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[Congressional Record: September 18, 2000 (House)]
[Page H7690-H7695]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr18se00-102]                         
 
                   INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION ACT OF 2000

  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to take from the 
Speaker's table the bill (H.R. 2909), to provide for implementation by 
the United States of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and 
Cooperation and Respect of Intercountry Adoption, and for other 
purposes, with a Senate amendment thereto and concur in the Senate 
amendment, with an amendment.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The Clerk read the Senate amendment and the House amendment to the 
Senate amendment as follows:
       Senate amendment:
       Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert:

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

       (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the 
     ``Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000''.
       (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act 
     is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings and purposes.
Sec. 3. Definitions.

                TITLE I--UNITED STATES CENTRAL AUTHORITY

Sec. 101. Designation of central authority.
Sec. 102. Responsibilities of the Secretary of State.
Sec. 103. Responsibilities of the Attorney General.
Sec. 104. Annual report on intercountry adoptions.

      TITLE II--PROVISIONS RELATING TO ACCREDITATION AND APPROVAL

Sec. 201. Accreditation or approval required in order to provide 
              adoption services in cases subject to the Convention.
Sec. 202. Process for accreditation and approval; role of accrediting 
              entities.
Sec. 203. Standards and procedures for providing accreditation or 
              approval.
Sec. 204. Secretarial oversight of accreditation and approval.
Sec. 205. State plan requirement.

  TITLE III--RECOGNITION OF CONVENTION ADOPTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES

Sec. 301. Adoptions of children immigrating to the United States.
Sec. 302. Immigration and Nationality Act amendments relating to 
              children adopted from Convention countries.
Sec. 303. Adoptions of children emigrating from the United States.

                TITLE IV--ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT

Sec. 401. Access to Convention records.
Sec. 402. Documents of other Convention countries.
Sec. 403. Authorization of appropriations; collection of fees.
Sec. 404. Enforcement.

                      TITLE V--GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 501. Recognition of Convention adoptions.
Sec. 502. Special rules for certain cases.
Sec. 503. Relationship to other laws.
Sec. 504. No private right of action.
Sec. 505. Effective dates; transition rule.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

       (a) Findings.--Congress recognizes--
       (1) the international character of the Convention on 
     Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of 
     Intercountry Adoption (done at The Hague on May 29, 1993), 
     and
       (2) the need for uniform interpretation and implementation 
     of the Convention in the United States and abroad,
     and therefore finds that enactment of a Federal law governing 
     adoptions and prospective adoptions subject to the Convention 
     involving United States residents is essential.
       (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are--
       (1) to provide for implementation by the United States of 
     the Convention;
       (2) to protect the rights of, and prevent abuses against, 
     children, birth families, and adoptive parents involved in 
     adoptions (or prospective adoptions) subject to the 
     Convention, and to ensure that such adoptions are in the 
     children's best interests; and
       (3) to improve the ability of the Federal Government to 
     assist United States citizens seeking to adopt children from 
     abroad and residents of other countries party to the 
     Convention seeking to adopt children from the United States.

     SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

       As used in this Act:
       (1) Accredited agency.--The term ``accredited agency'' 
     means an agency accredited under title II to provide adoption 
     services in the United States in cases subject to the 
     Convention.
       (2) Accrediting entity.--The term ``accrediting entity'' 
     means an entity designated under section 202(a) to accredit 
     agencies and approve persons under title II.
       (3) Adoption service.--The term ``adoption service'' 
     means--
       (A) identifying a child for adoption and arranging an 
     adoption;
       (B) securing necessary consent to termination of parental 
     rights and to adoption;
       (C) performing a background study on a child or a home 
     study on a prospective adoptive parent, and reporting on such 
     a study;
       (D) making determinations of the best interests of a child 
     and the appropriateness of adoptive placement for the child;
       (E) post-placement monitoring of a case until final 
     adoption; and
       (F) where made necessary by disruption before final 
     adoption, assuming custody and providing child care or any 
     other social service pending an alternative placement.

     The term ``providing'', with respect to an adoption service, 
     includes facilitating the provision of the service.
       (4) Agency.--The term ``agency'' means any person other 
     than an individual.
       (5) Approved person.--The term ``approved person'' means a 
     person approved under title II to provide adoption services 
     in the United States in cases subject to the Convention.
       (6) Attorney general.--Except as used in section 404, the 
     term ``Attorney General'' means the Attorney General, acting 
     through the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization.
       (7) Central authority.--The term ``central authority'' 
     means the entity designated as such by any Convention country 
     under Article 6(1) of the Convention.
       (8) Central authority function.--The term ``central 
     authority function'' means any duty required to be carried 
     out by a central authority under the Convention.
       (9) Convention.--The term ``Convention'' means the 
     Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in 
     Respect of Intercountry Adoption, done at The Hague on May 
     29, 1993.
       (10) Convention adoption.--The term ``Convention adoption'' 
     means an adoption of a child resident in a foreign country 
     party to the Convention by a United States citizen, or an 
     adoption of a child resident in the United States by an 
     individual residing in another Convention country.
       (11) Convention record.--The term ``Convention record'' 
     means any item, collection, or grouping of information 
     contained in an electronic or physical document, an 
     electronic collection of data, a photograph, an audio or 
     video tape, or any other information storage medium of any 
     type whatever that contains information about a specific 
     past, current, or prospective Convention adoption (regardless 
     of whether the adoption was made final) that has been 
     preserved in accordance with section 401(a) by the Secretary 
     of State or the Attorney General.
       (12) Convention country.--The term ``Convention country'' 
     means a country party to the Convention.

[[Page H7691]]

       (13) Other convention country.--The term ``other Convention 
     country'' means a Convention country other than the United 
     States.
       (14) Person.--The term ``person'' shall have the meaning 
     provided in section 1 of title 1, United States Code, and 
     shall not include any agency of government or tribal 
     government entity.
       (15) Person with an ownership or control interest.--The 
     term ``person with an ownership or control interest'' has the 
     meaning given such term in section 1124(a)(3) of the Social 
     Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320a-3).
       (16) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
     of State.
       (17) State.--The term ``State'' means the 50 States, the 
     District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the 
     Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the 
     Virgin Islands.

                TITLE I--UNITED STATES CENTRAL AUTHORITY

     SEC. 101. DESIGNATION OF CENTRAL AUTHORITY.

