‘He’s our son. We can’t stop’ | Arkansas family struggles to bring adopted son home to the U.S.

The Smithsons say they will not quit until their son Jeffney is on American soil.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — A Fort Smith couple finds themselves in the middle of a crisis as they are in the process of trying to bring their adopted son home from Haiti. 

Cara and Matt Smithson lived in Haiti for 10 years as missionaries. During that time, they met Jeffney, a 15-year-old boy from Haiti. They began the process of adopting him when they lived there. 

Due to safety concerns, the Smithsons decided to move back to Arkansas, but they were unable to bring Jeffney with them. 

“The adoption hadn’t been completed,” Matt said. “They advised us to continue on with your adoption. And once that’s completed, come back and we’ll get you out, basically, is what they said. And then all the gang stuff just escalated and things have just deteriorated dramatically.”

Since the process was deemed incomplete by the U.S. government, the Smithsons are now looking to take a different route to bring Jeffney home. 

“The process can’t be complete,” Cara said. “And because the process can’t be complete, our only hope is [the] Department of Homeland Security giving us humanitarian parole.”

People who are outside of the United States may be able to request parole into the U.S. based on urgent humanitarian reasons. The Smithsons say they applied, but were denied based on a federal policy that doesn’t recognize the method they used to adopt Jeffney. 

“We shouldn’t be excluded just because we went through one approach because we were living there versus families that were living in the United States that approach it in a different fashion,” Matt said. “So it’s fairly simple in my mind, you know, and I would think that the U.S. government could see that. However, it’s not played out that way right now.”

In order to get that parole, the Smithsons say they have to have the cooperation of Homeland Security and the State Department, and that’s simply not happening. 

“The Department of State is blaming the Department of Homeland Security, and they are blaming Haiti,” Cara said. “It’s this round and round circle of nonsense … A few weeks ago, they paroled 14 kids with completed adoptions into the U.S., but they refused our child. Because we adopted while we were living in Haiti, we didn’t adopt through an adoption agency.” 

The Smithsons say they will not quit until Jeffney is on American soil. 

“He’s our son. We can’t stop,” Cara said. “I just wish that our government would prioritize minor children who need to be reunified with their families.”

The Smithsons say they are one of 22 families in 22 states that are going through this process. They’ve hired an attorney in hopes of getting the State Department and Homeland Security to grant humanitarian parole. 

[embedded content]

Watch 5NEWS on YouTube.

Download the 5NEWS app on your smartphone:

Stream 5NEWS 24/7 on the 5+ app: How to watch the 5+ app on your streaming device

To report a typo or grammatical error, please email KFSMDigitalTeam@tegna.com and detail which story you’re referring to.

Original News Source

Click here for Superior HOA Management

GET FREE NEWS TODAY!

You Can Unsubscribe At Any Time!


This will close in 0 seconds