• April 2000
  • Vol. 1, No. 2

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Legislative Updates

Following are short summaries of current congressional bills of interest to professionals working in child abuse and neglect, child welfare, and adoption. To learn more about any of these bills, visit Thomas, a service of the Library of Congress, at http://thomas.loc.gov.

Expanding Title IV-E to Indian Tribes. S.1478.

This bill would amend part E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance) of Title IV of the Social Security Act to provide Federal foster care maintenance payments to qualifying Indian tribal plans designed for foster and adoptive care of an Indian child. The bill also would set parameters within which programs operated by Indian tribal organizations would be eligible for Federal payments for foster care and adoption assistance, including Federal medical assistance.

Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Finance.

Adopted Orphans. S. 1485.

The Adopted Orphans Citizenship Act, would confer U.S. citizenship automatically and retroactively to the date of birth when a foreign-born child is adopted by a U.S. family. The legislation would eliminate the naturalization process that currently must follow the adoption process. S. 1485 was passed by the Senate on October 26, 1999, and referred to the House,

A related bill, Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (H.R. 3667) was introduced in the House in February. H.R. 3667 expands S. 1485 by adding provisions that would confer U.S. citizenship automatically to children born abroad to Americans.

Status: S. 1485 and H.R. 3667 are now before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims.

Adoption Assistance Act. H.R. 2733 and S. 2227.

These nearly identical bills are both titled "Federal Employee Adoption Assistance Act." The bills would provide reimbursement to Federal employees of up to $2,000 in adoption expenses per adopted child. Qualifying expenses include adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, and other expenses.

Status: S. 2227 was referred in March to the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. H.R. 2733 was referred last August to the House Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on Civil Service.

Implementation of the Hague Convention. H.R. 2909.

The Intercountry Adoption Act of 1999 would implement the Hague Convention on intercountry adoption.

Status: The bill has passed the House Committee on International Relations and awaits action by the full House. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to mark up the bill this month.

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