September 30, 2020

Congress Enacts Bipartisan Bill Improving Intercountry Adoption Information

Intercountry Adoption Act Heads Next to President’s Desk

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate today unanimously passed H.R. 1952, the Intercountry Adoption Information Act of 2019, legislation led by Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Representative Doug Collins (R-Ga.) to provide updated, quality information to Americans trying to adopt children from other countries.  The Senate companion bill was co-sponsored by Senators, Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

“Adoption should be a meaningful and profound process for families who wish to provide a safe and loving home for children,” said Senator Cardin. “Unfortunately, lack of access to information on foreign adoptions has added unnecessary barriers and frustration.  I have been proud to work with my colleagues on this bipartisan legislation to make it easier for Americans to navigate this process and obtain all the information they need to make a real difference in a child’s life.”

“Far too often, American families trying to adopt a child abroad face unforeseen difficulties navigating the intercountry adoption process,” said Senator Burr. “This legislation helps families better negotiate these roadblocks by requiring the State Department to share the ways they are working to remove international barriers to adoption. I have been proud to work with my Senate colleagues on this bipartisan legislation and I am pleased that those families looking to welcome a child into their family will soon have more information and clarity."

“There are millions of children around the world without a loving, safe home,” said Senator Blunt. “This bill will ensure parents have more information to navigate the intercountry adoption process, which can be a major challenge when trying to adopt a child from a country with restrictive adoption policies. As co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, I’ll continue working to ensure we have policies in place that better support families who are eager to open their homes to a child in need.”

“Around the world, there are so many children who need loving homes,” said Senator Klobuchar. “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.”

“We should be making the process to adopt children from other countries as easy as possible for the American families willing to give a child a home,” said Senator Tillis. “This bipartisan legislation will remove the information barrier many of those families currently face, and I and proud we could pass it on a bipartisan basis and send it to the President’s desk to be signed into law.”

“Ohioans adopting children should have access to all the information they need to build their families and provide loving, safe and stable homes for children,” said Senator Brown.  “I’m proud to work with my colleagues on this important legislation to ensure all children have a safe and loving place to call home, regardless of where they live.”

Background: 

The Intercountry Adoption Information Act would amend the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 to require the U.S. State Department to provide additional information 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, such as abandoned children in Nepal. 

H.R. 1952, introduced by Representative Doug Collins (R-Ga.), overwhelmingly passed the House on May 20, 2019 by a vote of 397-0.

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