Canada initiative unites Haitian children with adoptive parents

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Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney celebrated the anniversary of Operation Stork with families helped by the scheme that unites Haitian children with their adoptive parents.

Operation Stork brought 203 Haitian children to Canada following the earthquake that devastated Haiti last year.

"This was a truly monumental task," said Kenney. "In just six weeks, Canadian and provincial officials processed as many adoptions from Haiti as are normally done in two years."

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), 152 of the 203 children have either become permanent residents or citizens of Canada, with the rest awaiting their status as immigration officials process their paperwork.

Kenney thanked organizations who helped the government with Operation Stork.

"I would like to thank Air Canada and Air Transat, the Department of National Defense, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, staff and officials at the Ottawa airport, the Red Cross and Salvation Army, the Ottawa Paramedic Service, the volunteer doctors and nurses from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, and all the CIC and Canada Border Services Agency officials who helped staff the Canada Reception Centre at Hangar 11," Kenney stated.

"This was truly a combined effort where everyone worked together, motivated by the same common goal," he added.

"The work is far from over in Haiti," said Kenney, "and my department remains committed to helping to reunite families affected by this tragedy as quickly as possible."

CIC has reunited over 2,500 families in 2010 since the earthquake. more than three times the number in 2009. Canada has also approved over 3,000 permanent resident applications and granted permission for temporary entry to over 3,000 Haitians affected by the quake.