Intercountry Adoption Act now heading to the President’s desk

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Co-Chair of the Congressional Adoption Caucus, announced that the Senate unanimously passed bipartisan legislation she led to provide updated and timely information to help American families trying to adopt internationally. Klobuchar joined Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) to lead the Intercountry Adoption Information Act in the Senate along with colleagues, Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH). The bill was led by Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI) in the House.

“Around the world, there are so many children who need loving homes,” Klobuchar said. “Our bipartisan Intercountry Adoption Information Act would improve information sharing for those navigating the complex international adoption process.  I am proud to work with my colleagues to make the adoption system more effective in finding every child a home.”

The Intercountry Adoption Information Act would amend the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 to require the U.S. State Department to provide additional information in its annual intercountry adoption report on the following:

  • Countries that have enacted policies to prevent or prohibit adoptions to the United States;
  • Actions taken by the State Department which have prevented adoptions to the United States;
  • The ways in which the State Department has worked to encourage resuming adoptions in both cases.

This information is critical for American families to adopt from countries that have established barriers to adoption, such as Russia or Ethiopia, or other areas where the State Department has suspended intercountry adoption.

As Co-Chairs of the Congressional Adoption Caucus in the Senate with Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Klobuchar has been a leader in the fight to give every child a permanent home. In April, Klobuchar and Blunt led a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking that the Department of State (DOS) 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.

In November 2019, Klobuchar and Blunt encouraged Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary of Administration for Children and Families Lynn Johnson and Department of State Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Carl Risch to raise awareness for National Adoption Month.

In May 2019, they introduced the Supporting Adoptive Families Act to support adoptive families and to help provide pre- and post- adoption support services, including mental health treatment, to help adoptive families stay strong.

In April 2019, they led a letter to the Secretaries of Homeland Security and State regarding the Administration’s decision to close the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) international offices and expressed concern over the potential negative impact these closures would have on processing intercountry adoptions.

In February 2019, they introduced 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 policy and programs on intercountry adoption.