(direct link for video)
Unintended Consequences Hitting Haitian Children
MIAMI (CBS4) ―The challenge of adopting orphans from Haiti is growing more difficult after a group of Americans were arrested last week for trying to take children out of the country illegally. Joshua and Katy Manges believe they are paying the consequences for a crime they had nothing to do with.
The Manges family has been working to adopt a special needs child named Malachi for two and a half years now. "He was born in our hearts I mean from the moment we saw him he was ours," recalled Katy Manges.
Last week they received word that the Prime Minister of Haiti had signed the paper for Malachi's humanitarian parole. He would be flying into Miami on Friday. Friday came and went and Malachi never arrived. Leaving several families just like the Manges' heartbroken. They all received word that something went terribly wrong as the orphanage escort was bringing their children to the embassy for their final paperwork.
"A mob formed; a bunch of men got it in their head that the white escorts were stealing the black children and this was human trafficking so they started a big, almost a riot," said Joshua Manges. "Police were called in and detained all the escorts and children."
The families have learned those children were taken away from their orphanage escort and put in a tent city in earthquake ravaged Port au Prince. "In a UNICEF tent with no adults, no diapers, no supplies, very little food and the older children in this tent are actually taking care of them," said Katy Manges. "It's not safe. It's not right. They are legally free to come to us, and the Haitian Police have done this."
The orphans in question are from Cape Haitian, a Haitian city untouched by the earthquake. Now, all of them are living in the heart of ground zero (Port-Au-Prince), dealing with a tragedy they likely knew nothing about.
The kids were supposed to be on the same flight together and now all of their American parents are holed up in Miami turning to each other for support and hoping/praying their children will still be allowed to fly to the U.S.
"You know you were afraid of human trafficking, so you kidnap children to make that better," said Joshua Manges. "That doesn't make the situation better; that makes it worse. And you know these children have families that are waiting for them and love them and in our case need medical care."
Malachi has deformities in his hips. He's taught himself to walk but that could end up damaging him if he doesn't get medical attention soon. Doctors waiting on him here in the U.S. fear if he keeps walking; he could lose his ability to walk for good.