The Haitian orphanage crisis: Exporting neoliberal family ideals in the debate on vulnerable childhoods in Haiti

Diane M. Hoffman - Children & Society


In light of recent global debates over the dangers of institutionalised orphan care, a new model of family care premised on the trope of family reunification has emerged among Haitian and US faith‐based actors as the best alternative for ensuring vulnerable children's well‐being. This article offers a critical cultural reading of narratives on family reunification in Haiti in social media and advocacy discourse, revealing how this approach privileges Northern assumptions about proper parenting and family life. Not only are these ideas a mismatch with realities in Haiti, they evoke deficit constructions of family and childhood that facilitate the nation's further positioning as a subject of transnational neoliberal governmentality.