U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Adoption Caucus, announced that they have reintroduced legislation to improve the intercountry adoption process.
“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.”
“Around the world, there are so many children who need loving homes – but too often, the process of intercountry adoption is filled with challenges,” said Klobuchar. “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.”
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 co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (Pa.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), John Boozman (Ark.), and Roger Wicker (Miss.).
For years, Blunt and Klobuchar have worked to improve the adoption process for Americans.
- Last week, they led 48 colleagues in calling on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to prioritize intercountry adoption and to engage in efforts to resume intercountry adoptions with China, which have been indefinitely paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- In November 2020, during National Adoption Month, they encouraged the Department of State and the Department of Health and Human Services to raise awareness for National Adoption Month and for the importance of domestic and intercountry adoption.
- In October 2020, they sent a letter urging the Department of State to prioritize policies to promote intercountry adoption and to look specifically at the fee schedule for prospective 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.
- In May 2019, they reintroduced the Supporting Adoptive Families Act to help provide pre-and post-adoption support services, including mental health treatment, to help adoptive families stay strong.
- They previously sent a letter in June 2018 urging the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the Department of State to ensure continued dialogue between the Department of State, Congress, and the Adoption Service Providers in efforts to develop and implement policies that advance affordable and sustainable intercountry adoption.
- Blunt and Klobuchar also partnered on the Accuracy for Adoptees Act, which became law in early 2014. This legislation cuts red tape for adoptive families and ensures that corrections made to adoptees’ state vital records would be recognized by the federal government.
(Adoption graphic licensed by Envato Elements)