       (a) In General.--For purposes of the Convention and this 
     Act--
       (1) the Department of State shall serve as the central 
     authority of the United States; and
       (2) the Secretary shall serve as the head of the central 
     authority of the United States.
       (b) Performance of Central Authority Functions.--
       (1) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the Secretary 
     shall be responsible for the performance of all central 
     authority functions for the United States under the 
     Convention and this Act.
       (2) All personnel of the Department of State performing 
     core central authority functions in a professional capacity 
     in the Office of Children's Issues shall have a strong 
     background in consular affairs, personal experience in 
     international adoptions, or professional experience in 
     international adoptions or child services.
       (c) Authority To Issue Regulations.--Except as otherwise 
     provided in this Act, the Secretary may prescribe such 
     regulations as may be necessary to carry out central 
     authority functions on behalf of the United States.

     SEC. 102. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE.

       (a) Liaison Responsibilities.--The Secretary shall have 
     responsibility for--
       (1) liaison with the central authorities of other 
     Convention countries; and
       (2) the coordination of activities under the Convention by 
     persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
       (b) Information Exchange.--The Secretary shall be 
     responsible for--
       (1) providing the central authorities of other Convention 
     countries with information concerning--
       (A) accredited agencies and approved persons, agencies and 
     persons whose accreditation or approval has been suspended or 
     canceled, and agencies and persons who have been temporarily 
     or permanently debarred from accreditation or approval;
       (B) Federal and State laws relevant to implementing the 
     Convention; and
       (C) any other matters necessary and appropriate for 
     implementation of the Convention;
       (2) not later than the date of the entry into force of the 
     Convention for the United States (pursuant to Article 
     46(2)(a) of the Convention) and at least once during each 
     subsequent calendar year, providing to the central authority 
     of all other Convention countries a notice requesting the 
     central authority of each such country to specify any 
     requirements of such country regarding adoption, including 
     restrictions on the eligibility of persons to adopt, with 
     respect to which information on the prospective adoptive 
     parent or parents in the United States would be relevant;
       (3) making responses to notices under paragraph (2) 
     available to--
       (A) accredited agencies and approved persons; and
       (B) other persons or entities performing home studies under 
     section 201(b)(1);
       (4) ensuring the provision of a background report (home 
     study) on prospective adoptive parent or parents (pursuant to 
     the requirements of section 203(b)(1)(A)(ii)), through the 
     central authority of each child's country of origin, to the 
     court having jurisdiction over the adoption (or, in the case 
     of a child emigrating to the United States for the purpose of 
     adoption, to the competent authority in the child's country 
     of origin with responsibility for approving the child's 
     emigration) in adequate time to be considered prior to the 
     granting of such adoption or approval;
       (5) providing Federal agencies, State courts, and 
     accredited agencies and approved persons with an 
     identification of Convention countries and persons authorized 
     to perform functions under the Convention in each such 
     country; and
       (6) facilitating the transmittal of other appropriate 
     information to, and among, central authorities, Federal and 
     State agencies (including State courts), and accredited 
     agencies and approved persons.
       (c) Accreditation and Approval Responsibilities.--The 
     Secretary shall carry out the functions prescribed by the 
     Convention with respect to the accreditation of agencies and 
     the approval of persons to provide adoption services in the 
     United States in cases subject to the Convention as provided 
     in title II. Such functions may not be delegated to any other 
     Federal agency.
       (d) Additional Responsibilities.--The Secretary--
       (1) shall monitor individual Convention adoption cases 
     involving United States citizens; and
       (2) may facilitate interactions between such citizens and 
     officials of other Convention countries on matters relating 
     to the Convention in any case in which an accredited agency 
     or approved person is unwilling or unable to provide such 
     facilitation.
       (e) Establishment of Registry.--The Secretary and the 
     Attorney General shall jointly establish a case registry of 
     all adoptions involving immigration of children into the 
     United States and emigration of children from the United 
     States, regardless of whether the adoption occurs under the 
     Convention. Such registry shall permit tracking of pending 
     cases and retrieval of information on both pending and closed 
     cases.
       (f) Methods of Performing Responsibilities.--The Secretary 
     may--
       (1) authorize public or private entities to perform 
     appropriate central authority functions for which the 
     Secretary is responsible, pursuant to regulations or under 
     agreements published in the Federal Register; and
       (2) carry out central authority functions through grants 
     to, or contracts with, any individual or public or private 
     entity, except as may be otherwise specifically provided in 
     this Act.

     SEC. 103. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.

       In addition to such other responsibilities as are 
     specifically conferred upon the Attorney General by this Act, 
     the central authority functions specified in Article 14 of 
     the Convention (relating to the filing of applications by 
     prospective adoptive parents to the central authority of 
     their country of residence) shall be performed by the 
     Attorney General.

     SEC. 104. ANNUAL REPORT ON INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS.

       (a) Reports Required.--Beginning one year after the date of 
     the entry into force of the Convention for the United States 
     and each year thereafter, the Secretary, in consultation with 
     the Attorney General and other appropriate agencies, shall 
     submit a report describing the activities of the central 
     authority of the United States under this Act during the 
     preceding year to the Committee on International Relations, 
     the Committee on Ways and Means, and the Committee on the 
     Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
     on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Finance, and the 
     Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate.
       (b) Report Elements.--Each report under subsection (a) 
     shall set forth with respect to the year concerned, the 
     following:
       (1) The number of intercountry adoptions involving 
     immigration to the United States, regardless of whether the 
     adoption occurred under the Convention, including the country 
     from which each child emigrated, the State to which each 
     child immigrated, and the country in which the adoption was 
     finalized.
       (2) The number of intercountry adoptions involving 
     emigration from the United States, regardless of whether the 
     adoption occurred under the Convention, including the country 
     to which each child immigrated and the State from which each 
     child emigrated.
       (3) The number of Convention placements for adoption in the 
     United States that were disrupted, including the country from 
     which the child emigrated, the age of the child, the date of 
     the placement for adoption, the reasons for the disruption, 
     the resolution of the disruption, the agencies that handled 
     the placement for adoption, and the plans for the child, and 
     in addition, any information regarding disruption or 
     dissolution of adoptions of children from other countries 
     received pursuant to section 422(b)(14) of the Social 
     Security Act, as amended by section 205 of this Act.
       (4) The average time required for completion of a 
     Convention adoption, set forth by country from which the 
     child emigrated.
       (5) The current list of agencies accredited and persons 
     approved under this Act to provide adoption services.
       (6) The names of the agencies and persons temporarily or 
     permanently debarred under this Act, and the reasons for the 
     debarment.
       (7) The range of adoption fees charged in connection with 
     Convention adoptions involving immigration to the United 
     States and the median of such fees set forth by the country 
     of origin.
       (8) The range of fees charged for accreditation of agencies 
     and the approval of persons in the United States engaged in 
     providing adoption services under the Convention.

