Friday, July 16, 2010


The Caribbean is named after the native island Amerindians, the Caribs, which sadly are almost gone thanks to years of slavery, exposure to European diseases and outright genocide by the European powers that conquered their lands. The islands where they once lived were turned into plantations, where huge numbers of African slaves were brought in. When slavery became illegal, they brought in cheap labor from India and indentured servants, mostly from Ireland. The people who now live on those islands are their descendents.
Carib Amerindians in traditional attire

Carib Amerindians

Cuba-because of America's and Cuba's past, child adoption is rare. Either America is very scrutinizing of a Cuban adoption or Cuba is very hindering of it, or both. But, they are a Hague country, so if you really want to try, follow the Hague rules. I suggest that if you are looking to adopt a Cuban kid, adopt from Miami, Florida, USA. That is where many Cubans settled in America when they fled Castro's takeover of Cuba.

Santeria is the paganesque religion there that you could expose your adopted child to. I am not really for animal sacrifice, but chicken sacrifices are a part of that religion. There is no real count of how many people of different races there are in Cuba, but the people there are white, black, and mixed.

Bahamas-it is easy to adopt from the Bahamas, unless you are a single man trying to adopt a girl, then it is difficult. The problem is that there are actually few children available for adoption. Most children end up with extended family, which is great. You need to be at least 25 years old and 21 years older than the child you wish to adopt.

I love the Bahamas. Growing up in Florida, my parents took me there in their cabin cruiser several times and the people were so nice and the place was gorgeous.

Most Bahamians are black. Around 10% of the people are white. They are mostly some form of Christian or another.

Jamaica-there are 2 kinds of adoption in Jamaica. You need to be at least 25 years old for both kinds. Adoption License is where you can take the child out of the country to be adopted in your home country. For this one you can be expected to visit Jamaica at least twice, once to meet the adoption agent and then a second time to apply for the visa. Adoption Order is a full Jamaican adoption, which also gives the child a new birth certificate with the new family name on it and will be used to get a passport with that name on it. You will be required to stay in Jamaica while the adoption takes place, at least 4 months. Which is not so bad, think of it as an extended vacation in a tropical paradise.

Most of the people are black, I can't remember actually seeing anyone else living there who was black, but there are also some whites and mixed peoples. Almost all people there are one of the various kinds of Christians, though this is also the birthplace of Rostafarianism

Haiti-we all know the devestation that Haiti has been suffering, not only recently, but over the years. Because of the Earthquake and the Christian missionaries that tried to kidnap the children, the adoption rules are changing. I will put what the rules are at this time.

To adopt from Haiti, you need to be at least 35 years old! That is the oldest I have seen. And you need to be 19 years older than the child you wish to adopt. This can be waived, but only with presidential permission, which is a long, drawn out, difficult process. You can be married or single. With married couples, only one spouse needs to be 35 or older. There are no residency requirements, though they sometimes ask you to come for the finalization (which you should do anyways, that way you can see your childs homeland.)

Haiti is Vodou country. Fundamental Christians have labeled it as the devils land. How kind of them. Vodou is the Haitian version of an old African religion, Vodun, fused with some Catholicism and some Native Arawak (Amerindian) beliefs. The American version of it is called Voodoo (Hoodoo is the folk magic form of Voodoo) and is mostly in New Orleans, but also New York and Savannah. It is very easy to find information about Vodun and Voodoo.

Dominican Republic-the country right next door to Haiti. The Dominican Republic was once part of Haiti, but became independent. It has been aided by America for a while and has done a much better job of taking care of itself than Haiti, in regards to economy. It has had its shares of political troubles, but has been rather stable for almost 15 years.

Only married couples are allowed to adopt, and you have to have been married for at least 5 years. You need to be between 30 and 60 years old and 15 years older than the child. They have a residency requirement, which only one of the parents needs to fulfill. If you adopt a child 11 years old and under, then you need to stay for 60 days. If the child is 12 or older, then you need to stay for 30 days.

