WASHINGTON – Today, 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
“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 cosponsored 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
- 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.