WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Adoption Caucus, today introduced legislation to improve the intercountry adoption process. The bipartisan Intercountry Adoption Advisory Committee Act of 2018 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 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), and John Boozman (R-AR).

“When so many children around the world need loving homes, we should be making it easier, not harder, to adopt a child,” Klobuchar said. “This bipartisan legislation will ensure that all those in the adoption community have a voice, including adoptive parents, adoptees, and social workers, and that together, the best practices can be developed to find every child a home.”

“Millions of children around the world are in need of permanent, loving homes,” Blunt said. “Ensuring intercountry adoption remains a viable option for these children and the families eager to adopt them is critical. Establishing an Intercountry Adoption Advisory Committee at the State Department will help ensure the Secretary of State has the information necessary to develop the right policies and programs to promote intercountry adoption. I appreciate the support and counsel the adoption community has provided, and continues to provide, to the Congressional Coalition on Adoption as we continue our work to help every child find the safe, stable home they deserve.”

In June, Klobuchar and Blunt 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 (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 2015, 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.  In addition, Klobuchar authored the International Adoption Simplification Act to help siblings stay together during an international adoption and protect adoptees from unsafe immunizations in foreign countries, which was signed into law on November 30, 2010. 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.