CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the House will consider H.Res. 588, Concerning the suspension of exit permit issuance by the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo for adopted Congolese children seeking to depart the country with their adoptive parents, under suspension of the rules. H.Res. 588 was introduced on May 19, 2014 by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) and was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The bill was marked up on June 26, 2014 and was ordered reported, as amended, by unanimous consent.
H.Res. 588 affirms that children deserve safe, loving, and permanent families; recognizes the importance of conducting ethical and transparent adoptions; expresses concern about the impact of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s suspension of exit permits for adoptive children and families; and requests that the Congolese government resume issuing exit permits for all adopted children, and continue processing adoptions that are already underway, while expediting adoptions of medically fragile children. H.Res. 588 also expresses support for continued dialogue between the U.S. and the Congo to improve the intercountry adoption process.
Violence has plagued the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the 1990s. In FY2013, the U.S. gave approximately $274 million in bilateral aid, including peacekeeping activities, and an additional $165 million in emergency humanitarian assistance. Reports indicate that more than 4 million orphans are living in the country.
In September of 2013, the Congolese Government informed the U.S. that it had suspended exit permits for adopted Congolese children seeking to leave the country with their adoptive parents. In December of 2013, the Government of the Congo confirmed to U.S. State Department officials that the suspension of exit permits continues. There are hundreds of American families with finalized adoptions, including completion of the necessary paperwork and visas to bring their adoptive children home, but whose children are unable to leave the country.
 H.Res. 588.
A CBO estimate is not available at this time.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.