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Adoption bill gains support of both parties

As the partisan divisions in Congress make headlines, lawmakers from both parties have found a bill they can agree on, involving children in other countries in orphanages who are waiting to be adopted. The new legislation, known as the Children in Families First Act, would facilitate foreign adoptions as these numbers have been dropping because of the red tape and paperwork that seems to accompany them. Supporters of the family law measure feel that policies enacted by the State Department haven't encouraged foreign adoptions. While exact figures aren't known for the number of children around the world in orphanages, estimates place the count in the millions.

The bill's main supporter emphasized that children need to be in a family and believes that the legislation faces a good chance of passing by spring. An adoptive mother herself, she hopes that support increases until then.

The measure varies slightly between the Senate and the House but has support from some of the most popular party members on both sides. However, some Republicans feel that the bill could create more red tape while Democrats think some sections of the bill aren't necessary. The State Department's special adviser on children's issues doesn't think the laws need to be changed. But the bill's backer disagrees and doesn't think that the government has done enough to work on international child welfare. It would create a new division in the State Department to facilitate different aspects of child care, such as reunification, care from relatives and adoptions. International adoption cases would be handled by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

International adoptions can face tough restrictions and red tape. A family lawyer might be able to help clients facilitate an adoption from another country.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Foreign Adoptions Bill Unites Liberals, Conservatives Alike", David Crary, December 25, 2013

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