As you know, every day, all over the world, more children find themselves living without families – on the streets, in orphanages, in refugee camps. By some estimates, there are now 200 million orphans in the world. But the U.S. Government, through our foreign policy and programming, is not helping to turn this around.
Americans know that family is the bedrock of any society, and that children need the permanent love, care, and protection of a family to grow into healthy, productive adults. Although U.S. foreign policy in theory emphasizes preserving or creating safe, permanent families for children through family reunification, kinship care, domestic or intercountry adoption, the structures and coordination are not there to make it happen. We need change, and NCFA believes this legislation will get us on the right path.
It seeks to redirect a portion of the funds the U.S. currently spends on children living abroad toward ensuring that all children grow up in a family. It restructures the way intercountry adoption is more appropriately placing an office in the Department of State, providing clear direction to not just regulate, but advocate for children in families, and a better balance of adoption support and administration between Department of State and USCIS. (For more detail see the attached, complete legislation.)
Adoption Service Providers can play a key role in helping to make this happen. Tell your stories. Explain your concerns. As trusted experts in this professional community, your voices will be valuable in explaining to congress and the public why this matters.