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Getting Children Into Families

by: Joe Lindsley

October 16th, 2013

Democratic, Republican politicians push to streamline adoption laws

Some official estimates suggest that there are more than 200 million parentless children worldwide. Yet, during the last eight years, adoptions by U.S. families of children from other countries has declined by more than 62%.

This is not because American parents don’t want to adopt: Those seeking to do so often fight for years through government red tape at an average cost of $30,000. The red tape is most often a product of foreign governments, but the U.S. State Department also frequently proves unhelpful.

So, led by Senator Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, along with Senator Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, a bipartisan coalition in Congress has created legislation called Children in Families First (CHIFF). The bill creates a State Department office that will address the needs of foreign children and gives State the ability to limit foreign aid to countries who allow orphans to languish without families.

CHIFF seeks to promote the following, in this order: family preservation, family reunification, and, when necessary, family creation through domestic adoption and international adoption.

This is the fruit of the work of many activists, including the Both Ends Burning campaign, which, earlier this year, released STUCK, a documentary revealing how we are neglecting the human rights of millions of orphans. BEB, a LRLRFM partner, rallied both liberals and conservatives to join the cause with a 60-city, 72-day bus tour that brought the gripping 83-film around the country.

Read more about CHIFF here (about a page).

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