WASHINGTON --- Senator Chuck Grassley today joined Senator Mary Landrieu and other senators to highlight their support for short- and long-term efforts to aid orphans in Haiti.
During a news conference on Capitol Hill, the bipartisan group emphasized their commitment to continued oversight of the federal agencies responsible for completing already approved adoptions in Haiti and to facilitate adoptions for children orphaned by this month's earthquake in Haiti. Click here to view the video of Senator Grassley's statement at the news conference.
Last week, Grassley, Landrieu and others wrote to top U.S. government officials to urge more effective collaboration in the effort to evacuate the 600 to 700 orphans in Haiti who have adoptive families waiting for them in the United States. Their letter said that a lot of the chaos that surrounds efforts to get these orphans safely to their adoptive families in the United States is a direct result of a lack of logistical inter-agency coordination, a lack of communication to the public and ad-hoc processing of travel documents by the U.S. Embassy. Grassley, Landrieu and the others asked for a commitment that these orphans be safely and efficiently evacuated within the next ten days.
Today, Grassley said that the stories of children from Haiti joining adoptive parents in the United States and receiving the love and care they need "are heartwarming and inspirational. There are many more children in Haiti who need that kind of help and everything possible should be done to facilitate adoptions and match true orphans with families who can give them a home. It will take extensive cooperation with the government of Haiti and strong leadership on the part of the U.S. government."
Grassley is a member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, which Landrieu co-chairs. Last month, the two senators established a Senate Caucus on Foster Youth. They have worked together and won passage of legislation to help more children move from foster care to permanent, loving homes.