A bill aimed at helping American families navigate international adoption processes sponsored by U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday, July 11.
“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,” Collins said in a press release. “The Intercountry Adoption Information Act would help unite loving parents and vulnerable children by providing them with accurate, timely information procedures and hurdles associated with adoption in specific countries.”
Collins said he was motivated by the story of Pam and Mark Romano, of Jefferson, who had started the process of adopting Russian-born brothers before the former Soviet state stopped the flow of adoptions to the United States in 2012.
“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,” Collins said.
The act, if passed by the Senate and signed by President Donald Trump, would require an annual report to Congress about countries that have established policies to slow or eliminate adoptions to American parents; and calls on the Department of State to work with countries to resume adoption proceedings to the United States.
Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, credited Collins with picking up on an issue that state legislators had wrestled with just this past spring.
Numerous changes to the state’s decades-old adoption code were approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal, including provisions to streamline and expedite out-of-state adoptions.
“Reforming our adoption process and making it easier for families to welcome children into their homes and hearts is critical work,” Ralston said in a press release. “We made great strides on that issue in Georgia earlier this year and I am proud to see our congressman advance this worthy cause on the national stage.”