administrators, and employees of organizations involved in an adoption shall not receive remuneration disproportionate with their rendered services.
POSTPLACEMENT FOLLOW-UPArticle 61. The central authority must provide, for each domestic or intercountry adoption, postplacement supervision through reports submitted regularly by the adoptive parents. The reports are the responsibility of the adoption agency that assisted the adoptive parents in the adoption process and serve to monitor the child’s development and integration into the adoptive family and environment. The reports are submitted during an eight-year period.
All reports will be included in the file of the adopted child.
Article 62. The central authority shall maintain in its archives, on paper and electronically, all documents included in the file of each domestic and intercountry adoption.
Article 63. The central authority is required to maintain information on the child’s origins, including data relating to the identity of the child’s mother and father, as well as to the medical history of the child and his or her family.
When permitted by law, such information will only be accessible to the child or to his or her legal representative, with the appropriate guidance.
Article 64. Personal data cannot be used for purposes other than those for which it was gathered or transmitted. This data includes, notably, the report on information gathered about the future adoptive parents’ identity; their legal capacity and aptitude to adopt; their personal, familial, and medical situation;
their social environment; their reasons for adopting; their ability to undertake an intercountry adoption;
and background information on the children they are able to care for.
The same applies to the adoptability report on the social background of the child.
The central authority, depending on the evolution of domestic adoption and number of adoptable children, has the right to license domestic adoption agencies to facilitate the promotion of domestic adoptions.
Article 66. The central authority shall regulate the issuance, renewal, and revocation of the LAAs’ authorization. The agencies’ activities and obligations, as well as those of their representatives, are determined by the present law.
Article 67. To receive authorization to operate in Haiti, a domestic or foreign adoption agency must
1. Be officially licensed by the authorities in its country of origin and authorized by these authorities to work in Haiti;
2. Demonstrate competency, professionalism, and ethics in its work;
3. Respect the laws, regulations, and policies of Haiti and those of the country where it has its headquarters;
4. Have sufficient resources and qualified personnel to perform its mission;
5. Work only on a nonprofit basis;
6. Derive no improper financial gain or disproportionate remuneration for services rendered;
7. Exert no pressure to find children in order to satisfy adoptive parents’ demands;
8. Adopt guidelines or internal policies organizing the management of its professional functions and its internal management;
9. Submit to the Haitian central authority an annual report on its activities in Haiti, including its financial situation; and
10. Avoid any contact with biological parents or the person in charge of the future adoptee prior to completion of the matching process.
Documents required to obtain the agreement or its renewal, as well as the duration of it, are established by the central authority.
Article 68. The responsibilities and duties of foreign adoption agencies working in Haiti include
1. Representing prospective adoptive parents in the adoption process;
2. Informing prospective adoptive parents who want to adopt children from Haiti regarding the technical and legal aspects of the adoption process and of the regulations of the Republic of Haiti;
3. Assisting prospective adoptive parents in preparation of their planned adoption and guiding them in file preparation;
4. Verifying the legal capability of prospective adoptive parents;
5. Verifying that prospective adoptive parents are completely prepared to adopt;
6. Routing the prospective adoptive parents’ files to the Haitian central authority for the adoption process;
7. Directing prospective parents who wish to adopt special-needs children to specialized professionals who can guide them; and
8. Supporting future adoptive parents after the child’s arrival, including assisting with the preparation of postadoption reports.
Article 69. The responsibilities and duties of domestic adoption agencies include
1. Informing future adoptive parents wishing to adopt children in Haiti or abroad of the technical and legal aspects of the adoption procedure and the legislation in force in Haiti or in the country of origin;
2. Assisting prospective adoptive parents in preparation of their planned adoption and guiding them in file preparation;
Le Moniteur No. 213 Friday 15 November 2013
3. Preparing prospective adoptive parents for the implications of adoption;
4. Routing prospective adoptive parents’ files to the Haitian central authority; and
5. Supporting future adoptive parents after the child's arrival, including assisting with the preparation of postadoption reports.
Article 70. Adoption agencies authorized to operate in Haiti are supervised by the central authority. By no later than the beginning of each fiscal year, they must send the central authority an annual report, including a financial report.
Article 71. The central authority can suspend or revoke the operating license of a foreign or domestic adoption agency if the agency sends false information or does not comply with the provisions of the present law, including those stipulated in Article 61.
These measures do not preclude any civil or criminal prosecution by the authorities.
PENAL PROVISIONSArticle 72. Anyone who intentionally provides money, material goods, or any other benefit—or promises improper material gain—to the biological parents, family council, guardian, legal representative, other person taking care of the child, or authority or individuals involved in the adoption process in order to facilitate or complete the adoption will be sentenced to a prison term of 5 to 10 years or a fine of 100,000 to 500,000 gourdes.
Any biological parent, family council, guardian, legal representative, or other individual involved in the adoption process who receives money, material goods, or other benefit in order to facilitate or complete the adoption is subject to the same penalties.
Article 73. Any individual who kidnaps or sells children or traffics children for adoption purposes will be sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
Article 74. The harvesting of organs or tissues and the adoption of a child for exploitation purposes will be punishable by hard labor for life.
Article 75. Any individual, employee, or representative of an institution who facilitates adoptions without going through the central authority will either pay a fine of 100,000 to 500,000 gourdes or serve a prison sentence.
For files in process where the consent has been given before the justice of the peace, the court of first instance will order the biological parents to appear in person at a given time and date, either to confirm their informed consent to simple adoption or to give their informed consent to full adoption.
Article 77. In case of natural disaster or other emergency, the central authority shall suspend all adoptions for a specific period in order to allow the family reunification of separated children.
All adoptions can also be suspended when there are serious irregularities in the adoption process or weaknesses in adoption policies and practices preventing the central authority from accomplishing its mission in accordance with the provisions of the present law.