Baptist Group Arrested For Child Trafficking As Many Haitian Parents Consider Giving Up Children

- By Bossip Staff Categories: Babies, End of Days, News

The arrest of 10 Americans for trying to take children out of Haiti has raised an uncomfortable question in this brutally poor and earthquake-devastated country: could some children be better off abroad under the grim circumstances?

The Baptists from Idaho were waiting Monday to hear if they will be tried on child trafficking charges for attempting to take 33 Haitian children to the Dominican Republic without official authorization.

Child welfare groups expressed outrage over Friday’s attempt, saying some of the children had parents who survived the Jan. 12 earthquake. Prime Minister Max Bellerive denounced the group’s “illegal trafficking of children” in a country long afflicted by the scourge and by foreign meddling.

But the reality is that some struggling Haitian parents see adoption as a last-ditch hope for their children.

“My parents died in the earthquake. My husband has gone. Giving up one of my kids would at least give them a chance,” Saintanne Petit-Frere, 40, a mother of six living outside in a tent camp near the airport said Sunday. “My only fear is that they would forget me, but that wouldn’t affect my decision.”

The Baptists’ “Haitian Orphan Rescue Mission” was described as an effort to save abandoned, traumatized children. Their plan was to scoop up 100 kids and take them by bus to a 45-room hotel at Cabarete, a beach resort in the Dominican Republic. The 33 kids ranged in age from 2 months to 12 years.

They were stopped at the border for not having proper paperwork and taken back to Port-au-Prince, where the children were taken to a temporary children’s home.

Haiti’s justice secretary, Amarick Louis, told The Associated Press that a commission would meet Monday to determine if the group would go before a judge. The group was being held at a building where government ministers are giving regular briefings — a maze of dingy concrete rooms but not traditional cells. Their living conditions were unclear.

“Some parents I know have already given their children to foreigners,” said Adonis Helman, 44. “I’ve been thinking how I will choose which one I may give.”

Haiti’s overwhelmed government has halted all adoptions unless they were in motion before the earthquake amid fears that parentless or lost children are more vulnerable than ever to being seized and sold. Sex trafficking has been rampant in Haiti.

Without proper documents and concerted efforts to track down their parents, children could be forever separated from family members able and willing to care for them. Bellerive’s personal authorization is now required for the departure of any child.

“For UNICEF, what is important is that for children separated from their parents, we do everything possible to have their families traced and to reunite them,” said Kent Page, a spokesman for the group in Haiti. “They have to be protected from traffickers or people who wish to exploit these children.”

He said it was possible the Americans arrested may have had “good intentions but misguided execution.”

The Idaho church group’s spokeswoman, Laura Silsby, told the AP from detention that the group was “just trying to do the right thing” amid the chaos. She conceded she had not obtained the proper Haitian documents for the children.

The children were taken to an orphanage run by Austrian-based SOS Children’s Villages, where spokesman George Willeit said they arrived “very hungry, very thirsty.” A 2- to 3-month-old baby was dehydrated and had to be hospitalized, he said. Workers were searching for their families or close relatives.

“One (8-year-old) girl was crying, and saying, ‘I am not an orphan. I still have my parents.’ And she thought she was going on a summer camp or a boarding school or something like that,” Willeit said.

As the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti is in a difficult spot — it needs aid, but deeply resents foreign meddling. Many have mixed feelings toward Christian groups that funnel hundreds of millions into missions in Haiti.

Christian missionaries alone run or support an estimated 2,000 primary schools attended by some 600,000 students — a third of Haiti’s school-aged population, according to government figures. Church groups also run vital hospitals, orphanages and food-distribution sites.

“There are many who come here with religious ideas that belong more in the time of the inquisition,” said Max Beauvoir, head of Haiti’s Voodoo Priest’s Association, which represents thousands of priests and priestesses. “These types of people believe they need to save our souls and our bodies from ourselves. We need compassion, not proselytizing now, and we need aid — not just aid going to people of the Christian faith.”

