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Children in Families First Act

January 22, 2014

We are excited to support and provide information about a bill introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives last year called Children in Families First. Representatives have a number of purposes they hope to achieve through the passing of CHIFF. We have them listed directly from the bill below:

  • support core American value that families are the bedrock of any society

  • protect the fundamental human right of all children to grow up within the loving care of permanent, safe, and nurturing families.

  • to address a critical gap in United States foreign policy implementation by adjusting the Federal Government’s international policy and operational structures so that seeking permanent families for children living without families receives more prominence, focus, and resources through the reallocation of existing personnel and resources to the Bureau of Vulnerable Children and Family Security in the Department of State.

  • to harness the diplomatic and operational power of the United States Government in the international sphere by helping to identify and implement timely, permanent, safe, and nurturing familial solutions for children living without families, including refugee or stateless children

  • to ensure that intercountry adoption by United States citizens becomes a viable and fully developed option for creating permanent families for children who need them

  • to protect against abuses of children, birth families, and adoptive parents involved in intercountry adoptions, and to ensure that such adoptions are in the individual child’s best interests

  • to harmonize and strengthen existing intercountry adoption processes under United States law by ensuring that the same set of procedures and criteria govern suitability and eligibility determinations for prospective adoptive parents seeking to complete intercountry adoptions, whether or not the child is from a foreign state that is a party to the Hague Adoption Convention and by aligning the definitions of eligible child for Convention adoptions and non-Convention adoptions to the maximum extent possible.

In today’s society, the number of children living outside of a loving family cannot be counted, but the number of the ones who can be counted reaches into the millions. Everyday, more children find themselves without families. Yet, despite the growing number of orphans worldwide, United States international adoptions have dropped 62% since 2005. This drop is not derived from lack of need, but rather the logistics that accompany adoption.

Many countries have closed international adoption, including Russia, Rwanda, Vietnam, Haiti, Bhutan, Cambodia, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, and adoptions are suspended in Nepal, Kazakhstan, and Ghana. Orphans now have no chance of intercountry adoption in these countries due to the laws, rules and regulations, not lack of need.

In response to this drop in international adoption, Congress men and women from both parties have rallied together to support an act that will not only make international adoption less chaotic, but also help the millions of children worldwide unite with their forever families. Despite the good efforts of countless government organizations, many of which have kept children alive and healthy, children remain outside of a permanent, loving, and protected family.

Presented October 23, 2013, the Children in Families First Act (CHIFF) is based on the science that children develop healthier when placed in a stable, loving, nurturing family and the growing need for children to be in families worldwide. CHIFF strives to give children their fundamental right to grow up in families.

This bill does not call for more money, but rather the reallocation of existing funds. As the title suggests, CHIFF simply wants to put children in families first. As Senator Mary Landrieu, (D-LA),  states in her introduction of the bill, “Children today are one third of the world’s population, but they are 100 percent of the world’s future. It’s about time to get our eyes on them.”

Let’s get our eyes on the future of the world. Children need families, and we need your voice. We’re counting on you–the orphans of the world are counting on you–to help us get this bill passed.

  1. Call Congress.

  2. Connect with Congress online.

  3. Visit your Congressmen and women.

  4. Email a letter to Congress.

  5. Be part of the online community.

  6. Organize a rally to inform the people of your community.

  7. Write a blog about CHIFF.

  8. Tell your friends and family.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at 662-842-6752 for more information or visit the CHIFF website.