Adopted Haitian children fly in to Paris on Christmas Eve
A second French government-chartered plane bringing 84 Haitian children to their adoptive French parents arrived in Paris on Friday morning where icy weather had grounded many Christmas flights.
The Boeing 747 from Port-au-Prince was also carrying parents and medical personnel, after a first flight carrying 114 children arrived on Wednesday.
Having arrived from the Caribbean, the children were carried across a few metres (yards) of Paris airport tarmac under a light snowfall, many wrapped in blankets.
"I heard while I was over there that I could come back with him," said Ludovic Dehas, two-and-a-half-year-old Maxime snuggled in his arms.
He said he had only obtained all the necessary documentation for the adoption in Haiti on Wednesday, and now he will take Maxime to his home in southeastern France to join his two adopted sisters, Julia and Marie-Canise.
A total of 318 adopted Haitian children are included in a special programme to bring them to France after disruptions caused by the devastating earthquake that ravaged the impoverished country nearly a year ago.
The children were all in the process of being adopted when a massive quake struck on January 12, killing over 250,000 people and causing adoptions to be delayed with some records lost in the rubble.
They were met in Paris by a medical team including paediatricians who will give them a clean bill of health following their arrival from Haiti, where a cholera epidemic has killed over 2,500 people.
Six Haitian children due to fly in on the second plane were unable to travel because of missing documentation, French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said.
© 2010 AFP