The following is a press release issued by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.):
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced today a bipartisan bill he cosponsored to make it easier for American families to adopt children was signed into law. The Accuracy for Adoptees Act requires federal agencies to defer to and recognize state court orders amending a child’s name or date of birth on government issued documents. This law ensures that when a child applies for a driver’s license, a job, Social Security card, and passport, one date of birth is recognized and used.
“As a proud co-sponsor of this bipartisan legislation, I am pleased that the Accuracy for Adoptees Act is now law. I hear from many Kentuckians who are struggling to adopt children internationally and have requested assistance from my office. This measure will help many of those families by reducing the burdensome red tape and making it easier for them to receive the clarity they need when adopting children internationally,” Senator McConnell said.
One family that contacted Senator McConnell was Chip and Karen Hutcheson of Princeton, Kentucky. Last year, they, along with their two adopted grandchildren, met with Senator McConnell in his office in the United States Capitol. During the meeting, Hutcheson advocated for further assistance pertaining to reconciling federal and state documents with conflicting birth dates for children adopted abroad.
Upon hearing the news the measure was signed into law, Mr. Hutcheson, publisher of The Times Leader and president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, said, “I will be forever grateful for Senator McConnell’s efforts in helping pass this bill. This is common sense pro-family legislation that relieves a tremendous burden on families who adopt internationally. Senator McConnell’s efforts will help make it easier to adopt a child from another country, benefitting not only American families but many orphans around the world. We have two grandchildren who were adopted from Ethiopia, and one of them has an error on his birth certificate from that country. Now all the red tape will be eliminated in rectifying that situation so that he will have an accurate record throughout his life.”
The bipartisan bill was introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). Other co-sponsors include: Sens. Landrieu (D-LA), Durbin (D-IL), Leahy (D-VT), Barrasso (R-WY), Enzi (R-WY), Vitter (R-LA), Rubio (R-FL), Flake (R-AZ), Boozman (R-AR), Inhofe (R-OK), and Kirk (R-IL). The legislation passed the House and Senate in December, 2013.