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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Family Fighting for Adopted Son

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Haiti has been experiencing a drastic increase in gang violence. From January to March there were 2,500 people killed, including 82 children. During that same period, at least 438 people were kidnapped for ransom. The United Nations reported 362,000 people have had to flee from their homes and children are at too great a risk to attend school. 

Most orphans who have been adopted have already left Haiti, however there are approximately 70 who are stuck in the pathway of the civil unrest. Matt and Cara Smithson, pastor and wife at Mansfield First Baptist Church, have a son they have been approved to adopt from Haiti who has not been permitted to leave. Matt and Cara worked as missionaries in Haiti. 

Kelly Dempsey and Nicole Skellenger attorneys for Fox Rothschild are representing 25 families who have adoptions approved by Haitian and US governments, but have been unable to get their children home to them. The problem is they are unable to obtain the passports and travel papers needed to get them out of Haiti and into the US. 

The attorneys are working alongside the adoptive families and their respective Congressional representatives to obtain emergency humanitarian parole status from the US Department of State for these orphans. 

The Smithsons are the only family in Arkansas who are affected. They are joined by many others across the country waiting, praying and working to have their children come home. The adoption of their son was official on July 10, 2023.  Since then, they have been waiting anxiously to welcome their son home to the United States.

Cara Smithson has been using their social media page to share updates and how others can help. They are also sharing their journey on their family blog. She urged supporters, family, and friends to contact representatives to help draw attention the dire situation her son is facing in Haiti. 

On May 15, she shared that the state department was beginning to take notice of all the calls they had received on behalf of the family. Their son hasn’t received the parole status they hope for, but the family has faith it will come.

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Madison VanRavensway
Madison VanRavensway
Don't let her quiet nature fool you. Madison is a force to be reckoned with in the outdoors, or creating amazing recipes from scratch.
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