Two-thirds of Haiti’s 9 million are said to practice Voodoo, a melange of beliefs combining animism from west Africa and Catholicism.

Many religious groups run legitimate adoption agencies and orphanages in Haiti.

The arrested Americans include members of the Central Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, Idaho, and the East Side Baptist Church in Twin Falls, Idaho. They are part of the Southern Baptist Convention, which is America’s largest Protestant denomination and has extensive humanitarian programs worldwide.

The Idaho churches had elaborate plans before the earthquake to shelter up to 200 Haitian and Dominican boys and girls in the Magante beach resort, complete with a school and chapel as well as villas and a seaside cafe catering to adoptive U.S. parents.

Wow, can you imagine being so bad off that you consider giving your children away to strangers? Do you believe that the Baptist group had good intentions? We told you last week that child trafficking was becoming a real problem in Haiti, this incident is definitely not the only one of its kind going on right now.

Source

Comments

  • Dilla

    What in the world is happening to the church. Smh this is crazy.

  • Anita Policy

    This is so sad. Look at his face .

  • okthen5289

    This is such a sad story, I wouldn’t knwo what to do, I love both my beautiful daughters and I could never see me living with out them, they are my strength I love my two daughters so very much, I pray for these poor innocent children in Haiti and I pray for the mothers & fathers that have to make such a hard decision like this. God Bless Haiti. =( Such a sad situation.

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  • I'm Just Me...Keeping It Real Since: 1983.....74 Days!!!

    @ GLOK

    I am with you on this one Bruah! For real! None of these people can be trusted! Not a daxn one of them!

  • Anita Policy

    @ I’m Just Me, not ONE of them?

  • REAL TALK

    AW MA-THA-FKEERS.. PARENTS ARE NOT GIVING THEM UP.

    TYPO BIT-CHES

  • foxxy cleopatra foster

    I’M SO SKEPTICAL OF WHITE PEOPLE, I CAN’T TELL IF THEIR HEART IS IN THE RIGHT PLACE OR IF THEY’RE UP TO NO GOOD.

  • valerie

    this is sooo sad…a parent has to be very unselfish and desperate to give uo their child but…it’s the right thing to do for ur child…

  • henni

    Some people did’t read the story all the way through smh

  • okthen5289

    @ REAL TALK

    Very Interesting , very interesting…..

    Something to really keep up on & look into. If that’s wats really going on….. well all I can say is WOW! And pray for this world because these surly do seem like the end of days/times!

  • http://perryone779@yahoo,com rose by any other name # 9304026339482056536 ™

    GLOK .. I am with you and @IJM on that.. they dont care for blacks in the US so why all the love all of a sudden? If they are so sincere with their doings why not go the right way and get papers and stop trying to take kids away that have parents!! these white folks i tell you always quick to jump on anything that make them money!!There were homeless and helpless black kids in America.. why they didnt jump on that ?

  • kerry

    They were bringing them there to then take them back to the US to be adopted. Haiti and DR share the same border so they only had to drive there as opposed to trying to fly them out of Haiti. They are trying to help. If I could go over there I would try to get as many as I could.

  • Glok9...All we do iz Spark Mad Izm!!

    KERRY!
    WHEN YOU GET OVER THERE BRING THEM SOME FOOD WITCHA..CUZ THE U.S THAT HELPS BLKS AINT SENT THEM CHIT YET…AND IF YOU GET THERE PLZ SEE WHY IT TAKE SO LONG ….AND WHERE WERE YOU 3 WEEKS AGO WHEN THEY WERE ALIVE AND NO BODY GAVE A F.UK THEN! TELL THAT …F.UK READING THE WHOLE STORY IT NEVER SHOULDA HAPPENED AND DONT BLAME … THE ALMIGHTY GOD EITHER!

  • Glok9...All we do iz Spark Mad Izm!!

    IJM & ROSE … THANKS YOU LADIES WE KNOW THE REAL DEAL …THEY DONT GIVE A F.UK ABOUT US !!

