Haiti quake puts parents’ adoption dreams in limbo

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U.S. families are pleading for emergency visas and other help that will allow them to bring home the orphans they planned to adopt from earthquake-stricken Haiti.

But adoption advocates say there may be little the parents-to-be or the U.S. government can do right now because the country is in shambles after Tuesday’s magnitude-7 temblor.

Tom DiFilipo of the Joint Council on International Children’s Services in Alexandria, Va., says adoption isn’t a priority right now and that workers need first to ensure that children are safe and have food, water, shelter and medical care.

UNICEF estimates that in 2007 Haiti had 380,000 orphans. The U.S. State Department issued 330 immigrant visas for Haitian adoptees in 2009.