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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        (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.


    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.


    (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.


    (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 
            (A) a decision by an accrediting entity with respect to the 
        accreditation of an agency or approval of a person under title 
            (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 
    (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.
    (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 

                      TITLE V--GENERAL PROVISIONS


    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.


    (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.


    (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.


    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.


    (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).

                               Speaker of the House of Representatives.

                            Vice President of the United States and    
                                               President of the Senate.

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