U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, has reintroduced a bill that he hopes will help families navigate the difficult process of international adoption.
The Intercountry Adoption Information Act, co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, D-Rhode Island, would require the Secretary of State’s office to include in its annual report information about countries that have new policies or laws that reduce or prevent U.S. adoptions. The Department of State would also be required to include information on its efforts to encourage these countries to resume U.S. adoption.
“Millions of children at home and abroad are in need of a loving home, and families all across the globe are eager to provide them with the care and support they deserve,” Collins said in a statement. “The Intercountry Adoption Information Act will help bring families together by ensuring parents pursuing overseas adoption, like the Romano family, have access to the information required to navigate the international adoption landscape, and ultimately, to bring their children home.”
Collins was inspired by Mark and Pam Romano of Jefferson, who in 2012 were in the process of adopting two brothers from Russia when Russia halted all adoptions to the United States.
“I think I speak for every family in the process of adopting, or even considering adoption: Change is long overdue,” Pam Romano said in a statement. “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.”
U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, has introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.
Collins also introduced the bill last year, when it passed the U.S. House but its Senate companion stalled in committee.
The Department of State has a web page that can be searched by country to learn about the international adoption process.