Collins and Langevin Introduce Legislation to Reduce Barriers to International Adoption
WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) today introduced H.R. 1952, the Intercountry Adoption Information Act, to remove obstacles for American families pursuing overseas adoption.
“Millions of children at home and abroad are in need of a loving home, and families all across the globe are eager to provide them with the care and support they deserve,” said Rep. Collins. “The Intercountry Adoption Information Act will help bring families together by ensuring parents pursuing overseas adoption, like the Romano family, have access to the information required to navigate the international adoption landscape, and ultimately, to bring their children home.”
“Whether adopting at home or abroad, families looking to provide loving homes to children in need should have access to the information required to navigate the process successfully,” said Rep Langevin. “I am proud to join Rep. Collins in introducing the Intercountry Adoption Information Act so families who chose to pursue overseas adoptions are aware of how changing international adoption laws might affect them.”
American families hoping to adopt children from a foreign country often face many challenges. In 2012, Mark and Pam Romano—a family in northeast Georgia—were in the process of adopting two brothers from Russia when the country suddenly halted all adoptions to the United States.
“Willing, loving families in the United States and elsewhere long to have the chance to make the sacrifices necessary to extend their tender care to a child, or children, they themselves did not give birth to. I think I speak for every family in the process of adopting, or even considering adoption: Change is long overdue. Transparency and accountability are vital to any program that seeks to benefit the welfare of children. Accurate, honest information is power in its purest form,” said Pam Romano. “My family and I are greatly appreciative of Congressman Collins’ ongoing efforts to raise awareness regarding the multitude of intercountry adoption concerns. We continue to pray that ‘the least of these’ would lead the greatest amongst us to a world of positive change.”
The Intercountry Adoption Information Act requires the Secretary of State include in its annual report information on countries that have carried out a new policy or law that has reduced or prevented adoptions involving immigration to the United States. Further, the Department of State would be required to include information on efforts to encourage the resumption of stalled or halted adoption proceedings within these countries. These requirements will ensure families have access to consistent, up-to-date information about the adoption policies of foreign countries and how they affect adoption proceedings.
Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) has also introduced companion legislation in the Senate.