Adoption Reform Act deserves support

Relates to:
Date: 2005-05-10

The Pantagraph

Jeanne Howard

The Illinois Senate is considering a bill which would greatly improve protections to adoptive parents, birth parents and children being placed for adoption.

The Adoption Reform Act, HB 6238, will reduce the risk of practices such as those in the recent "Baby Tamia" case. The bill passed the Illinois House by a large margin.

Adoption is a vitally important way to form a family, resulting in homes for children who need love, care and nurture for a lifetime. However, the lack of regulation of adoption allows unethical and unprincipled individuals to profit from adoption.

The Adoption Reform Act requires adoption service providers to disclose their policies and fees, bans unlicensed companies from advertising adoption services in Illinois, limits excessive fees and other profiteering and prohibits adoption service providers from compelling birth parents or adoptive parents to give up key legal rights.

As an adoption advocate and researcher for many years, I believe HB 6238 will protect all parties to the adoption process. I urge readers to contact their state senators to encourage them to vote in favor of this important legislation.

The writer is co-director of the Center for Adoption Studies at Illinois State University.

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