February 11th, 2010
04:50 PM ET

Haiti's orphans: Why they remain in limbo

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/LIVING/01/27/haiti.orphans.overview/t1larg.orphan.kids.haiti.gi.afp.jpg caption="Young children are seen at an orphanage near Port-au-Prince, following the earthquake that rocked Haiti." width=300 height=169]

Jessica Ravitz

There's nothing like images of infants and children in distress to make outsiders yearn to help, which is why the unfolding story of Haiti's orphans - the most helpless of earthquake victims - has kept people riveted.

But what can be done and what should be the focus of attention and efforts remains a mystery to many Americans, who are flooding the phone lines of organizations, seeking to adopt these children - immediately.

The offer to open arms, hearts and homes is no doubt well-intentioned, but several leading aid organizations recently said new adoptions should stop and not be rushed. They want to protect children wrongly identified as orphans from being moved out of the country or falling victim to child traffickers.

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Filed under: Aid workers • Haiti • Haiti Earthquake
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