They are mostly Catholic, though there are an unknown number of Vodouists there, who don't want to be known. Racism is really bad there. If you are full black, they are not nice to you. This comes from the old slave days, as well as having been taken over by Haiti (who are very black.) The majority of the people there are multiracial, with black African, White European and Native Islander Indians (the Taino.) To make sure they are not identified as black, they came up with multiple terms for skin color, moreno/a (brown), canelo/a (red/brown) ["cinnamon"], indio/a (Indian), blanco/a oscuro/a (dark white), and trigueño/a (literally "wheat colored", or olive skin). I think that their mix of races makes them very attractive. I went to school with a Dominican guy and he was a little goofy looking when I knew him, but I saw him when he was older and I was jealous for sure.

St. Kitts and Nevis-adoption here is not easy. First you need to be a resident and domiciled (that means you have to be living there.) You need to be at least 25 years old and 21 years older than the child you wish to adopt. You cannot adopt a girl if you are a single man, unless you are a relative. Also, their version of an orphan may not fit in with the U.S. idea of an orphan, so if you want to come back to America right away, make sure it works, otherwise you have to stay overseas for 2 years to get a family visa for your child.

Dominica-it seems fairly easy to adopt from Dominica. The only requirement I see is that you need to be 25 or older. Few kids are adopted though, so I am guessing that few are available for foriegn adoption.

The people are mostly Catholic, with some protestants and muslims. They are mostly black, descendents of slaves, with some mulattos, some whites who stayed after the Europeans left and they have the only Carib indians left (the native Amerindians whom the Caribbean was named after.)

Barbados-only countries that have diplomatic missions in Barbados are allowed to adopt. The U.S. does have a mission there. You need to be 25 years old and 18 years older than the child you wish to adopt. There are 2 ways to adopt a child in Barbados. First you can be in Barbados for the adoption, but are required to stay for 18 months. This is mainly meant for people who are already living there. Or, you can start the adoption in your home country and come to Barbados for a couple of weeks to finalize it and take the child back home. Few people actually adopt from Barbados, both because few children are available, and few people even know about it.

Most people in Barbados are black. There are some whites of European descent and some Muslim Indians and Guyanese.

St. Lucia-to adopt in St. Lucia, you must have lived there for 6 consecutive months before you start the adoption. You must be at least 25 years old and 21 years older than the child to be adopted. Other than that it doesn't seem to be that hard to adopt from here.

Most people are Catholic, with the rest being some other kind of Christian and a few Rostafarians. Over 3/4 of the population is black. The second largest group is multiracial. There are few Indians (from India) and some whites of European descent.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines-other than being 21 years or older to adopt from here, I can't find any other requirements. The place is high in unemployment and rampant population growth, which unfortunately means there should be plenty of kids available for adopt. But, last year (2009) only 12 kids were adopted (by Americans, whom adopt the most children internationally, so the statistics are easier to find, I don't know how many were adopted by other nationals, if any.)

The people there are mostly Anglican, with Methodists being the second largest religious group and Hindus being the third. The rest are the other Christian groups and some muslims. The people are 2/3 black, with mixed race people being the next largest group. There are some whites, Caribs and Indians (from India.)

Grenada-you must be a resident of Grenada and domiciled there to adopt. Also, the child needs to be in your care for 3 continuous months before you finalize the adoption. This is the hard part. You need to be 25 years old and 21 years older than the child you wish to adopt.

Most the the people are Christians of one brand or another. There are a few buddhists, hindus and Rastafarians there. Most of the people are black, with mulattos making up the second largest group. Then there are some Indians (from India) and whites with just a touch of the original Amerindians left.

Trinidad and Tobago-there are 2 kinds of adoption a person can do. The first is for people who already reside in the country. The Adoption Order is a full adoption done through the court for people that are legal residents domiciled in the country. You must be at least 25 years old and 21 years older than the child. You must be married or a single woman, no men. The other is Legal Guardianship, done from your own country, which will allow you to come and take the child back to your country where you would finish the adoption. This is not as safe though, as it can be revoked later. You must be 25 years old, but there is not age specification between the child and guardian. You can be married or a single man or woman.

A quarter of the people are Catholic, another quarter are Hindu, with the rest being some kind of Christianity or another and some muslims. Almost half the people are Indian (from India) and the almost the other half is black, with the rest being mixed, white, some Chinese and a few native Amerindians.

