Congressman John Curtis introduced H.R. 6985, 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. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, with oversight responsibility for the State Department, Congressman Curtis was compelled to find a solution.

 

“I am proud to help champion this bill that is in perfect harmony with Utah’s values of helping our children and building families,” said Rep. Curtis. “Every child deserves a loving home and I hope this legislation will serve as a catalyst to connect children in need of a family.”

 

Holly Richardson, a generous Utahn that has adopted several foreign-born children, brought the alarming trend to the attention of Congressman Curtis. In her Salt Lake Tribune column, Holly writes that unnecessary red tape and sky rocketing costs have left children around the world without a home or family.

 

“My husband Greg and I did our first international adoption in 1991 and our last international adoption in 2004. Since that time, we have been dismayed at the sharp decrease in the number of children being adopted internationally. Each delay, each additional barrier means more children who will never know the love of a family. I applaud Congressman Curtis for his willingness to step up and champion children and their potential future families by sponsoring the Intercountry Adoption Advisory Committee Act. It is a much needed and long overdue step and it can be literally life-changing for the children it will impact.” – Holly Richardson           

 

The Intercountry Adoption Advisory Committee Act will help ensure that dialogue between the U.S. Department of State, Adoption Service Providers, and other 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 Consul 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.

The Senate companion bill was introduced by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and is supported by the National Council For Adoption.

 

Senator Roy Blunt

“Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, stable home,” said Blunt. “The Intercountry Adoption Advisory Committee will support the State Department as it develops policies and programs that will strengthen and protect the long-term viability of intercountry adoption. I urge my colleagues to support this bill and help connect more children who need permanent homes with loving families eager to adopt.”

 

National Council for Adoption

“National Council For Adoption appreciates the work of Congressman Curtis in support of improving intercountry adoption on behalf of U.S. citizens and children around the world in need of parents.  We hope this legislation will result in the full adoption stakeholder community to be able to work in collaboration with the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues, to prioritize key issues and provide advice and assistance in critical areas.”