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Blunt-Backed Bill to Improve Intercountry Adoption Information Signed Into Law

November 02, 2020

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, today announced that legislation he cosponsored - the Intercountry Adoption Information Act of 2019 - was signed into law. The bipartisan bill provides updated, quality information to Americans trying to adopt children from other countries.

“There are millions of children around the world without a loving, safe home,” said 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.”

The bill was led by U.S. Senator Richard Burr (N.C.) and, in addition to Blunt, cosponsored by U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (Md.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), and Sherrod Brown (Ohio).

The Intercountry Adoption Information Act amends 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 that have prevented adoptions to the United States; and
  • 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.

As co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, Blunt has helped lead efforts to give every child a permanent home.

Last week, Blunt led a letter urging the State Department to prioritize policies to promote intercountry adoption as the department searches for new accrediting entities for intercountry adoption service providers. In May, Blunt helped introduce legislation to improve access to mental health services for children in the foster care system.

Blunt and Klobuchar, who is also a co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, in April led a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking the Department of State to ensure intercountry adoptions proceed in a safe and timely manner during the coronavirus pandemic.

In November 2019, Blunt and Klobuchar encouraged the administration to raise awareness for National Adoption Month. In May 2019, they introduced the Supporting Adoptive Families Act to support adoptive families and to help provide pre- and post- adoption support services, including mental health treatment, to help adoptive families stay strong. In April 2019, they led a letter to the Secretaries of Homeland Security and State regarding the administration’s decision to close the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services international offices and expressed concern over the potential negative impact these closures would have on processing intercountry adoptions. In February 2019, they introduced legislation to improve the intercountry adoption process.

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