Congressman John Curtis hosted a roundtable to discuss his latest bill, the Intercountry Adoption Advisory Committee Act, and to hear from local members of the adoption community about barriers to adoption and possible solutions moving forward. Local stakeholders like adoptive parents, adopted children, social workers, adoption service providers, and legal professionals all attended to share their experiences.
The Lindberg family joined the roundtable discussion as potential adoptive parents. Earlier this year, they made a second attempt at adopting a child to grow their family, their first attempt at adopting from Japan. After a significant financial investment and what looked like the perfect path to a successful adoption, US international adoption policies unexpectedly changed, and costs skyrocketed. Sadly, they were unable to move forward with the adoption process and were left with nothing—losing nearly $13,000 in the process.
The Lindberg’s are just one of many families that have come forward with heartbreaking stories of burdensome red tape preventing them from giving a loving home to a child in need.
“Utahns are the most family-oriented and compassionate people I’ve ever met,” said Curtis. “In a state with some of the highest involvement in international adoption, I am committed to doing everything I can to help families adopt children around the world. As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I’m in a prime position to do just that through my bill that will help address the burdensome and costly red tape that is forcing a major decline in international adoptions.”
Congressman Curtis’ introduced the Intercountry Adoption Advisory Committee Act, a bill championed by Utahns that brings needed reform to the adoption process. International adoptions have declined by 80% and this year we are on track to have the lowest number of international adoptions in decades.
The Intercountry Adoption Advisory Committee Act will help ensure that dialogue between the U.S. Department of State, Adoption Service Providers, and other key stakeholders continues and strategies are found to improve intercountry adoption. Specifically, this legislation will:
- Provide the Secretary of State the authority to establish an Intercountry Adoption Advisory Committee within the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
- Focus on coordinating the development, refinement, and implementation of policy and programs on intercountry adoption.
- Develop recommendations to enhance the intercountry adoption process and collect stakeholder input in advance of new policies being developed or implemented.