Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Improve Intercountry Adoption

Senator Richard Burr has introduced the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2018 with co-sponsors Senator Roy Blunt (R-NC), Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH). This bipartisan bill is an amendment to an earlier law and is aimed at increasing transparency for Americans wanting to adopt from other countries.

“American families trying to adopt a child from abroad should have robust and relevant information needed to navigate the adoption landscape,” said Senator Burr in a statement. “This bill will help remove some of the frequent informational challenges families face when trying to learn the status of intercountry adoption policies. It will also shine a light on unnecessary and detrimental barriers some countries have put up to thwart adoptions, and require the State Department to provide information on what they are doing to address those barriers. I hope the Senate will work to pass this commonsense legislation as soon as possible.”

The new bill requires the annual report to include information on all countries that prevent or prohibit adoptions to the United States, information on actions the State Department has taken which prevent adoptions to the United States, and information on how the State Department has worked to encourage intercountry adoptions in those areas.

“It’s disappointing that certain countries have enacted restrictive adoption policies that deny children the opportunity to grow up in a safe, loving home,” said Senator Blunt. “By providing parents with information on the status of adoption policies, they’ll have an important resource to help them navigate the complicated process of intercountry adoption. In addition, the information required will aid our ability in Congress to support diplomatic efforts and help assist families. I urge my colleagues to support this bill and, as co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, I’ll continue working to promote policies that make it easier for families to open their homes to a child in need.”

The Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 required information on the number of intercountry adoptions involving immigration to the United States and the country the child is adopted from, the length of time required for completion of the adoption, and information about the involved adoption agencies. The new law expands on that in light of the report showing an 80% decrease in intercountry adoptions since 2004.