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Bill regarding international adoption faces challenges

A couple that wants to start a family often has a number of great reasons for doing so. Typically, they feel that they would be good parents and want to give the devotion and care they're capable of to a son or daughter. However, due to a variety of circumstances, they may need to do so through adoption. Unfortunately, pursuing that path internationally can be filled with expensive challenges.

United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu is promoting a bill she says will improve the situation. Landrieu, a Democrat from Louisiana, says that the Children in Families First Act she's sponsoring would "increase the protection of children." Opponents of the proposed act disagree, contending that the bill is meant to help adoption agencies continue the allegedly profitable practice of international adoption, which they say has been waning.

In the fiscal year of 2004, almost 23,000 foreign-born children were adopted into the United States. However, in fiscal 2013, barely 7,000 were. These figures come directly from State Department data, and they show a clear and significant drop.

Adoption agencies, in talks with Secretary of State John Kerry, say that the adoption of thousands of orphans have been blocked for what they state are arbitrary reasons. Landrieu says that her bill would help ensure that orphaned children won't be left in institutions in foreign countries; instead, the bill will help them find homes with parents in the United States. If passed, the bill would create a new bureau in the State Department that would focus on the needs of children in such cases.

Regardless of whether the bill passes or not, adoption will continue to present challenges for parents pursuing it. However, for thousands the rewards far outweigh the risks. For that reason, couples and singles pursuing adoption should seek out the services of an experienced attorney who can help them understand and streamline the process.

Source: Washington Times, "International adoption bill orphaned" Cheryl Wetzstein, May. 20, 2014

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