Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 2909 (ih) To provide for implementation by the United States of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 2909 (ih) To provide for implementation by the United States of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...


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    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 25 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 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
                ``(V) in the case of a child who has not been adopted--

                    ``(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.

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