These next few are part of other countries, so follow their laws
U.S. Territories: Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

U.K. Territories: Antigua and Barbuda, Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos, Cayman Islands

Netherlands Territories: Saba and St. Eustatius

French Territories: St. Martin, St. Marks, Martinique, Guadeloupe

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Central America

We all know that Central America is actually a part of North America, but for cultural reasons we have given it it's own special designation, or rather relagated it into its own group. The cultural reasons have been eroding away for a long time now, as more and more Central Americans immigrated (both legally and illegally, but that is not what this blog is for, so lets not dwell on that) here to the US, they brought more of their culture with them and began to add to the fabric of our fair nation. They have a shared history of European colonialism, overthrowing European rule and starting out new countries. Also, with so many of their people now Americans, and with it being so close to the US, many other Americans feel comfortable with visiting there and adopting children from there. Many Americans speak or understand at least a little Spanish, which is spoken down there, so it is easier for us to add more Spanish to our vocabulary and teach our new children. Central America to the US is like Morocco, Turkey and Egypt to the British, great vacation escapes so close to their own countries.
Many of the people there are Mestizo, White people of European ancestry (mostly Hispanic,) the Mayans and other Indios/Amerindians, and some Mulattos, Zambos and Blacks descended from African slaves or imigrants from the Caribbean. And aparantly many countries in central America have large groups of Chinese as well.
For the most part, the cultures in these countries was formed by mixing European and Amerindian cultures together, giving them some spice. They all are officially Spanish speaking countries, though many also speak English as a second language.
Lets start from the bottom and work our way to the top.
Panama-famous for the Panama Canal, built by the U.S. to get ships from the Atlantic to the Pacific and vice versa. It is also where American president Bush senior decided to show an overwhelming force of power by toppling the military state and establishing democracy, showing the Americas that the US is in control here, but also displacing over 20,000 civilians and leading to a lot of poverty. Most of the people there are Mestizo, at just over 50%, with blacks and mulattos together forming the second largest group(many of them immigrated from the Carribean.) Full blooded Indio peoples are at around 7% of the population, and include seven groups: the Emberá, Wounaan, Guaymí, Ngöbe Buglé, Kuna, Naso and Bribri. White people of European blood account for almost 9% of the population and then surprisingly, at 5.5% of the population are people of Chinese descent. Spanish is the main language, though many people also speak English. Most people are Roman Catholics, with another large group being Bahai, and tiny minorities being Buddhist and Rastafarians. Indigenous religions include Ibeorgun (among the Kuna) and Mamatata (among the Ngöbe Buglé.)
To adopt, you need to be married, and have been married for at least 2 years. Sorry, no single people are allowed to adopt. Otherwise, the rules are the basic adoption rules and after a short trip to Panama, you will have a child.

Very cute Panama boys

Street boys

Native Embera people

Costa Rica-a famous vacation destination for many Americans. It has had relative peace, especially for a central American nation, and this is one of the features that attracts so many tourists and expatriots to go there. Not to mention the beautiful scenery: tropical forrests and beaches. Whites and mestizos are lumped together as one group here and make up an overwhelming majority of the population at 94%. Blacks make up 3%, Amerindians a tiny 1% and Chinese 1%. They also host many refugees fleeing violence from neighboring Central American nations, and some south American ones, mostly from Nicaragua, Colombia and EL Salvador. The majority of Costa Ricans are Roman Catholics, with some Evangelicals there (EVIL!!!) Mormons are gaining ground there (another EVIL group.) Because of the growing number of Chinses, Buddhism has gained some ground. The language there is Spanish, but some people also speak Creole, and many people also speak English as a second language (and some as a first language.)
Children under 5 cannot be adopted by foriegners, unless they are part of a sibling group, or are difficult to place children because of disabilities. They allow married couples, married for 5 years and singles to adopt. You must be there, both parents if married, at the initial stage of adopting, which can take up to 30 days. After that, they prefer you to stay until the end, but since it takes several months to finish, many people have been doing it in 2 trips.