      TITLE II--PROVISIONS RELATING TO ACCREDITATION AND APPROVAL

     SEC. 201. ACCREDITATION OR APPROVAL REQUIRED IN ORDER TO 
                   PROVIDE ADOPTION SERVICES IN CASES SUBJECT TO 
                   THE CONVENTION.

       (a) In General.--Except as otherwise provided in this 
     title, no person may offer or provide adoption services in 
     connection with a Convention adoption in the United States 
     unless that person--
       (1) is accredited or approved in accordance with this 
     title; or
       (2) is providing such services through or under the 
     supervision and responsibility of an accredited agency or 
     approved person.
       (b) Exceptions.--Subsection (a) shall not apply to the 
     following:
       (1) Background studies and home studies.--The performance 
     of a background study on a child or a home study on a 
     prospective adoptive parent, or any report on any such study 
     by a social work professional or organization who is not 
     providing any other adoption service in the case, if the 
     background or home study is approved by an accredited agency.
       (2) Child welfare services.--The provision of a child 
     welfare service by a person who is not providing any other 
     adoption service in the case.
       (3) Legal services.--The provision of legal services by a 
     person who is not providing any adoption service in the case.
       (4) Prospective adoptive parents acting on own behalf.--The 
     conduct of a prospective

[[Page H7692]]

     adoptive parent on his or her own behalf in the case, to the 
     extent not prohibited by the law of the State in which the 
     prospective adoptive parent resides.

     SEC. 202. PROCESS FOR ACCREDITATION AND APPROVAL; ROLE OF 
                   ACCREDITING ENTITIES.

       (a) Designation of Accrediting Entities.--
       (1) In general.--The Secretary shall enter into agreements 
     with one or more qualified entities under which such entities 
     will perform the duties described in subsection (b) in 
     accordance with the Convention, this title, and the 
     regulations prescribed under section 203, and upon entering 
     into each such agreement shall designate the qualified entity 
     as an accrediting entity.
       (2) Qualified entities.--In paragraph (1), the term 
     ``qualified entity'' means--
       (A) a nonprofit private entity that has expertise in 
     developing and administering standards for entities providing 
     child welfare services and that meets such other criteria as 
     the Secretary may by regulation establish; or
       (B) a public entity (other than a Federal entity), 
     including an agency or instrumentality of State government 
     having responsibility for licensing adoption agencies, that--
       (i) has expertise in developing and administering standards 
     for entities providing child welfare services;
       (ii) accredits only agencies located in the State in which 
     the public entity is located; and
       (iii) meets such other criteria as the Secretary may by 
     regulation establish.
       (b) Duties of Accrediting Entities.--The duties described 
     in this subsection are the following:
       (1) Accreditation and approval.--Accreditation of agencies, 
     and approval of persons, to provide adoption services in the 
     United States in cases subject to the Convention.
       (2) Oversight.--Ongoing monitoring of the compliance of 
     accredited agencies and approved persons with applicable 
     requirements, including review of complaints against such 
     agencies and persons in accordance with procedures 
     established by the accrediting entity and approved by the 
     Secretary.
       (3) Enforcement.--Taking of adverse actions (including 
     requiring corrective action, imposing sanctions, and refusing 
     to renew, suspending, or canceling accreditation or approval) 
     for noncompliance with applicable requirements, and notifying 
     the agency or person against whom adverse actions are taken 
     of the deficiencies necessitating the adverse action.
       (4) Data, records, and reports.--Collection of data, 
     maintenance of records, and reporting to the Secretary, the 
     United States central authority, State courts, and other 
     entities (including on persons and agencies granted or denied 
     approval or accreditation), to the extent and in the manner 
     that the Secretary requires.
       (c) Remedies for Adverse Action by Accrediting Entity.--
       (1) Correction of deficiency.--An agency or person who is 
     the subject of an adverse action by an accrediting entity may 
     re-apply for accreditation or approval (or petition for 
     termination of the adverse action) on demonstrating to the 
     satisfaction of the accrediting entity that the deficiencies 
     necessitating the adverse action have been corrected.
       (2) No other administrative review.--An adverse action by 
     an accrediting entity shall not be subject to administrative 
     review.
       (3) Judicial review.--An agency or person who is the 
     subject of an adverse action by an accrediting entity may 
     petition the United States district court in the judicial 
     district in which the agency is located or the person resides 
     to set aside the adverse action. The court shall review the 
     adverse action in accordance with section 706 of title 5, 
     United States Code, and for purposes of such review the 
     accrediting entity shall be considered an agency within the 
     meaning of section 701 of such title.
       (d) Fees.--The amount of fees assessed by accrediting 
     entities for the costs of accreditation shall be subject to 
     approval by the Secretary. Such fees may not exceed the costs 
     of accreditation. In reviewing the level of such fees, the 
     Secretary shall consider the relative size of, the geographic 
     location of, and the number of Convention adoption cases 
     managed by the agencies or persons subject to accreditation 
     or approval by the accrediting entity.

     SEC. 203. STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES FOR PROVIDING 
                   ACCREDITATION OR APPROVAL.

