New legislation has been introduced aimed at helping make international adoption a much more informed process. Until now, international adoption has always held significant risk that a country’s policy changes could stall or even stop an adoption completely.
According to The Ripon Advance, this new bill was introduced by Representative Doug Collins of Georgia on April 26. The publication also noted that Collins explained the bill stating, “Adopting children from abroad is an act of love that is too often complicated by a lack of reliable information about the international adoption landscape.” He further noted that H.R. 5626 “would help unite loving parents and vulnerable children by providing them with accurate, timely information about the procedures and hurdles associated with adoption in specific countries.”
Artuz Sheva 7 quotes Chairman Ed Royce who spoke at the House of Representatives speaking about the reasoning of the bill, “Sadly, international adoptions do not always go as planned. Over the years, I have met with countless families who were matched with a child, bonded with that child and financially supported that child, only to have their child’s adoption stalled – or worse, stopped completely – due to policy changes in the child’s birth country. This is devastating for the families involved.”
With the passage of the Intercountry Adoption Information Act of 2018 (H.R. 5626), families adopting from overseas will now have access to information on adoption policies and statistics for their country of interest. This information will allow them to know if any policy changes have occurred and provide a more realistic picture of successful adoption probability from that country.
Chairman Royce also noted, “With the passage of this legislation, families could see not only how many children are being adopted by American families from certain countries, and how long those adoption proceeding are taking, but if the country has recently changed its laws or policies that could make adoption more difficult or shut it down completely.”
The inclusion of this vital adoption information in the State Department’s annual reports is certainly seen as a step in the right direction for international adoption. While the risk in international adoption is still great, this legislation aims to prevent the interruption of international adoptions and will hopefully save the lives of thousands of children awaiting forever homes.