Legislation will allow siblings up to age 18 to remain together in international adoptionsU.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced this week that her legislation, the International Adoption Simplification Act, has been signed into law by President Obama.
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced this week that her legislation, the International Adoption Simplification Act, has been signed into law by President Obama.
The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Klobuchar and cosponsored by Senators James Inhofe (R-OK) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), will allow U.S. parents to adopt children who are siblings and help protect children’s health during the adoption process. The bill would restore two exemptions to U.S. immigration law for internationally adopted children that were eliminated when the United States began implementation of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption.
“Parents from Minnesota and across the nation don’t have to worry anymore about splitting up families when adopting internationally,” Klobuchar said. “They also don’t have to risk exposing their adoptive children to unsafe immunizations in foreign countries. A child’s health and family stability are critical to ensuring successful adoptions, and this new law will allow families to keep their adopted children together, healthy, and safe.”
The bill allows U.S. parents to adopt children who are siblings, even if one of those children is between the ages of 16 and 18. Under current law, children aged 16 and above are ineligible for international adoption, but this bill would allow families like Tim and Renee Merkouris from Cambridge, Minnesota, to proceed with their adoption of a family of nine orphaned children from the Philippines. With the passage of this bill, the Merkouris family can finally complete the adoption process.
The bill also allows U.S. parents adopting foreign-born children to safely immunize their children in the United States within 30 days of their arrivals, rather than have to subject their children to potentially unsafe immunizations in foreign nations. Previously, parents who adopted internationally were frequently required to immunize their children before bringing them to the United States.