U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Adoption Caucus, reintroduced legislation to improve the intercountry adoption process.
The bipartisan Intercountry Adoption Advisory Committee Act provides the Secretary of State the authority to establish an Intercountry Adoption Advisory Committee within the Bureau of Consular Affairs to focus on coordinating the development, refinement, and implementation of policies and programs on intercountry adoption. The Advisory Committee will develop recommendations to enhance the intercountry adoption process and ensure that the diverse voices within the adoption community are considered in advance of new policies being developed and programs being implemented. The legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Bob Casey (Pa.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), and John Boozman (Ark.).
“There are millions of children around the world without a safe, stable home,” said Blunt. “We can help connect these children with the families they deserve by making sure intercountry adoption remains a viable option. This bipartisan bill will give the Secretary of State a valuable resource to develop and implement policies that promote intercountry adoption. I urge my colleagues to support this bill and join us in our efforts to make it easier for loving families to adopt a child from abroad.”
“Around the world, there are so many children who need loving homes,” said Klobuchar. “From adoptive parents, to adoptees, to social workers, this bipartisan legislation will give everyone in the adoption community a voice. Together, we can develop the best practices to find every child a home.”
Last year, Blunt and Klobuchar sent a letter urging the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to ensure that the dialogue between the DOS, Congress, and the Adoption Service Providers continues and that members and experts in the adoption community are consulted in efforts to develop and implement policies that advance intercountry adoption. In November 2018, they introduced the Supporting Adoptive Families Act to help provide pre- and post-adoption support services, including mental health treatment, to help adoptive families stay strong, and encouraged Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, Lynn Johnson, to raise awareness for National Adoption Month, which began Nov. 1. Blunt and Klobuchar also introduced the Accuracy for Adoptees Act, which was signed into law in early 2014. This legislation cuts red tape for adoptive families and ensures that corrections made to adoptees’ birth certificates by state courts would be recognized by the federal government.