Weekly Video Address
Thursday, November 19, 2015

Video can be found here.

Every Child Deserves the Love of a Forever Family

On any given day, more than 400,000 children are living in foster care in the United States.  About one quarter of them are eligible for adoption, and anxiously wait for an adoptive family.

Many of these children are victims of trauma, abuse or neglect.  And every year, thousands of these kids age out of the system without ever knowing the stability, security and love of a forever family.

November is National Adoption month.  As co-chairman of the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth, I'm working to bring people together at the policymaking table to make a difference for foster youth and promote the importance of adoption.

This week, I held a hearing in the Judiciary Committee to celebrate the positive impact that adoption brings.  We also examined policies related to international adoptions.  A number of families shared their experiences and challenges with international adoption, including one family from Spencer, Iowa.

We highlighted the struggles that more than 400 families are currently facing in bringing home children from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The adoptions have been finalized by the home country as well as the United States, yet, despite the fact that the parents must provide financially and emotionally for their children who are physically in the Congo, they cannot bring them home.

After the hearing, several of my colleagues and I met with the Congolese ambassador to the United States to discuss this issue.  We stressed the importance of finding a solution for these families, all of whom simply need immigration travel documents from the Congolese government to bring home the children.

The family is the foundation of American society.  Strong families make America strong.  This season of Thanksgiving gives us an opportunity to count our blessings and give thanks for our own families, and to those who provide permanent, loving homes to children from around the world.