03.28.19

Senator Burr Introduces Bill to Improve Intercountry Adoption Information Reporting

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Richard Burr reintroduced the Intercountry Adoption Information Act, which would provide updated, quality information to Americans trying to adopt children from other countries.  This bipartisan legislation is co-sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

“Far too often, American families trying to adopt a child abroad face difficulties navigating the intercountry adoption process,” said Senator Burr.  “That is why I am proud to reintroduce this bill, which will bring to light the detrimental barriers that thwart adoptions and require the State Department to share the ways they are working to remove these barriers.  I hope the Senate will quickly pass this commonsense legislation so we can better equip families with the tools needed to welcome a child into their home.”

“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 am proud to cosponsor 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.”

“Parents often face a unique set of challenges when trying to adopt a child from a country with restrictive adoption policies,” said Senator Blunt.  “We can help connect more children with the home they deserve by making sure parents have the information they need to navigate the intercountry adoption process.  I urge my colleagues to support this legislation and, as co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, I’ll continue promoting policies that help families 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 would remove the information barrier many of those families currently face, and I hope we can get this commonsense legislation passed out of Congress and signed into law soon.”

“Each year thousands of people across our nation open their homes to children from around the world in need of adoption,” said Senator Wicker.  “I am glad to join my Senate colleagues to introduce this legislation, which would make it easier for a family to navigate the international adoption process and make a tremendous difference in the life of a child.”

“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 urge my colleagues in Congress to support this legislation to help people navigate this complicated process.”

Background:

Currently, the Intercountry Adoption Act (IAA) of 2000, requires the U.S. State Department to provide an annual report on intercountry adoptions.  The report includes information on topics such as the number of intercountry adoptions, countries of origin for those adopted, and information on adoption agencies. 

The Intercountry Adoption Information Act would amend the IAA to require the 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 looking to adopt from countries that have established barriers to adoption, such as Russia or Ethiopia, or areas where the State Department has suspended intercountry adoption, such as abandoned children in Nepal.

Congressmen Doug Collins (R-GA) and James Langevin (D-RI) also introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives this week.