Two Republican senators have introduced a bill to prohibit the federal or state governments from taking any adverse action against adoption or foster-care agencies that decline to provide services that go against their religious beliefs or moral convictions.
Senators Mike Enzi, from Wyoming, and Rep. Mike Kelly, from Pennsylvania, introduced the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2014 to "ensure that organizations with religious or moral convictions are allowed to continue to provide services for children."
Three chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops – Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore and Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami – have backed the bill. more >>
I will repeat this as often as you or I need to hear it. There is no need to apologize for adopting an orphan child in need. In fact, this creation of a new family should be celebrated as a success. Every child deserves a family.
Far too often, the media and anti-adoption crowd frame the discussion of adoption in such a way that we find ourselves back on our heels, feeling defensive or apologetic. All one need do is utter the word child-trafficking and suddenly adoption advocates and adoptive parents fall silent, or worse yet, stumble over their words to defend and excuse the way their family was formed. Let's cut it out, ok? Let's take control of the conversation and proudly own the genesis of our families and the integrity of the adoption system overall.
Don't get me wrong – there are bad actors that do bad things. This is sadly true in every human endeavor. Child trafficking is a serious and deplorable crime. Sometimes, international adoption is used for financial gain and children are exploited. We must demand that these crimes be investigated and prosecuted. We must demand that complicit agencies and lawyers be closed for business. We must require transparency and due diligence at every level and every stage to ensure that every child adopted is truly in need of a family and that every family is a suitable placement for that child. more >>
A bipartisan and bicameral group of 167 members of Congress sent a Wednesday letter to President Barack Obama urging him to intervene on behalf of the approximately 900 Congolese children who have been adopted, or are in the process of being adopted, by American parents but are not being allowed by the Democratic Republic of Congo to travel to their families.
DRC President Joseph Kabila will be in Washington, D.C. next month, the letter notes. Obama should use that event to press Kabila "for an expeditious resolution that is in the best interest of these children,"wrote the members of Congress, including Republicans and Democrats, Senators and Representatives.
As the letter points out, the DRC suspended adoptions by foreign parents in September 2013. Even the 350 children who were already adopted were not given permission to leave the country. At least 10 Congolese children who had been matched with American parents have died since then. more >>
WASHINGTON — Close to 800 children in the Democratic Republic of Congo are being blocked from uniting with their adoptive families in America. About 60 of those families met with members of Congress this week, asking them to pressure the U.S. State Department to get more involved.
For the families who have completed the adoption process, they are only waiting for an exit letter from the Congolese government giving their children permission to leave the country so they can unite with their family in America.
At least 10 children have died while waiting for their exit letter. About 41 other children are in critical condition and could suffer the same fate if they are not allowed to leave and get the care they need, Kelly Dempsey, counsel and director of Outreach and Advocacy for Both Ends Burning, told The Christian Post. more >>
The U.S. State Department denied abandoned children opportunities to be adopted by American families citing suspicion of fraud even though no evidence of fraud was found, according to a six-month investigation conducted by Both Ends Burning.
The investigation, detailed in a 54-page report published Tuesday, looked at the circumstances and consequences of the U.S. government's decision to halt all adoptions from Nepal in August 2010. According to the report, the U.S. State Department halted the adoptions out of supposed fears that fraudulent adoptions, or child trafficking, were taking place, even though numerous investigations found no evidence of such.
The Both Ends Burning investigation included thousands of documents, including many obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, and interviews with 45 American families who were affected by the suspension of adoptions from Nepal. more >>
Sen. Mary Landrieu called on the Christian and faith-based communities to lend their support to legislation aimed at making orphan care a priority in U.S. foreign policy. On Tuesday, advocacy groups are leading a social media campaign, #SupportCHIFF, to push for passage of Landrieu's bill.
"The only way we're going to pass this bill," Landrieu said in the interview recorded May 23, is if Christian and faith-based communities raise awareness of the CHIFF legislation and the global orphan crisis it addresses.
Many would be surprised to find that, as a matter of policy, the U.S. State Department does not prioritize a belief that children belong in families, Landrieu explained. more >>