Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog has ordered officials to look into the possibility of adopting dozens of orphaned Haitian children.
In a conversation with Ynet, Herzog said: "The orphaned children in Haiti are a grave humanitarian issue. I ordered an examination into the possibility of adopting orphans in Israel in line with international and Israeli law, in order to offer help in the face of this terrible distress."
The Welfare Ministry will be forming a team to look into the issue vis-à-vis the Foreign Ministry within a few days.
Minister Herzog has been in touch with all relevant parties over the weekend and ordered officials to prepare for an adoption operation. The minister's decision was prompted, among other things, by numerous inquires from childless couples seeking to adopt orphans.
"We will work vis-à-vis authorities in Haiti in order to determine the number of children to be adopted," Herzog said. "We will do it through full cooperation with UNICEF, after the organization issued a warning this past week regarding abduction of children."
"We won't act rashly, but rather, in a level-headed manner, so that this process will indeed help the children and offer even a little comfort in terrible human distress encountered by Haiti's residents in the wake of the major earthquake," the minister said.
The Welfare Ministry now plans to authorize non-profit organizations that are already active on the adoption front to proceed with the adoption process.
Yael Branovsky contributed to the story