Wicker, Klobuchar Move to Ease Intercountry Adoptions

Press Release

Date: Nov. 16, 2022
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Family

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Amy Klobuchar D-Minn., today introduced a bill to help save adoption agencies serving American families. The legislation, titled the "Voluntary Specialized Accreditation for Background Studies and Home Studies Act," would help to remove barriers to intercountry adoption by increasing flexibility for adoption service providers and providing a new track for accreditation for agencies providing specialized services.

"There are countless children around the world with no parents or family to care for them, yet Americans who want to adopt these children are finding fewer adoption agencies available to help," Wicker said. "This bipartisan bill would lower barriers for intercountry adoption, making it easier to welcome children into loving families."

"Local adoption agencies help children around the world find the loving homes they deserve. But too often, families struggle to find accredited adoption service providers to assist them during the adoption process," said Klobuchar. "By creating a specialized accreditation for small and medium-size providers that offer background and home studies, our bipartisan legislation ensures that families have trusted local agencies to help them navigate the adoption process and give children safe, stable homes."

Current regulations require any organization wishing to provide adoption services to be accredited under a single standard. This rule means that specialized agencies that provide only a limited range of services have to pursue a costly accreditation that goes far beyond the scope of their work.

This bill would enable agencies that only offer "home studies" or "background studies" to be accredited in their area of expertise without having to be certified in other areas. This would allow specialized adoption agencies to continue operating and would lower the cost and time needed to stay accredited.