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] [Congressional Record: September 20, 2000 (Senate)]
[Page S8866]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

                   INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION ACT OF 2000

  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the Chair lay before 
the Senate a message from the House of Representatives to accompany 
H.R. 2909.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       Resolved, That the House agree to the amendment of the 
     Senate to the bill, H.R. 2909, entitled ``An Act to provide 
     for implementation by the United States of the Hague 
     Convention on Protection of Children in Co-operation in 
     Respect of Intercountry Adoption, and for other purposes,'' 
     with an amendment.

  Mr. ENZI. I ask unanimous consent that the Senate agree to the 
amendment of the House.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LEAHY. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. ENZI. I yield.
  Mr. LEAHY. Regarding the last bill that went through, I want to take 
a moment to compliment a colleague of mine from Massachusetts, 
Congressman Delahunt, who has worked so hard and so diligently. It will 
give me a great deal of pleasure to tell him it has passed. I thank my 
  Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I am extremely pleased that today the 
Senate is giving advice and consent to the Hague Convention on 
Intercountry Adoption, and approval to the related implementing 
  The Senate's approval of these measures will send both of them to the 
President for his signature. This is good news for American parents 
looking to adopt overseas, and good news for the thousands of orphaned 
children overseas looking for loving homes.
  This treaty is important for a very simple reason--it will help 
facilitate international adoptions and provide important safeguards for 
children and adoptive parents. It is a good thing when the government 
can make things easier for its citizens--in this case, adoptive 
parents. An adoption is a joyous occasion, but the current system can 
be confusing and present uncertainties.
  The Hague Convention establishes a uniform system for adopting 
children from other countries--so that both adoptive parents and 
biological parents have the assurance that an adoption is being done 
right. The Hague Convention and the implementing bill also establish 
mechanisms for improved governmental oversight for international 
adoptions--in order to guard against fraud and other problems 
associated with such adoptions.
  The implementing legislation is the product of compromise between a 
number of people--the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, 
Senator Helms, Senator Landrieu, Senator Brownback, and myself, and 
several people in the other body, including Chairman Ben Gilman, and 
Representative Sam Gejdenson, Bill Delahunt, and Dave Camp. None of us 
got all that we wanted. But I believe we have a good product here. I 
want to express my appreciation to them and their staffs for the hard 
work that went into the drafting of this bill. Several people in the 
executive branch, too numerous to mention, also contributed greatly to 
this bill.
  Now the hard work of putting the promise of the Hague Convention into 
reality begins. The executive branch will have much to do in 
implementing this treaty, and Congress will have a duty to oversee this 
work closely. But today we are taking an important step for parents and 
children--a step about which we can all be proud.