February 23, 2010
Eight out of the ten Americans who faced charges of child abduction soon after the earthquake hit Haiti, walked away from jail in Port-au-Prince last week. Orphanage founder Laura Silsby and her nanny have stayed behind to face more questioning and a judicial system that is trying, but is in shambles.
As the case moves forward, incriminating evidence has surfaced: the Americans have been linked to a notorious Dominican sex-trafficker-turned-legal-adviser and to business interests in the U.S. But all of this brings up many more questions about the nature of international adoptions.
This case is reminiscent of abduction charges against the French nonprofit Zoe's Ark in Chad in 2007. The organization was accused of airlifting 103 Sudanese children through the neighboring country illegally, with the hope of placing them in foster homes throughout Europe. In both cases, individuals carrying the banner of humanitarian will descended on a country weakened by war, or in Haiti's case, by a natural disaster.