Motives of Idaho mission group in Haiti cloudy

The motives and movements of a group of Baptist missionaries from Idaho in Haiti are under scrutiny.

The group of 10 missionaries was detained at the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic transporting a busload of children. A piece on ABC News’ Nightline indicates the group did not have proper documentation and that some of the children told authorities they knew their parents were alive. Leaflets were also found with some of the children promoting a ministry location in the Dominican Republic with a large home and swimming pool.

Not everyone involved sees this necessarily as a case of child trafficking. The father of one of the missionaries told the Idaho Statesman his daughter had been in Haiti prior to the quake and had been acting in faith-inspired humanitarian efforts.

For the time being, the missionaries are being detained. Charges have yet to be filed.

The outcome of the case likely is a long way off. It does present the very real and disturbing scenario of children being put up for adoption amid chaos in a country with a trafficking problem before the earthquake. Whether the missionaries were acting in good faith legally or deliberately skirting the law in a confusing situation, being extraordinarily cautious with the status of Haitian children for involved agencies and potential adoptive families needs to be the status quo.

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