Nicaragua-is known for its violence, the violence of several coups and of its long civil war, as well as blacks fighting with the Mestizos. Over a million Nicaraguans left the country and settled in over countries. Nicaragua and the US also have had a bumby relationship, to say the least, with the US government supporting the Contras to overthrow the Sardinistas. This all ended when the first woman president, not only of Nicaragua, but of all the Americas, was elected and began to fix her broken country. Nicaragua is one of only 4 countries in the world (though I don't consider Vatican City to be a real country) where it is totally illegal to have an abortion, there are no exceptions. Most of the people are Mestizo, with Whites being the second largest group. Blacks form only 9% of the population and mostly live along the Caribbean coasts. The last group, at 5% of the population are the Amerindians, including the Nocarao people whom the country is named after and the Miskitos. Most people speak Spanish, particularly the voseo form of Spanish. Also, each part of the country and different cities have their own dialect and it has been likened to Italy, where just going a few miles up the road you will run into a different dialect of Italian. The second most spoken language is English, which is actually mostly spoken as a first language by the blacks. Many blacks also speak Creole, showing their Jamaican ancestry. The Amerindians also speak their own languages and many Chinese immigrants still speak their language. Most of the people are Roman Catholic, but there are large numbers of Evangelists and Mormons (the 2 most evil Christian groups I know) and many Blacks are Anglicans.
Adoption from Nicaragua can be a headache. It is long and fraught with delays. You need to do a 6 month fostering IN Nicaragua before the adoption can proceed. I hate it when the countries do this, let's take the parents away from all they know and see if they can properly parent a child, then send them back home. They should shorten it to a month, as then allows bonding, and time to look around and see the childs native culture. Nicaragua only allows Nicaraguans and American citizens to adopt. You can be married or single, though the process takes longer for singles. Also, if a Nicaraguan citizen wants to adopt the child you are adopting, you may be bumped off for them.

Miskito kids

Honduras-was home to a great Mayan civilization, which had already declined by the time the Spanish came to conquer the land and enslave the people. While building up their infrastructure and basically prospering throughout the 20th century. They were mostly protected from the violence of Nacaragua thanks to the US presence there, but did also fight a silent war against Marxist-Leninist militias trying to gain power. Then in 1998, Hurricane Mitch destroyed a lot of the country and set them back 50 years. In 2008 floods wracked the country and then in 2009 the congress lead a coup de'etat, which was condemned by countries all over the world. The congress then suspended 5 constitutional rights to control the people and led an authoritarian government for several weeks, before the rights were restored. Most of the people are mestizo, over 90%. Amerindians make up 7% and are formed by 7 groups(the Ch'orti', Garifuna, Pech, Tolupan/Xicaque, Lenca, and the Miskito who also live in Nicaragua,) black at 2% and whites make up the last 1%. There is also a small comminity of mixed Asians. The majority of people are Roman Catholics and smaller, but growing groups of Protestants.

The adoption policies are currently in flux, and may change at any moment. But it seems that the only real policy is that children must be under 14 years old to be adopted. They can be older, but must go through the family courts, which means private adoption, which is only available for Honduran citizens. You can married or single. You can only refuse one adoption, if you refuse a second one, then your application will be rejected, so make sure you have a good reason to not accept. It must be harder than it appears though, as very few children seem to get adopted from there.

El Salvador- you have to reside in El Salvador for a year if you want to adopt, though there have been several cases where this was not enforced. Married couples, married for at least 5 years, and singles can adopt. You must be 15 years older than the child you are adopting.

Most people in El Salvador are Mestizo, at around 85%. Whites, make up around 14%. The last 1% is made up of Amerindians. Most of the Amerindians have lost their traditions, this was a result of the 1932 massacres where the Salvadoran military murdered around 25,000 peasants, many of them Amerindians. There are very few blacks, because of a law that forbid them to enter the country that was not lifted until the 1980's. There is an immigrant population of Palestinian Christians there as well, with one of there number becoming one of the nations presidents. The native language is Spanish, though many people also speak English. Most people are Roman Catholics, with the rest being Protestants of various sorts and there is a growing number of Mormons (EVIL!!!)

El Salvador has suffered from high crime rates. They blamed some of it on the US, when the US kicked out many illegal El Salvadorans and sent them home. Many of those illegals were part of a gang called the MS13 and they brought the criminal ways they learned back with them. But as they came from El Salvador, they were probably criminally inclinated to begin with. It was also a result of a horrible civil war that wracked the country for over a decade.

