House Passes Collins' International Adoption Bill
WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives today passed H.R. 5626, the Intercountry Adoption Information Act. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) introduced the bill, which directs the State Department to provide American families with information to help them navigate adoption processes in different countries.
“Adopting children from abroad is an act of love that is too often complicated by a lack of reliable information about the international adoption landscape. The Intercountry Adoption Information Act would help unite loving parents and vulnerable children by providing them with accurate, timely information about the procedures and hurdles associated with adoption in specific countries.
“Each day, families in northeast Georgia and beyond remain separated from their adoptive children as a result of shifting international policies and information gaps, so I hope the strong bipartisan support we saw in the House today encourages the Senate to pass this bill swiftly,” said Collins.
Collins authored the Intercountry Adoption Information Act to help parents like Pam and Mark Romano. The Georgia family 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 from their Russian sons. Collins shared their story during House debate of the bill.
“Families across the United States are greatly encouraged by House passage of this all-important and much needed bill. Those who are considering adopting, are already in that process or are in the unfortunate situation of a stuck adoption know very well how imperative it is that our State Department provide both transparency and accountability on all fronts,” said Pam Romano.
“This bill ultimately supports the rights of children worldwide who lie awake at night dreaming of one day having a mommy and daddy to call their own.”
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.
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 and to document any actions undertaken by the department that prevented, prohibited or halted any adoptions of children born abroad to the United States.