  • Tiffany Drake

    Once Again the Baptist Church shows it’s true colors.

  • B3 Fearless

    Until I know more about the situation I’m not going to say anything. I do believe their hearts were in the right place. I saw the interviews with them last night and they were clearly sad and a little scared. One of the females in the church group said they believed that they had all of the proper documentation based upon what they were told they had to do.

    I’m glad to see the Haitian gov’t trying to be pro-active about the child trafficing which has been rampant there for a while even before the earthquake.

    @Tiffany Drake – I think that’s a little harsh and as a Baptist I don’t appreciate the generalization. How is your husband doing by the way? How long is he going to be helping out in Haiti?

  • Cheri

    These parents want their children to have an education, to be able to go to the doctor and above all, to be able to eat on a regular basis. If I was a parent in Haiti, I would want my child to have a life outside Haiti. When the children grow up they will be able to return to Haiti to help their people. If they stay there they will have nothing.

  • Tiffany Drake

    @B3 Fearless

    You are right it was a generalization,
    and it should not apply to all baptist
    churches. But it is in reference to the amount of growing ridiculousness and recklessness coming from individuals and groups who consider themselves to be Baptists. More wrong than the generalizations, are their actions of wolves in sheep clothing.

    Thanks for asking about Hayden. He was only there for a week and he returned safely. He was able to be of service on the ground and continues to do so financially. I still pray for the people of Haiti and girl when i see those children on the news it breaks my heart all over again. The latest news about the raping of women and children has really made me angry.I wish there was more we could do.

  • monique

    this makes me mad b/c idt that they were tryna steal these kids for real or maybe im wrong….i would looove to adopt a lil haiti kid but not for 30k, i can get me an american kid for free thru dfcs so until they stop trafficking these kids (private adoption) then this dosent make sense since adoption is basically trafficking when its abroad

  • http://perryone779@yahoo,com rose by any other name # 9304026339482056536 ™

    There is a story on here thats says those folks had no papers or permission.. what does that tell you, they were leaning on being a Church.. if they were so forthgoing they should have gotten permisssion, they didnt even have permisssion.. come on now! I dont blame Wyclef for saying they will ahunt them down!!

  • http://mybuzzworthy.com/?p=6501 Batpist Group Arrested For Possible Chold Trafficking In Haiti Aftermath | mybuzzworthy.com

    […] the reality is that some struggling Haitian parents see adoption as a last-ditch hope for their […]

  • Sydney™

    I’m so fearful for the safety of the children of Haiti. Prior to the earthquake, for example, I had no idea that the high level of sexual violence in the country.

    From an article I read recently in the Washington Post:

    “Reports show that violence against women and girls was already common in Haiti before the earthquake. In a 2006 study by the Inter-American Development Bank, one-third of women and girls said they had suffered physical or sexual violence, and more than half of those were younger than 18.”

  • B3 Fearless

    @Tiffany Drake

    You have wolves in sheep’s clothing in all religious denominations. It’s just that some Baptist and other Protestant churches have been put on blast over the years for improper behavior and activities as they should have been. But I hate that the actions of a few within a group always seems to overshadow and define the good, positive actions of many in the same group.

    I have been praying as well for the ppl of Haiti and I completely agree about the children. My heart breaks when I see them suffering. The raping of women and children angers me and I wasn’t surprised to hear about it because remember they said over a week ago that the prison was destroyed so a bunch of criminals are out as well.

    I’m just glad that the child trafficing in Haiti is finally getting the coverage it deserves because it has been going on for years. Unfortunately it goes on a lot in this world especially in the poorer countries like Haiti.

    Although I can’t help out physically in Haiti I’m still doing my part to help out the sick, elderly and impoverished here in America.

  • AfricanWarrior

    @Sydney
    Get over ur emotions already!! I’m tired of u coming on post everyday with ur over-educated bullcit; save all the crap u read for ur admirers and shut up if u can’t do something to help ur people… U always sound like u’re crying in ur comments; we don’t need tears – all we need is help..

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