McConnell Amendment to Help Adoptive Families Passes Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The United States Senate approved a bipartisan amendment offered by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that would urge the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to allow children who have been legally adopted by American citizens to leave the DRC for the United States. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) co-sponsored the amendment to the 2015 U.S. Senate Budget Resolution, which passed this morning. 

On September 25, 2013, the DRC government suspended the issuance of exit permits, which has prohibited legally adopted children from departing the DRC with their adoptive parents.  The McConnell-Klobuchar amendment puts the Senate on record as supporting the promotion of “the return of children who have been legally adopted from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and are only a plane ride away from becoming United States citizens to their American citizen parents residing in the United States.”

“Many Kentucky families have been affected by the unfortunate stalemate of adoptions in the Congo,” Senator McConnell said. “I am pleased the Senate has expressed its support for the children who have been legally adopted by American citizens, and I thank my colleagues – particularly Senator Klobuchar – for their commitment to resolving this issue.”

According to the U.S. Department of State, as of January 2015, 963 children who have been or are in the process of being adopted by American citizens have been affected by the DRC government’s exit permit suspension.  About 230 of these children have been issued U.S. visas and are literally one step away from becoming U.S. citizens.  More than 20 Kentucky families have been affected by the current adoption stalemate.

Bipartisan cosponsors to the McConnell-Klobuchar amendment are: Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), Senator Al Franken (D-MN), Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senator Angus King (I-ME), Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Senator Dan Coats (R-IN), Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Senator John Boozman (R-AR), Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC).

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