       (a) In General.--
       (1) Promulgation of regulations.--The Secretary, shall, by 
     regulation, prescribe the standards and procedures to be used 
     by accrediting entities for the accreditation of agencies and 
     the approval of persons to provide adoption services in the 
     United States in cases subject to the Convention.
       (2) Consideration of views.--In developing such 
     regulations, the Secretary shall consider any standards or 
     procedures developed or proposed by, and the views of, 
     individuals and entities with interest and expertise in 
     international adoptions and family social services, including 
     public and private entities with experience in licensing and 
     accrediting adoption agencies.
       (3) Applicability of notice and comment rules.--Subsections 
     (b), (c), and (d) of section 553 of title 5, United States 
     Code, shall apply in the development and issuance of 
     regulations under this section.
       (b) Minimum Requirements.--
       (1) Accreditation.--The standards prescribed under 
     subsection (a) shall include the requirement that 
     accreditation of an agency may not be provided or continued 
     under this title unless the agency meets the following 
     requirements:
       (A) Specific requirements.--
       (i) The agency provides prospective adoptive parents of a 
     child in a prospective Convention adoption a copy of the 
     medical records of the child (which, to the fullest extent 
     practicable, shall include an English-language translation of 
     such records) on a date which is not later than the earlier 
     of the date that is 2 weeks before (I) the adoption, or (II) 
     the date on which the prospective parents travel to a foreign 
     country to complete all procedures in such country relating 
     to the adoption.
       (ii) The agency ensures that a thorough background report 
     (home study) on the prospective adoptive parent or parents 
     has been completed in accordance with the Convention and with 
     applicable Federal and State requirements and transmitted to 
     the Attorney General with respect to each Convention 
     adoption. Each such report shall include a criminal 
     background check and a full and complete statement of all 
     facts relevant to the eligibility of the prospective adopting 
     parent or parents to adopt a child under any requirements 
     specified by the central authority of the child's country of 
     origin under section 102(b)(3), including, in the case of a 
     child emigrating to the United States for the purpose of 
     adoption, the requirements of the child's country of origin 
     applicable to adoptions taking place in such country. For 
     purposes of this clause, the term ``background report (home 
     study)'' includes any supplemental statement submitted by the 
     agency to the Attorney General for the purpose of providing 
     information relevant to any requirements specified by the 
     child's country of origin.
       (iii) The agency provides prospective adoptive parents with 
     a training program that includes counseling and guidance for 
     the purpose of promoting a successful intercountry adoption 
     before such parents travel to adopt the child or the child is 
     placed with such parents for adoption.
       (iv) The agency employs personnel providing intercountry 
     adoption services on a fee for service basis rather than on a 
     contingent fee basis.
       (v) The agency discloses fully its policies and practices, 
     the disruption rates of its placements for intercountry 
     adoption, and all fees charged by such agency for 
     intercountry adoption.
       (B) Capacity to provide adoption services.--The agency has, 
     directly or through arrangements with other persons, a 
     sufficient number of appropriately trained and qualified 
     personnel, sufficient financial resources, appropriate 
     organizational structure, and appropriate procedures to 
     enable the agency to provide, in accordance with this Act, 
     all adoption services in cases subject to the Convention.
       (C) Use of social service professionals.--The agency has 
     established procedures designed to ensure that social service 
     functions requiring the application of clinical skills and 
     judgment are performed only by professionals with appropriate 
     qualifications and credentials.
       (D) Records, reports, and information matters.--The agency 
     is capable of--
       (i) maintaining such records and making such reports as may 
     be required by the Secretary, the United States central 
     authority, and the accrediting entity that accredits the 
     agency;
       (ii) cooperating with reviews, inspections, and audits;
       (iii) safeguarding sensitive individual information; and
       (iv) complying with other requirements concerning 
     information management necessary to ensure compliance with 
     the Convention, this Act, and any other applicable law.
       (E) Liability insurance.--The agency agrees to have in 
     force adequate liability insurance for professional 
     negligence and any other insurance that the Secretary 
     considers appropriate.
       (F) Compliance with applicable rules.--The agency has 
     established adequate measures to comply (and to ensure 
     compliance of their agents and clients) with the Convention, 
     this Act, and any other applicable law.
       (G) Nonprofit organization with state license to provide 
     adoption services.--The agency is a private nonprofit 
     organization licensed to provide adoption services in at 
     least one State.
       (2) Approval.--The standards prescribed under subsection 
     (a) shall include the requirement that a person shall not be 
     approved under this title unless the person is a private for-
     profit entity that meets the requirements of subparagraphs 
     (A) through (F) of paragraph (1) of this subsection.
       (3) Renewal of accreditation or approval.--The standards 
     prescribed under subsection (a) shall provide that the 
     accreditation of an agency or approval of a person under this 
     title shall be for a period of not less than 3 years and not 
     more than 5 years, and may be renewed on a showing that the 
     agency or person meets the requirements applicable to 
     original accreditation or approval under this title.
       (c) Temporary Registration of Community Based Agencies.--
       (1) One-year registration period for medium community based 
     agencies.--For a 1-year period after the entry into force of 
     the Convention and notwithstanding subsection (b), the 
     Secretary may provide, in regulations issued pursuant to 
     subsection (a), that an agency may register with the 
     Secretary and be accredited to provide adoption services in 
     the United States in cases subject to the Convention during 
     such period if the agency has provided adoption services in 
     fewer than 100 intercountry adoptions in the preceding 
     calendar year and meets the criteria described in paragraph 
     (3).
       (2) Two-year registration period for small community-based 
     agencies.--For a 2-year period after the entry into force of 
     the Convention and notwithstanding subsection (b), the 
     Secretary may provide, in regulations issued pursuant to 
     subsection (a), that an agency may register with the 
     Secretary and be accredited to provide adoption services in 
     the United States in cases subject to the Convention during 
     such period if the agency has provided adoption services in 
     fewer than 50 intercountry adoptions in the preceding 
     calendar year and meets the criteria described in paragraph 
     (3).

[[Page H7693]]

       (3) Criteria for registration.--Agencies registered under 
     this subsection shall meet the following criteria:
       (A) The agency is licensed in the State in which it is 
     located and is a nonprofit agency.
       (B) The agency has been providing adoption services in 
     connection with intercountry adoptions for at least 3 years.
       (C) The agency has demonstrated that it will be able to 
     provide the United States Government with all information 
     related to the elements described in section 104(b) and 
     provides such information.
       (D) The agency has initiated the process of becoming 
     accredited under the provisions of this Act and is actively 
     taking steps to become an accredited agency.
       (E) The agency has not been found to be involved in any 
     improper conduct relating to intercountry adoptions.

     SEC. 204. SECRETARIAL OVERSIGHT OF ACCREDITATION AND 
                   APPROVAL.

