News Release – Canada gets agreement from Haiti to evacuate adopted children

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Ottawa, January 22, 2010 — The Government of Haiti has given its agreement to bring 154 adopted children to Canada, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

We know how anxious Canadian parents are to be united with their adopted children in Canada,” said Minister Kenney. “Yesterday, Canadian officials presented a list to the Government of Haiti with the names of 154 children who are currently in the adoption process. I am very pleased to announce today that the Government of Haiti has given its full approval to that list, clearing the way for up to 154 of these children to come to Canada.

Eighty–six of the 154 cases were at an advanced stage in the process, whereby some level of approval had been granted by the Haitian authorities.

We are making immediate arrangements to work with adoption agencies and provincial and territorial authorities to bring these 86 children to Canada in the coming days,” stated Minister Kenney. “We have already been in contact with the families involved and will continue to be as details are firmed up. It is possible that the first flight could arrive in Canada as early as this weekend.

The remaining cases from the 154 were at a more preliminary level in the adoption process. We are working with provincial and territorial governments, and child welfare agencies to expedite the process.

 “A number of steps must still be completed to protect the best interests of the child, but I am confident that this work can be done quickly,” said Minister Kenney.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has attempted to contact all parents of the 154 cases and has reached many of the adoptive parents. We have left voicemails for those we were unable to reach. Adoptive parents who have not yet been contacted by CIC should contact the CIC Call Centre. The Call Centre will be open this weekend as well (7am to 7pm Eastern time) to respond to the increased volume of calls on Canada’s special immigration measures for Haitian nationals. The dedicated email address will be monitored on a 24 hour basis.

The Call Centre received over 55,000 calls on Monday – more than 60 per cent higher than the regular volume. On Tuesday, over 38,000 calls came in, and as of Wednesday, over 31,000 calls were received.

For further information (media only), please contact:

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
613-952-1650
CIC-Media-Relations@cic.gc.ca

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