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Women questioned about six Haitian orphans

Feb. 23, 2010 at 7:39 AM   |   Comments

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A Minnesota woman in Haiti trying to bring six children back to the United States for adoption was questioned about accusations of having forged documents.

Sarah Thacker and the two women who helped her weren't arrested but detained for several hours Saturday and the children, including Thacker's adopted son, were held in an orphanage in Port-au-Prince until the matter was resolved, CNN reported Tuesday.

Their situation follows the arrests of 10 U.S. missionaries accused of taking 33 Haitian children out of the country without the proper paperwork after the devastating 7-magnitude earthquake struck the country Jan. 12. Eight of the 10 missionaries were released and returned to the United States.

"I can understand paranoia ... and I understand there was a story about people illegally taking children out of the country, but fear doesn't justify these actions," Stephanie Anderson, a volunteer helping Thacker, told CNN.

The women were outside the Port-au-Prince airport waiting to transport their charges by private plane when they were surrounded by a group of angry men demanding to see the paperwork, Anderson said.

The police were called and the women said they were questioned for eight hours.

At issue was a document -- a permission paper signed by Haiti's prime minister -- that police suspected was a forgery, an accusation the women and U.S. officials denied.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., supports Thacker's efforts, saying the women completed the proper paperwork.

"This is a legitimate orphanage that has brought other children to America," Klobuchar said. "And I feel like these little babies are just caught up in this international dispute, and it's just not fair."

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