Adoption legislation authored by U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday, and the bill aims to help families navigate the process of international adoption.
The Intercountry Adoption Information Act requires the Secretary of State to include in its annual report information about countries that have issued new restrictions on adoptions to the United States. The Department of State would also have to publish information about the department’s efforts to work with those countries to resume adoption to the United States.
Collins said he hopes having more information about international adoption can help guide families through the process.
“Loving families in Northeast Georgia and across the United States are eager to provide children with the care and support they deserve, yet they remain separated from their adoptive children due to shifting international policies and information gaps,” Collins said in a statement.
The legislation, co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, D-Rhode Island, was inspired by a Jefferson couple, Pam and Mark Romano. The Romanos were in the process of adopting two brothers from Russia when Russia halted international adoptions to the United States in 2012.
“Those who are considering adopting, are already in that process or are in the unfortunate situation of a stuck adoption know very well how imperative it is that our State Department provide both transparency and accountability on all fronts,” Pam Romano said in a statement. “This bill ultimately supports the rights of children worldwide who lie awake at night dreaming of one day having a mommy and daddy to call their own.”
The 397 votes cast in the House of Representatives on Monday were all in favor of the bill. U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, has introduced a companion bill in the U.S. Senate.
Collins first introduced the bill in 2018, when it also passed the U.S. House. He reintroduced it in March.