Granger, Bass introduce international adoption bill

Posted Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Representatives Kay Granger, R-Texas, and Karen Bass, D-Calif., recently introduced the Children in Families First (CHIFF) Act. Millions of children around the world are growing up in orphanages, on the streets, or in refugee camps while thousands of American families spend years navigating the bureaucratic adoption process in the U.S. CHIFF would simplify this process for families who want to adopt internationally and help foreign governments develop stronger child welfare systems that can find a caring family for every child in need.

“Every child deserves a family,” Granger said. “Parents looking to adopt internationally are already at the mercy of complicated adoption bureaucracies abroad. They shouldn’t have to deal with similar costs and delays here at home. Without increasing spending, the Children in Families First Act helps loving families navigate the adoption process and welcome new additions into their homes.”

Bass said it was “sad” that millions of children around the world are living without the support of a safe and loving family.

“As we strive to improve the child welfare system here in the United States, it’s essential that we also help other countries establish and expand their child welfare programs so that every child has a chance to have a supportive family full of unconditional love,” she added. “I proudly support the Children in Families First Act because it goes a long way to support nations around the world in their efforts to preserve, reunify and create the safe, loving, and permanent families that children around the world so desperately need.”

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., introduced the Senate companion bill on Sept. 19.

CHIFF HIGHLIGHTS

• Prioritizes family as a key element of U.S. foreign policy so that every child can have a permanent, safe and nurturing family through family preservation, family reunification, and family creation through kinship, domestic and international adoption;

• Realigns U.S. Government agencies to support the objectives of the 2012 International Action Plan on Children in Adversity, which includes as a central goal that all children grow up in families;

• Reallocates a portion of existing international assistance funding for children so that it will do more to support family preservation, reunification and creation;

• Streamlines the roles of U.S. Government agencies in adoptions so that they will be better partners with states, the faith-based community, and accredited adoption agencies in their mission to unite children with families.

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