Proposals to speed up adoption procedures for orphans of the Haitian earthquake are raising ethical dilemmas about the value of psychological safety versus the reality of food and water shortages. “In a country where tens of thousands have been killed and an estimated 500,000 left destitute by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, the notion of sending children to countries where they will receive care, food and water appears on the surface a logical one. This, especially when Haiti’s history of poverty, social unrest and political instability is added into the mix. Reacting to the humanitarian crisis, the Dutch government fast-tracked the adoption of 109 children already involved in the process before the quake struck, who arrived in the Netherlands on Thursday. Letje Vermunt, a spokeswoman for the Netherlands Adoption Foundation, one of the agencies involved, said the decision was made because of the ‘very high risk of death considering the situation in Haiti now’.”
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