Ten Americans have been arrested in Haiti on suspicion of trying to illegally take more than 30 children out of the country as part of an illicit adoption scheme.
The five men and five women – who deny the allegations – were detained when their bus was stopped at Haiti’s main border crossing with the Dominican Republic.
A member of the Idaho based charity says they are victims of a bureacratic mix-up.
Laura Sillsby of the New Life Children’s Refuge said:
“We were told by a number of people, including Dominican authorities, that we would be able to bring the children across. The mistake we made is that we didn’t understand there was additional paperwork required.”
But Haitian police say the group had no documents to prove they had cleared the adoption process or any evidence the children were orphaned.
Since the quake, which killed an estimated 200,000 people, authorities have expressed fears that legitimate aid groups may have flown orphans out of the country for adoption before efforts to find their parents or relatives have been exhausted.