Last month, three U.S. senators introduced the Vulnerable Children and Families Act, a bill which aims to help children around the world who are living in institutions or without permanent homes receive more assistance from U.S. international delegates.
Specifically, the bill aims to ensure that international child welfare is a central part of U.S. foreign policy. With the creation of the Office of Vulnerable Children and Family Security, a new annual report would be presented to Congress on the assistance being provided to these foreign children, achieved through:
- Promoting international child welfare and efforts to provide permanent and safe homes for vulnerable children as a central part of international diplomacy and U.S. foreign policy within the State Department;
- Replacing the current U.S. Department of State Office of Children’s Issues with an Office of Vulnerable Children and Family Security, which would “build international capacity to implement effective child welfare systems, with particular focus on family preservation and reunification, domestic adoption, and intercountry adoption.”
This is an opportunity to make important changes to U.S. adoption policies, particularly in international adoptions. In recent years the State Department has, at best, been neutral on adoption policy issues, or worse, created additional barriers to international adoption. This act is certainly a step in the right direction for making international adoptions a more viable option for American hopeful parents.
The three senators who introduced the bill still need more co-sponsors to help leverage good things on adoption. Encourage your own senators and representatives to support this act by contacting them and asking them to join as a co-sponsor. Share this information to your friends and family on social media to also spread awareness of this bill’s potential.
Here is a list of Senate co-sponsors for this bill. If your Senator is on board, please thank them.