       (a) Oversight of Accrediting Entities.--The Secretary 
     shall--
       (1) monitor the performance by each accrediting entity of 
     its duties under section 202 and its compliance with the 
     requirements of the Convention, this Act, other applicable 
     laws, and implementing regulations under this Act; and
       (2) suspend or cancel the designation of an accrediting 
     entity found to be substantially out of compliance with the 
     Convention, this Act, other applicable laws, or implementing 
     regulations under this Act.
       (b) Suspension or Cancellation of Accreditation or 
     Approval.--
       (1) Secretary's authority.--The Secretary shall suspend or 
     cancel the accreditation or approval granted by an 
     accrediting entity to an agency or person pursuant to section 
     202 when the Secretary finds that--
       (A) the agency or person is substantially out of compliance 
     with applicable requirements; and
       (B) the accrediting entity has failed or refused, after 
     consultation with the Secretary, to take appropriate 
     enforcement action.
       (2) Correction of deficiency.--At any time when the 
     Secretary is satisfied that the deficiencies on the basis of 
     which an adverse action is taken under paragraph (1) have 
     been corrected, the Secretary shall--
       (A) notify the accrediting entity that the deficiencies 
     have been corrected; and
       (B)(i) in the case of a suspension, terminate the 
     suspension; or
       (ii) in the case of a cancellation, notify the agency or 
     person that the agency or person may re-apply to the 
     accrediting entity for accreditation or approval.
       (c) Debarment.--
       (1) Secretary's authority.--On the initiative of the 
     Secretary, or on request of an accrediting entity, the 
     Secretary may temporarily or permanently debar an agency from 
     accreditation or a person from approval under this title, but 
     only if--
       (A) there is substantial evidence that the agency or person 
     is out of compliance with applicable requirements; and
       (B) there has been a pattern of serious, willful, or 
     grossly negligent failures to comply or other aggravating 
     circumstances indicating that continued accreditation or 
     approval would not be in the best interests of the children 
     and families concerned.
       (2) Period of debarment.--The Secretary's debarment order 
     shall state whether the debarment is temporary or permanent. 
     If the debarment is temporary, the Secretary shall specify a 
     date, not earlier than 3 years after the date of the order, 
     on or after which the agency or person may apply to the 
     Secretary for withdrawal of the debarment.
       (3) Effect of debarment.--An accrediting entity may take 
     into account the circumstances of the debarment of an agency 
     or person that has been debarred pursuant to this subsection 
     in considering any subsequent application of the agency or 
     person, or of any other entity in which the agency or person 
     has an ownership or control interest, for accreditation or 
     approval under this title.
       (d) Judicial Review.--A person (other than a prospective 
     adoptive parent), an agency, or an accrediting entity who is 
     the subject of a final action of suspension, cancellation, or 
     debarment by the Secretary under this title may petition the 
     United States District Court for the District of Columbia or 
     the United States district court in the judicial district in 
     which the person resides or the agency or accrediting entity 
     is located to set aside the action. The court shall review 
     the action in accordance with section 706 of title 5, United 
     States Code.
       (e) Failure To Ensure a Full and Complete Home Study.--
       (1) In general.--Willful, grossly negligent, or repeated 
     failure to ensure the completion and transmission of a 
     background report (home study) that fully complies with the 
     requirements of section 203(b)(1)(A)(ii) shall constitute 
     substantial noncompliance with applicable requirements.
       (2) Regulations.--Regulations promulgated under section 203 
     shall provide for--
       (A) frequent and careful monitoring of compliance by 
     agencies and approved persons with the requirements of 
     section 203(b)(A)(ii); and
       (B) consultation between the Secretary and the accrediting 
     entity where an agency or person has engaged in substantial 
     noncompliance with the requirements of section 203(b)(A)(ii), 
     unless the accrediting entity has taken appropriate 
     corrective action and the noncompliance has not recurred.
       (3) Repeated failures to comply.--Repeated serious, 
     willful, or grossly negligent failures to comply with the 
     requirements of section 203(b)(1)(A)(ii) by an agency or 
     person after consultation between Secretary and the 
     accrediting entity with respect to previous noncompliance by 
     such agency or person shall constitute a pattern of serious, 
     willful, or grossly negligent failures to comply under 
     subsection (c)(1)(B).
       (4) Failure to comply with certain requirements.--A failure 
     to comply with the requirements of section 203(b)(1)(A)(ii) 
     shall constitute a serious failure to comply under subsection 
     (c)(1)(B) unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence 
     that such noncompliance had neither the purpose nor the 
     effect of determining the outcome of a decision or proceeding 
     by a court or other competent authority in the United States 
     or the child's country of origin.

     SEC. 205. STATE PLAN REQUIREMENT.

       Section 422(b) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 
     622(b)) is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (11), by striking ``and'' at the end;
       (2) in paragraph (12), by striking ``children.'' and 
     inserting ``children;''; and
       (3) by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:
       ``(13) contain a description of the activities that the 
     State has undertaken for children adopted from other 
     countries, including the provision of adoption and post-
     adoption services; and
       ``(14) provide that the State shall collect and report 
     information on children who are adopted from other countries 
     and who enter into State custody as a result of the 
     disruption of a placement for adoption or the dissolution of 
     an adoption, including the number of children, the agencies 
     who handled the placement or adoption, the plans for the 
     child, and the reasons for the disruption or dissolution.''.

  TITLE III--RECOGNITION OF CONVENTION ADOPTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES

     SEC. 301. ADOPTIONS OF CHILDREN IMMIGRATING TO THE UNITED 
                   STATES.

