This week, Senators Roy Blunt and Amy Klobuchar plan to introduce the Vulnerable Children and Families Act of 2016, a significantly re-tooled and simpler version of the two former pieces of legislation, yet something very affirmative to promoting intercountry adoption among other viable permanency solutions.
The Vulnerable Children and Families Act of 2016 will accomplish many important objectives:
It will re-enforce Congress’ and the American people’s commitment to intercountry adoption when this is the appropriate option for a child to have a family.
It re-prioritizes and affirms the U.S. Department of State’s responsibility to be better advocates for this population of vulnerable children and opens doors of opportunity for them to be adopted by qualified American citizens.
It provides the U.S. Department of State mission-specific instructions regarding their role in advancing the cause of intercountry adoption when no other domestic solution is available for a child to have a family, including establishing priorities that seem inherent in appropriate Hague Convention implementation.
It creates better communications between several U.S. Government offices charged with carrying out various international child welfare activities and services, among them domestic and intercountry adoption options – and creates, in our opinion, more accountability and cooperation between the U.S. Department of State, other government offices, and the U.S. Congress.
Passage of the Vulnerable Children and Families Act of 2016 has the potential to change the current concerning trajectory of intercountry adoption in the US. The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption has failed to live up to its potential. Millions upon millions of children are in need of a family globally, and this legislation will to better serve the desperate needs of this population of children. Because the legislation is nearly all affirmative and mission-specific, it only requires a reallocation of existing resources without significant costs, while at the same time giving the U.S. Department of State a new mandate to better assist orphaned and abandoned children in need of a family and the American citizens who want to open their hearts and home to these children through adoption. The very same mandate we believed was given in 2008 when the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption was implemented in the U.S.
I am asking for your immediate and urgent help. Senators Blunt and Klobuchar have circulated the legislation to their colleagues in the Senate and are seeking additional co-sponsors before they introduce it THIS week; hence the urgency of the matter. Please call your Senator NOW (there is not yet a version in the House that is coming soon) and ask them to contact either Lauren in Blunt’s office or Lindsey in Klobuchar’s office and co-sponsor the Vulnerable Children and Families Act of 2016.
We have spent years working to this point. If you support intercountry adoption and want to see key reforms to how the Department of State views its mission as Central Authority and a better implementation of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, then you really need to call your Senator and secure their support. Without passage of this legislation, then you can expect more of the same approach by the US Government on Intercountry Adoption.
Also, the following Senators were previous supporters of CHIFF. It would go to reason that they’d be inclined to support our new bill. If one of these Senators is your senator, then please remind them of their previous support CHIFF: