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Agencies warn against quick adoptions


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- International agencies have warned against fast-tracking adoptions of Haitian children, saying the practice could encourage trafficking.

UNICEF, the U.N. children's agency, has also warned against immediate adoptions. Luc Legrand, a UNICEF adviser, said at least 15 children have vanished from hospitals in Port-au-Prince since the earthquake, possibly kidnapped by child traffickers, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

Save the Children, World Vision and the British Red Cross called for a moratorium on Haitian adoptions in the aftermath of last week's devastating earthquake, newspaper said.

"Taking children out of the country would permanently separate thousands of children from their families -- a separation that would compound the acute trauma they are already suffering," Jasmine Whitbread, head of Save the Children, said.

European Union foreign ministers are expected to discuss a Spanish proposal to speed up adoptions from Haiti in all member countries. Roelie Post of Against Child Trafficking in Brussels called the suggestion "madness."

Dixie Bickel, head of God's Littlest Angels, an adoption agency in Haiti, said fast-tracking adoptions for children who were already orphaned when the earthquake hit would free up space for children made homeless by the quake.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International.

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2010 Jan 23