       (a) Legal Effect of Certificates Issued by the Secretary of 
     State.--
       (1) Issuance of certificates by the secretary of state.--
     The Secretary of State shall, with respect to each Convention 
     adoption, issue a certificate to the adoptive citizen parent 
     domiciled in the United States that the adoption has been 
     granted or, in the case of a prospective adoptive citizen 
     parent, that legal custody of the child has been granted to 
     the citizen parent for purposes of emigration and adoption, 
     pursuant to the Convention and this Act, if the Secretary of 
     State--
       (A) receives appropriate notification from the central 
     authority of such child's country of origin; and
       (B) has verified that the requirements of the Convention 
     and this Act have been met with respect to the adoption.
       (2) Legal effect of certificates.--If appended to an 
     original adoption decree, the certificate described in 
     paragraph (1) shall be treated by Federal and State agencies, 
     courts, and other public and private persons and entities as 
     conclusive evidence of the facts certified therein and shall 
     constitute the certification required by section 204(d)(2) of 
     the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended by this Act.
       (b) Legal Effect of Convention Adoption Finalized in 
     Another Convention Country.--A final adoption in another 
     Convention country, certified by the Secretary of State 
     pursuant to subsection (a) of this section or section 303(c), 
     shall be recognized as a final valid adoption for purposes of 
     all Federal, State, and local laws of the United States.
       (c) Condition on Finalization of Convention Adoption by 
     State Court.--In the case of a child who has entered the 
     United States from another Convention country for the purpose 
     of adoption, an order declaring the adoption final shall not 
     be entered unless the Secretary of State has issued the 
     certificate provided for in subsection (a) with respect to 
     the adoption.

     SEC. 302. IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT AMENDMENTS RELATING 
                   TO CHILDREN ADOPTED FROM CONVENTION COUNTRIES.

       (a) Definition of Child.--Section 101(b)(1) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(b)(1)) is 
     amended--
       (1) by striking ``or'' at the end of subparagraph (E);
       (2) by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (F) 
     and inserting ``; or''; and
       (3) by adding after subparagraph (F) the following new 
     subparagraph:
       ``(G) a child, under the age of sixteen at the time a 
     petition is filed on the child's behalf to accord a 
     classification as an immediate relative under section 201(b), 
     who has been adopted in a foreign state that is a party to 
     the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in 
     Respect of Intercountry Adoption done at The Hague on May 29, 
     1993, or who is emigrating from such a foreign state to be 
     adopted in the United States, by a United States citizen and 
     spouse jointly, or by an unmarried United States citizen at 
     least twenty-five years of age--
       ``(i) if--
       ``(I) the Attorney General is satisfied that proper care 
     will be furnished the child if admitted to the United States;
       ``(II) the child's natural parents (or parent, in the case 
     of a child who has one sole or surviving parent because of 
     the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, 
     the other parent), or other persons or institutions that 
     retain legal custody of the child, have freely given their 
     written irrevocable consent to the termination of their legal 
     relationship with the child, and to the child's emigration 
     and adoption;
       ``(III) in the case of a child having two living natural 
     parents, the natural parents are incapable of providing 
     proper care for the child;
       ``(IV) the Attorney General is satisfied that the purpose 
     of the adoption is to form a bona fide parent-child 
     relationship, and the parent-child relationship of the child 
     and the biological parents has been terminated; and
       ``(V) in the case of a child who has not been adopted--

[[Page H7694]]

       ``(aa) the competent authority of the foreign state has 
     approved the child's emigration to the United States for the 
     purpose of adoption by the prospective adoptive parent or 
     parents; and
       ``(bb) the prospective adoptive parent or parents has or 
     have complied with any pre-adoption requirements of the 
     child's proposed residence; and

       ``(ii) except that no natural parent or prior adoptive 
     parent of any such child shall thereafter, by virtue of such 
     parentage, be accorded any right, privilege, or status under 
     this Act.''.
       (b) Approval of Petitions.--Section 204(d) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1154(d)) is 
     amended--
       (1) by striking ``(d)'' and inserting ``(d)(1)'';
       (2) by striking ``section 101(b)(1)(F)'' and inserting 
     ``subparagraph (F) or (G) of section 101(b)(1)''; and
       (3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
       ``(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and 
     (b), no petition may be approved on behalf of a child defined 
     in section 101(b)(1)(G) unless the Secretary of State has 
     certified that the central authority of the child's country 
     of origin has notified the United States central authority 
     under the convention referred to in such section 101(b)(1)(G) 
     that a United States citizen habitually resident in the 
     United States has effected final adoption of the child, or 
     has been granted custody of the child for the purpose of 
     emigration and adoption, in accordance with such convention 
     and the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000.''.
       (c) Definition of Parent.--Section 101(b)(2) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(b)(2)) is 
     amended by inserting ``and paragraph (1)(G)(i)'' after 
     ``second proviso therein)''.

     SEC. 303. ADOPTIONS OF CHILDREN EMIGRATING FROM THE UNITED 
                   STATES.

       (a) Duties of Accredited Agency or Approved Person.--In the 
     case of a Convention adoption involving the emigration of a 
     child residing in the United States to a foreign country, the 
     accredited agency or approved person providing adoption 
     services, or the prospective adoptive parent or parents 
     acting on their own behalf (if permitted by the laws of such 
     other Convention country in which they reside and the laws of 
     the State in which the child resides), shall do the 
     following:
       (1) Ensure that, in accordance with the Convention--
       (A) a background study on the child is completed;
       (B) the accredited agency or approved person--
       (i) has made reasonable efforts to actively recruit and 
     make a diligent search for prospective adoptive parents to 
     adopt the child in the United States; and
       (ii) despite such efforts, has not been able to place the 
     child for adoption in the United States in a timely manner; 
     and
       (C) a determination is made that placement with the 
     prospective adoptive parent or parents is in the best 
     interests of the child.
       (2) Furnish to the State court with jurisdiction over the 
     case--
       (A) documentation of the matters described in paragraph 
     (1);
       (B) a background report (home study) on the prospective 
     adoptive parent or parents (including a criminal background 
     check) prepared in accordance with the laws of the receiving 
     country; and
       (C) a declaration by the central authority (or other 
     competent authority) of such other Convention country--
       (i) that the child will be permitted to enter and reside 
     permanently, or on the same basis as the adopting parent, in 
     the receiving country; and
       (ii) that the central authority (or other competent 
     authority) of such other Convention country consents to the 
     adoption, if such consent is necessary under the laws of such 
     country for the adoption to become final.
       (3) Furnish to the United States central authority--
       (A) official copies of State court orders certifying the 
     final adoption or grant of custody for the purpose of 
     adoption;
       (B) the information and documents described in paragraph 
     (2), to the extent required by the United States central 
     authority; and
       (C) any other information concerning the case required by 
     the United States central authority to perform the functions 
     specified in subsection (c) or otherwise to carry out the 
     duties of the United States central authority under the 
     Convention.
       (b) Conditions on State Court Orders.--An order declaring 
     an adoption to be final or granting custody for the purpose 
     of adoption in a case described in subsection (a) shall not 
     be entered unless the court--
       (1) has received and verified to the extent the court may 
     find necessary--
       (A) the material described in subsection (a)(2); and
       (B) satisfactory evidence that the requirements of Articles 
     4 and 15 through 21 of the Convention have been met; and
       (2) has determined that the adoptive placement is in the 
     best interests of the child.
       (c) Duties of the Secretary of State.--In a case described 
     in subsection (a), the Secretary, on receipt and verification 
     as necessary of the material and information described in 
     subsection (a)(3), shall issue, as applicable, an official 
     certification that the child has been adopted or a 
     declaration that custody for purposes of adoption has been 
     granted, in accordance with the Convention and this Act.
       (d) Filing with Registry Regarding Nonconvention 
     Adoptions.--Accredited agencies, approved persons, and other 
     persons, including governmental authorities, providing 
     adoption services in an intercountry adoption not subject to 
     the Convention that involves the emigration of a child from 
     the United States shall file information required by 
     regulations jointly issued by the Attorney General and the 
     Secretary of State for purposes of implementing section 
     102(e).

