Nearly 200 adopted Haitian children arrived in Paris last weekend to a cold, snowy Christmas. Two chartered planes brought the children from Haiti after long delays and complications caused by last January's earthquake and the recent protests following the disputed election. A flight last Friday landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport with 84 children aboard, following an earlier flight with another 114 that arrived on Wednesday. The French foreign ministry estimates that as many as 1,000 Haitian children will have been adopted in France in 2010, compared with around 650 in 2009.
Foreign adoptions of Haitian children have been controversial, since many of the children are not orphans at all but given up by parents who cannot afford to raise them. While many of the children will have a better life materially in France, there are concerns about their adjustment to life in a very different culture and how well they will be accepted in a country that has seen a rise in racial tensions in recent years.
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