New Risks for Haitian Children after Quake

Eight-year-old Wilson Benoit lost both of his parents in the Haiti earthquake this month. He is one of an estimated 60,000 children killed, orphaned, or separated from their parents in the quake. He is often turned away from orphanages forcing him to fend for himself on the street.
A group of 83 orphans from Haiti arrived in Orlando, Fla. this weekend to meet with the parents who plan to adopt them. They came from an orphanage that CBS News visited last weekend. But concerns are growing about the well-being of the orphans who remain in Haiti, as CBS News correspondent Seth Doane reports.

At just eight years old, Wilson Benoit is all alone. Both his parents were killed in the earthquake.

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"I miss them a lot," Wilson says through a translator. "I used to cry all the time."

Now the streets of Port-au-Prince are his home, a filthy fountain his bath.

Early estimates by the United Nations suggest there could be up to 60,000 children who were killed, separated from their families or orphaned by the earthquake. And aid organizations are scrambling to prevent these kids from being abused, exploited or illegally adopted.

"We have heard reports for children being taken out of the country and UNICEF is very concerned about this," said Kent Page, a UNICEF spokesman.

Up to 1.5 million Haitians lost their homes in the earthquake. Some fled the city; others wound up scattered or separated and in displacement camps. So identifying exactly who is truly an orphan in a crisis like this can be a huge problem.

"Children are the most vulnerable in any disaster," said Kate Conradt of the aid group Save the Children.

Conradt's organization has called for an immediate stop to adoptions of Haitian children not approved before the earthquake...

"We don't believe that every unaccompanied child is an orphan. And it's really important that we don't take children out of the country if their parents or families are here and they're desperately searching for them," Conradt said.

It's believed there are around 200 orphanages in the capital city. Some simply cannot accept any more children.

"I would love to go to an orphanage," Wilson told Doane. But "sometimes the place is occupied and I'll go sleep in the grass."

It's not uncommon to see children in the streets just fending for themselves. A CBS News translator said Sunday that someone on the street asked him if he wanted to give up his son for adoption. He refused, but he said that so many folks who are so desperate, others might not have done the same.