WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Adoption Caucus, reintroduced legislation to improve the intercountry adoption process.
“Around the world there are so many children who need loving homes – but too often, the process of intercountry adoption is filled with challenges,” Klobuchar said. “Creating an Intercountry Adoption Advisory Committee will promote the development of best practices to support those looking to adopt. I’m proud to introduce this bill to help American families and children worldwide.”
“There are millions of children around the world without a safe, stable home,” Blunt said. “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.”
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 policy and programs on intercountry adoption. The Advisory Committee will develop recommendations to enhance the intercountry adoption process and to 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 (D-PA), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), John Boozman (R-AR), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
For years, Senators Klobuchar and Blunt have worked to improve the adoption process for Americans.
- In October 2020, they sent a letter urging the State Department to prioritize policies to promote intercountry adoption as the department searches for new accrediting entities for intercountry adoption service providers and to look specifically at the fee schedule for accrediting entities to ensure they do not impose undue financial burdens on families seeking to adopt internationally.
- In response to the coronavirus pandemic, they sent a letter in April 2020 asking the Department of State to use all available resources to ensure that intercountry adoptions proceed in a safe and timely manner during the coronavirus pandemic and that American families stranded abroad while completing these adoptions return home safely.
- They previously sent a letter in June 2018 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 (ASPs) continues and that members and experts in the adoption community are consulted in efforts to develop and implement policies that advance intercountry adoption.
- In May 2019, 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 former Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Lynn Johnson to raise awareness for National Adoption Month, which began November 1st.
- Klobuchar and Blunt also introduced the Accuracy for Adoptees Act, which was signed into law by President Obama 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.
- Additionally, Klobuchar authored the International Adoption Simplification Act to help siblings stay together during international adoptions and protect adoptees from unsafe immunizations in foreign countries, which was signed into law on November 30, 2010.
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