                TITLE IV--ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT

     SEC. 401. ACCESS TO CONVENTION RECORDS.

       (a) Preservation of Convention Records.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in consultation 
     with the Attorney General, shall issue regulations that 
     establish procedures and requirements in accordance with the 
     Convention and this section for the preservation of 
     Convention records.
       (2) Applicability of notice and comment rules.--Subsections 
     (b), (c), and (d) of section 553 of title 5, United States 
     Code, shall apply in the development and issuance of 
     regulations under this section.
       (b) Access to Convention Records.--
       (1) Prohibition.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), the 
     Secretary or the Attorney General may disclose a Convention 
     record, and access to such a record may be provided in whole 
     or in part, only if such record is maintained under the 
     authority of the Immigration and Nationality Act and 
     disclosure of, or access to, such record is permitted or 
     required by applicable Federal law.
       (2) Exception for administration of the convention.--A 
     Convention record may be disclosed, and access to such a 
     record may be provided, in whole or in part, among the 
     Secretary, the Attorney General, central authorities, 
     accredited agencies, and approved persons, only to the extent 
     necessary to administer the Convention or this Act.
       (3) Penalties for unlawful disclosure.--Unlawful disclosure 
     of all or part of a Convention record shall be punishable in 
     accordance with applicable Federal law.
       (c) Access to Non-Convention Records.--Disclosure of, 
     access to, and penalties for unlawful disclosure of, adoption 
     records that are not Convention records, including records of 
     adoption proceedings conducted in the United States, shall be 
     governed by applicable State law.

     SEC. 402. DOCUMENTS OF OTHER CONVENTION COUNTRIES.

       Documents originating in any other Convention country and 
     related to a Convention adoption case shall require no 
     authentication in order to be admissible in any Federal, 
     State, or local court in the United States, unless a specific 
     and supported claim is made that the documents are false, 
     have been altered, or are otherwise unreliable.

     SEC. 403. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS; COLLECTION OF 
                   FEES.

       (a) Authorization of Appropriations.--
       (1) In general.--There are authorized to be appropriated 
     such sums as may be necessary to agencies of the Federal 
     Government implementing the Convention and the provisions of 
     this Act.
       (2) Availability of funds.--Amounts appropriated pursuant 
     to paragraph (1) are authorized to remain available until 
     expended.
       (b) Assessment of Fees.--
       (1) The Secretary may charge a fee for new or enhanced 
     services that will be undertaken by the Department of State 
     to meet the requirements of this Act with respect to 
     intercountry adoptions under the Convention and comparable 
     services with respect to other intercountry adoptions. Such 
     fee shall be prescribed by regulation and shall not exceed 
     the cost of such services.
       (2) Fees collected under paragraph (1) shall be retained 
     and deposited as an offsetting collection to any Department 
     of State appropriation to recover the costs of providing such 
     services.
       (3) Fees authorized under this section shall be available 
     for obligation only to the extent and in the amount provided 
     in advance in appropriations Acts.
       (c) Restriction.--No funds collected under the authority of 
     this section may be made available to an accrediting entity 
     to carry out the purposes of this Act.

     SEC. 404. ENFORCEMENT.

       (a) Civil Penalties.--Any person who--
       (1) violates section 201;
       (2) makes a false or fraudulent statement, or 
     misrepresentation, with respect to a material fact, or 
     offers, gives, solicits, or accepts inducement by way of 
     compensation, intended to influence or affect in the United 
     States or a foreign country--
       (A) a decision by an accrediting entity with respect to the 
     accreditation of an agency or approval of a person under 
     title II;
       (B) the relinquishment of parental rights or the giving of 
     parental consent relating to the adoption of a child in a 
     case subject to the Convention; or
       (C) a decision or action of any entity performing a central 
     authority function; or
       (3) engages another person as an agent, whether in the 
     United States or in a foreign country, who in the course of 
     that agency takes any of the actions described in paragraph 
     (1) or (2),

     shall be subject, in addition to any other penalty that may 
     be prescribed by law, to a civil money penalty of not more 
     than $50,000 for a first violation, and not more than 
     $100,000 for each succeeding violation.
       (b) Civil Enforcement.--
       (1) Authority of attorney general.--The Attorney General 
     may bring a civil action to enforce subsection (a) against 
     any person in any United States district court.
       (2) Factors to be considered in imposing penalties.--In 
     imposing penalties the court shall consider the gravity of 
     the violation, the degree of culpability of the defendant, 
     and any history of prior violations by the defendant.

[[Page H7695]]

       (c) Criminal Penalties.--Whoever knowingly and willfully 
     violates paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) shall be 
     subject to a fine of not more than $250,000, imprisonment for 
     not more than 5 years, or both.

                      TITLE V--GENERAL PROVISIONS

     SEC. 501. RECOGNITION OF CONVENTION ADOPTIONS.

       Subject to Article 24 of the Convention, adoptions 
     concluded between two other Convention countries that meet 
     the requirements of Article 23 of the Convention and that 
     became final before the date of entry into force of the 
     Convention for the United States shall be recognized 
     thereafter in the United States and given full effect. Such 
     recognition shall include the specific effects described in 
     Article 26 of the Convention.

