Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today was named as co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption (CCA) for the 114th Congress. In this new role, Klobuchar will lead her colleagues in Congress in pushing for federal policies that support adoptive children and families. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) were also named as new co-chairs. Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) will continue serving as the fourth co-chair.

“American families open their homes and hearts to adopt children from their own communities and around the world,” Klobuchar said. “I have long worked to advocate for these loving families, and through my new leadership role in this bipartisan caucus, I intend to build upon my work to eliminate red tape in the adoption process and help keep adoptive families strong.”

“For the past several years, Senators Blunt and Klobuchar and Representative Franks have each faithfully demonstrated individual passion for child welfare, commitment to the belief that children belong in families, as well as a reputation for bipartisan collaboration on these efforts in the United States Congress. We could not be more delighted that they are stepping collectively into the historic role of leading this premier congressional caucus committed to policies that place children in families,” said Becky Weichhand, Executive Director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

The CCA is the largest bicameral, bipartisan congressional member organization and works on issues pertaining to children in need of permanency, children in the foster care system, and domestic and international child welfare, as well as to advocate for every child’s right to a safe, stable and loving family. By joining the CCA, members of Congress have the opportunity to participate in programs and events throughout the year where they can interact with vulnerable children and youth, the families that care for them, and subject matter experts to hear the stories of the challenges and opportunities they experience and to strengthen federal policy with this information.

Senator Klobuchar is a strong advocate for adoptive families and children. She helped families who adopt abroad correct errors to birth certificates through the Accuracy for Adoptees Act, which was signed into law in January 2014. She also led the International Adoption Simplification Act, which was signed into law in November 2010, to help siblings stay together during an international adoption. This Congress, she has reintroduced the bipartisan Supporting Adoptive Families Act to help provide pre- and post-adoption support services to adoptive families.

The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute reports that there are more than 400,000 children in foster care, and over 100,000 of these are eligible for adoption, waiting for families to call their own. Children living in orphanages globally are estimated conservatively at eight million, with unknown numbers living on the streets.