Coalition on Adoption Caucus Co-Chair, Senator Klobuchar recently brought up international adoption in a Judiciary Committee hearing with DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Below is a brief transcript of the exchange.
Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Oversight of the Department of Homeland Security
November 16, 2021
KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. Last question here; along with Senator Blunt, I co-chair the congressional Coalition on Adoption Caucus. Many of the members on this committee are members; it’s very bipartisan. Over in the house, it is Adam Smith and Representative Aderholt that chair the commission. And that’s why we’ve introduced the Adoptee Citizenship Act to make citizenship automatic for all international adoptees who were legally adopted by U.S. citizens as kids, regardless of when their adoption was finalized. Since 2004, international adoptions have fallen nearly 93 percent. And I have always viewed this, and part of it, of course, is a pandemic; part of it is things that Russia did, things that China did. But there’s a whole lot of kids in other countries as well that need a loving family, and there’s a whole lot of Americans that would like to adopt kids. We are proud that the domestic numbers have actually gone up during the last few administrations; with foster kids getting adopted, that’s all good. But international adoption has actually been a part of the way that our country is connected to the rest of the world. Not to mention the humanitarian issues. Will you work with me to identify barriers and find ways to ease the citizenship process for foreign-born adoptees and also in general, as we’re talking to the State Department, Senator Blunt and I about this issue to work to get back to the situation where we were welcoming adopted kids into our country?
MAYORKAS: Senator, I would be privileged to do so. I was privileged to work with then-Senator Mary Landrieu on international adoptions as well as with Ranking Member Grassley on that valiant effort.
KLOBUCHAR: All right. Thank you…