FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
At the end of the day, there will be an overwhelming number of orphans in Haiti in the aftermath of last week's earthquake.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/20/art.haiti.orphan.jpg caption="A woman holds an orphaned infant at a Port-au-Prince orphanage."]
Even before the deadly quake, it was estimated Haiti - one of the world's poorest countries - had 380,000 orphans; children who have lost one or both parents.
Some had lost their mothers or fathers in previous disasters, like deadly storms and hurricanes. Others were abandoned during Haiti's political turmoil.
And aid groups estimate the number could climb well up into the hundreds of thousands, with UNICEF warning the scale of the crisis has reached "unbearable proportions."
Many countries are trying to help pick up the pieces. The U.S. has announced a humanitarian policy that will allow some Haitian orphans into the country temporarily. Dozens of these children have already arrived in Pittsburgh.
The government is also trying to speed up hundreds of Haitian adoptions that were already in progress; and the Catholic Church is trying to bring thousands of these kids into the U.S. permanently.
Other children are being adopted by Dutch families - or brought to group homes in the neighboring Dominican Republic.
But some experts worry that some children may be shipped overseas or adopted before it's clear whether they still have extended family members alive in Haiti. There's a concern that this time of chaos could lead to fraud, abuse and trafficking of children.
Although the tragedies and heartbreak coming out of Haiti have no limits - it seems entirely possible that the youngest and the most vulnerable in that society are among the hardest hit.
Here’s my question to you: What should happen to the hundreds of thousands of Haitian orphans?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
There is no doubt the people of Haiti need help at this time. Stealing their future generation is not they way to do it. Many children were in the process of adoption prior to this earthquake. Speed up those adoptions and cut the red tape… Then assist the Haitian people is setting up a viable orphanage system within their own country and people.
Jeff from Connecticut writes:
The key here is to not produce so many orphans in the first place. Before the earthquake, there were 400,000 orphans amongst a population of 9 million. This is the fault of the Catholic Church, of which 80% of Haitians subscribe to. The Vatican doesn't want Catholics to use birth control so that more Catholics are produced. However, the reality is that more orphaned, hungry and homeless children come into this world needlessly.
Barbara from North Carolina writes:
We adopted 4 siblings here in the U.S. and they are grown. We would open our home to as many of these children as we have room for and adopt them. I know many others who feel the same.
Setting up orphanages for the children would be the best thing for them. This would allow for extended family members to locate the children that belong to them. There are many organizations that would be able to monitor the orphanages so that abuse and trafficking do not occur... Adoption should only occur when it is in the best interest of the child and their culture.
Sorry to sound cold and heartless, but with thousand of U.S. orphans not being adopted because of bureaucratic BS, we can't afford to care of them in an already overburdened system. We need to take care of our own first because I don't see any other countries jumping in to help us.
Amanda from Texas writes:
There are thousands of Americans that would like to adopt Haitian orphans. The vetting process for these parents should begin NOW. Then they should be allowed to adopt one of the children identified as an orphan before the quake. It is that simple. Start with the orphans we already know about!