A BUNCH of American Baptists are in custody in Haiti after trying to smuggle 33 children across the border into the Dominican Republic, allegedly without proper documents.
The Baptist church members from Idaho called it a “Haitian Orphan Rescue Mission”, meant to save abandoned children from the chaos following Haiti’s earthquake. Their plan was to scoop up 100 kids and take them by bus to a rented hotel at a beach resort in the Dominican Republic, where they intended to establish an orphanage.
According to this report, whether they realised it or not, the Baptists – the first known people to be taken into custody since the January 12 earthquake – put themselves in the middle of a firestorm in Haiti, where government leaders have suspended adoptions amid fears that parentless or lost children are more vulnerable than ever to child trafficking.
The group’s leader, Laura Silsby explained:
In this chaos the government is in right now we were just trying to do the right thing.
The religious busybodies are being held pending a court hearing tomorrow.
Silsby said they only had the best of intentions and paid no money for the children. She said her group obtained them through a well-known Haitian pastor named Jean Sanbil of the Sharing Jesus Ministries.
Silsby, 40, of Boise, Idaho, was asked if she didn’t consider it naive to cross the border without adoption papers at a time when Haitians are so concerned about child trafficking.
By no means are we any part of that. That’s exactly what we are trying to combat.
Social Affairs Minister Yves Cristallin told reporters the Americans were suspected of taking part in an illegal adoption scheme.
Cristallin said the 33 children were lodged late last night at an SOS Children’s Village outside of Port-au-Prince. SOS Children’s Villages is a global non-profit organisation based in Austria.