Collins Introduces Intercountry Adoption Information Act to Reduce Barriers to International Adoption
WASHINGTON—Today Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) introduced H.R. 5626, the Intercountry Adoption Information Act, to remove obstacles for American families seeking to adopt children from other countries.
One of these families, Mark and Pam Romano, began the process of adopting a pair of brothers from Russia before the country shut down adoptions to the U.S. in 2012. Although the family had visited and built relationships with these children, the Russian adoption ban remains in place, dividing these American parents and their Russian sons.
As policy barriers to adoption appear in countries like Russia, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Americans struggle to find updated information on which nations have enacted policies that curb or prevent adoptions by American families. Currently, the U.S. State Department must publish an annual, public report on the statistics surrounding intercountry adoptions.
“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.
The Intercountry Adoption Information Act would require the department to include in its annual report to Congress information on countries that have enacted or continued policies that have halted or reduced adoptions of children from foreign nations by American parents. The legislation would also urge the State Department to include information on its efforts to encourage countries to resume adoption proceedings that have been affected by foreign policies.
“Loving American parents in Northeast Georgia and around our country have been waiting to reunite with children they’ve begun adopting from abroad, and others are longing to adopt children in the future. We have the opportunity to bring families together by sharing relevant information about the international adoption landscape, and I’ve authored the Intercountry Adoption Information Act to make those resources available to American families like the Romanos,” said Collins.
“My family and I are greatly appreciative of Congressman Collins’ ongoing efforts to raise awareness regarding the multitude of intercountry adoption concerns,” Romano added. “We continue to pray that ‘the least of these’ would lead the greatest amongst us to a world of positive change.”