     SEC. 502. SPECIAL RULES FOR CERTAIN CASES.

       (a) Authority to Establish Alternative Procedures for 
     Adoption of Children by Relatives.--To the extent consistent 
     with the Convention, the Secretary may establish by 
     regulation alternative procedures for the adoption of 
     children by individuals related to them by blood, marriage, 
     or adoption, in cases subject to the Convention.
       (b) Waiver Authority.--
       (1) In general.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
     this Act, to the extent consistent with the Convention, the 
     Secretary may, on a case-by-case basis, waive applicable 
     requirements of this Act or regulations issued under this 
     Act, in the interests of justice or to prevent grave physical 
     harm to the child.
       (2) Nondelegation.--The authority provided by paragraph (1) 
     may not be delegated.

     SEC. 503. RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER LAWS.

       (a) Preemption of Inconsistent State Law.--The Convention 
     and this Act shall not be construed to preempt any provision 
     of the law of any State or political subdivision thereof, or 
     prevent a State or political subdivision thereof from 
     enacting any provision of law with respect to the subject 
     matter of the Convention or this Act, except to the extent 
     that such provision of State law is inconsistent with the 
     Convention or this Act, and then only to the extent of the 
     inconsistency.
       (b) Applicability of the Indian Child Welfare Act.--The 
     Convention and this Act shall not be construed to affect the 
     application of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 
     U.S.C. 1901 et seq.).
       (c) Relationship to Other Laws.--Sections 3506(c), 3507, 
     and 3512 of title 44, United States Code, shall not apply to 
     information collection for purposes of sections 104, 
     202(b)(4), and 303(d) of this Act or for use as a Convention 
     record as defined in this Act.

     SEC. 504. NO PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION.

       The Convention and this Act shall not be construed to 
     create a private right of action to seek administrative or 
     judicial relief, except to the extent expressly provided in 
     this Act.

     SEC. 505. EFFECTIVE DATES; TRANSITION RULE.

       (a) Effective Dates.--
       (1) Provisions effective upon enactment.--Sections 2, 3, 
     101 through 103, 202 through 205, 401(a), 403, 503, and 
     505(a) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this 
     Act.
       (2) Provisions effective upon the entry into force of the 
     convention.--Subject to subsection (b), the provisions of 
     this Act not specified in paragraph (1) shall take effect 
     upon the entry into force of the Convention for the United 
     States pursuant to Article 46(2)(a) of the Convention.
       (b) Transition Rule.--The Convention and this Act shall not 
     apply--
       (1) in the case of a child immigrating to the United 
     States, if the application for advance processing of an 
     orphan petition or petition to classify an orphan as an 
     immediate relative for the child is filed before the 
     effective date described in subsection (a)(2); or
       (2) in the case of a child emigrating from the United 
     States, if the prospective adoptive parents of the child 
     initiated the adoption process in their country of residence 
     with the filing of an appropriate application before the 
     effective date described in subsection (a)(2).
                                  ____
                                  

                  House Amendment to Senate Amendment:

       Page 36, strike lines 22 and 23 and insert ``and the 
     natural parents has been terminated (and in carrying out both 
     obligations under this subclause the Attorney General may 
     consider whether there is a petition pending to confer 
     immigrant status on one or both of such natural parents); 
     and''.

  Mr. GILMAN (during the reading). Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent 
that the amendments be considered as read and printed in the Record.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Massachusetts?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the initial request of 
the gentleman from New York?
  Mr. DELAHUNT. Mr. Speaker, reserving the right to object, and I shall 
not object, I yield to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Gilman) to 
describe the amendment.
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Massachusetts 
(Mr. Delahunt) for yielding. We have reached an agreement with the 
Senate on H.R. 2909, the Intercountry Adoption Act. The Senate made 
modest amendments to this bill which the House passed on July 18, 2000, 
and the bill we are taking up today includes a further modification as 
proposed by the House Committee on the Judiciary.
  This amendment has been agreed to by the relevant committees on both 
sides of the aisle and it is acceptable to the Senate as well. This 
amendment simply clarifies that the Attorney General, in carrying out 
obligations to satisfy herself that the purpose of a particular 
adoption is to form a bona fide parent/child relationship in the 
parent/child relationship of the child and the natural parents has been 
terminated, may consider whether there is a petition pending to confer 
immigrant status on one or both birth parents.
  The pendency of such a petition may have negative evidentiary value 
on these issues before the Attorney General. We, therefore, think that 
this is a reasonable addition to the bill. Accordingly, I urge my 
colleagues to support this measure.
  I want to thank the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Delahunt) for 
his leadership on this bill.
  Mr. DELAHUNT. Mr. Speaker, further reserving the right to object, I 
am very glad to join my good friend, the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Gilman), the chairman of the Committee on International Relations, in 
urging support for this bill. I understand the other body has agreed to 
accept this amendment, and I want to express my appreciation to the 
chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, the gentleman 
from Texas (Mr. Smith); the full chairman of the full Committee on the 
Judiciary, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde); and Senators 
Abraham, Kennedy and Landrieu for all of their efforts to help us 
resolve the impasse over these final amendments to this important 
legislation.
  The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption is of enormous 
importance to adopted kids and their families, and this implementing 
legislation is absolutely critical to ensuring that both parents and 
adoptive families can participate in the intercountry adoption process 
with full confidence and a greater sense of security.
  I want to thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. Gilman), the ranking 
member; the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Gejdenson); the gentlewoman 
from Connecticut (Mrs. Johnson); the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Camp), who has worked so hard on so many issues dealing with adoption, 
and the many other Members on both sides of the aisle who have worked 
so hard on behalf of this legislation.
  Again, I want to thank Senators Helms, Biden and Landrieu for working 
with us in such a bipartisan and bicameral fashion to achieve this 
splendid result.
  Finally, Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I did not express my 
appreciation to a number of staff members without whose dedication and 
persistence we would not be standing here today. So let me name Kristen 
Gilley, who is here with us, and David Abramowitz of the Committee on 
International Relations; Cassie Bevan of the House Committee on Ways 
and Means staff; George Fishman and Peter Levinson of the Committee on 
the Judiciary staff; and my own legislative director, Mr. Mark Agrast.
  Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to withdraw my reservation of objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the initial request of 
the gentleman from New York?
  There was no objection.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________


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