U.S. to allow Haiti orphans to enter temporarily

WASHINGTON Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:07pm EST

A view of a makeshift refugee camp, where at least 50,000 people are staying, on the golf course of the Petion Club in Port-au-Prince January 18, 2010. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A view of a makeshift refugee camp, where at least 50,000 people are staying, on the golf course of the Petion Club in Port-au-Prince January 18, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Jorge Silva

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will temporarily allow entry to orphaned children from Haiti to receive needed care after the devastating earthquake in their country, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Monday.

"We are committed to doing everything we can to help reunite families in Haiti during this very difficult time," Napolitano said in a statement.

"While we remain focused on family reunification in Haiti, authorizing the use of humanitarian parole for orphans who are eligible for adoption in the United States will allow them to receive the care they need here," she said.

The "humanitarian parole policy" will be applied on a case-by-case basis to children legally confirmed as orphans eligible for adoption in another country by the Haitian government and who are being adopted by U.S. citizens.

Also eligible are children previously identified by an adoption service as eligible for inter-country adoption and who have been matched to prospective adoptive American parents, the Homeland Security Department said.

(Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria; Editing by Bill Trott)

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