International treaty on overseas adoptions takes effect in Haiti to protect children

Foreigners seeking to adopt a child from Haiti will now have better assurances that the new family member wasn't trafficked.

The Hague Adoption Convention took effect in Haiti this week. Under its terms, prospective parents will be able to adopt only from adoption agencies certified by the Haitian government's social welfare agency. Prospective parents, meanwhile, are required to show they are capable of adopting children who were born in other countries.

The measures are intended to ensure a child is a true orphan and will end up in a stable home.

Haiti has long allowed its children to be adopted by foreign parents. But lax laws and oversight left many children vulnerable to trafficking.