Guatemala-the home of the Mayan indians. One of the countries I want to visit. I almost went there years ago, when I was on vacation in the Yucatan, but unfortunatly, at the time terrorists were kidnapping Americans for ransom to fund their war with the government and I decided not to go. This civil war made Guatemala a dangerous place for many years, and they still have not fully recovered. Most of the people are Mestizo, at around 40%. Whites make up 16%. Most of the remaining people are Amerindians, mostly Mayan. There are some Garifuna (Black Guatemalans,) and some Chinese and Koreans living there. Spanish is the national language, though many people don't even learn it as a first language. Many indigenous people still speak their languages. Most people are Roman Catholics, with the second largest group being Protestants. There is a large Mormon following here, which makes since as I think this where they think their new books of the bible took place, so they would press their religion here. There are also many traditional religion followers here, mostly Shamanism.

Guatemala was a favored adoption spot for a short time here. With adoptions being easy to go through and Guatemala being so close to the US, thousands of Americans applied for and adopted children. But with so many children getting adopted, corruption and baby selling crept up and they shut down their program to put more laws in effect, leaving many children in limbo. Adoption by foreigners has not yet been reinstated.

Belize-I spent a summer down there doing an Archaeological dig at Caracol with my professor some odd years ago. From what I saw, the coastal areas were inhabited by mostly blacks and the the inland was mostly the latino and indio peoples. Belize is different from the other Central American nations in that it was colonized by the British and not the Spanish. It was part of the British Empire, as British Honduras, but when it gained independence in 1964 it started calling itself Belize to differentiate itself from Spanish Honduras. At 34%, mestizos make up the largest group. Kriols, which seem to be a mix of Mulattos, Zambos and full Blacks, make up 25%. Kriols are thought to be the face of Belize. Whites/Spanish make up 15%. The Mayans make up 11%. The last largest group is the Garinagu, which are mostly black, but also have some white and Indian ancestry. Surprisingly, there are large groups of German speaking Mennonite farmers living there. There are some Asians, mostly Chinese. There are also large groups of Americans living there. Belize is the only country in Central America where Spanish is not the national language. English is the official language, though most people can barely speak it. Kriol is the main language acually used and is their form of Creole. Spanish is widely spoken as well, considering their neighbors and many Mayan and other indigenous languages are spoken as well. The people are mostly christians, with Roman Catholics and Protestants being the largest. Jehovahs Witnesses and Mormons are also trying to spread out and convert everyone (EVIL!!!!)
There is a lengthy list of requirments to adopt from Belize. First, you have to have a year fostering period with the child in Belize. You have to be at least 25 and 12 years older than the child to be adopted. Married couples and singles can adopt, though single men cannot adopt girls. You cannot have a criminal record (which is rare in America these days.) Also, the court requires a note of suitability from a welfare office or other competant authority, of which I have no idea what this is. I would guess this is already part of your home study.

Kriol boys

Garinagu boys

Mexico-borders with the US, is the source of most of the US's latino population and also the majority of illegal aliens. Much of the Southwestern part of the US once belonged to Mexico, but the US claimed it as the spoils of war, and naturalized the citizens living there, bringing in a huge number of Hispanic and Latino peoples. It would make since that we would want to adopt from there since we share so much already. Sadly each state sets its own rules for adoption and so adopting from there is a long confusing process. Though with the implementation of the Hague convention, things are supposed to be getting easier, and more streamlined. Some things that are common are that they want you to have a 6 month fostering period in country, though a judge may waive this and they do this from time to time. You can be married or single to adopt, must be over 25 years old and 17 years older than the child.

Since many people in the US already know a lot about Mexican history, I will not go on about it. Most of the people are Mestizo at around 75%. The second largest group are the Amerindians at around 15%, who have 62 different groups. Rounding it out are a small population of Whites, followed by Blacks and then some Asians. I remember when I was in Europe I met this guy that looked as Asian as you could get and I was surprised when he started speaking to me in perfect Spanish. He told me he was from Mexico. I guess I should have known better. They speak Spanish there, a Mexican version that is far different from European Spanish as American English is to British English. They also have some indigenous languages and many people have also learned to speak English, though this is usually in places where many tourists visit or where many American expats and returning immigrants live. Most people are Roman Catholic, with some Protestants there.

Next, I will work on the Caribbean.