Plane carrying adopted Haitian children arrives in France

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A French government-chartered plane carrying 113 Haitian orphans and their adoptive French families arrived in Paris from Port-au-Prince on Wednesday, an AFP correspondent reported.

The plane carrying 105 parents and the children arrived at Charles-de-Gaulle airport in time for Christmas, with a second flight due to make the same trip on Thursday.

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 10 pediatricians who will give them a clean bill of health following their arrival from Haiti, where a cholera epidemic has killed over 2,500 people.

"A priori the children are in good health and come from places where no cholera has been detected," paediatrician Patrick Daoud told AFP.

"This is a general check-up to verify that the children are not incubating any infectious diseases," he said.

They were given special consular documents allowing them to go to France, despite not yet having French passports. About 700 other children whose files were found to be in order have already been brought to France.

© 2010 AFP

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