For Immediate Release
Contact: Taylor Draddy
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 8, 2021 –The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), in partnership with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption (CCA), announced the newest CCA co-chair for the 117th Congress: U.S. Representative Adam Smith of Washington state.
The CCA is the largest bicameral, bipartisan congressional member organization and works to engage Members of Congress on issues pertaining to the needs of children and youth in the U.S. foster care system, adoptees, supporting and strengthening families, and strengthening domestic and international child welfare, as well as to advocate for every child’s right to a safe, stable, nurturing, and permanent family. The role of the CCA co-chairs is to lead and actively engage their colleagues in Congress and draft and support federal policies that help vulnerable children, youth, and families and strengthen child welfare systems.
Representative Smith was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996 and represents the 9th district of Washington. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. The Congressman previously served in the Washington State Senate and has a long history of being a strong advocate for children and families as an adoptee himself. He has led the efforts to close a loophole to provide U.S. citizenship to international adoptees brought to the U.S. as children but were never granted citizenship.
Representative Smith joins the CCA’s three current co-chairs: Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, and Representative Robert Aderholt of Alabama.
“I am proud to co-chair the Congressional Coalition on Adoption for the 117th Congress with Co-Chairs Amy Klobuchar, Roy Blunt, and Robert Aderholt,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “We must ensure we are providing support for our most vulnerable children, including orphaned and foster youth, and enacting policies that give children in need an opportunity to find permanent homes. I look forward to continuing the great work the coalition has done to raise awareness about issues related to orphans, youth in foster care, and adoptees.”
“I’m thrilled to welcome Representative Smith – a longtime advocate for children and families and an adoptee himself – as a co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption,” said Klobuchar. “I’m confident that together we’ll continue to advance policies that support families and children during the adoption process, helping to ensure all children have the safe, loving home they deserve.”
By joining the CCA, Members of Congress have the opportunity to participate in programs and events throughout the year that allow them to interact with vulnerable children and youth, the families that care for them, and subject matter experts to hear the stories of the challenges and opportunities they experience and to strengthen federal policy with this information.
“The Congressional Adoption Caucus is the largest bipartisan, bicameral caucus in the U.S. Congress for a reason. Ensuring that all children have a stable home and loving family is a bipartisan priority,” said Blunt. “I look forward to working with Congressman Smith and our fellow caucus co-chairs and members to continue our efforts to improve the adoption process, support families, and get us closer to our goal of seeing every child in the safe, permanent home they deserve.”
“Congressman Smith and I are both members of the Congressional Class of 1996,” said Congressman Robert Aderholt. “I’ve known him for a long time now, and he will make a great addition to our efforts to promote and support adoption – both domestic and international.”
The co-chairs and CCA are supported by CCAI, the non-profit institute dedicated to raising awareness about children in need of families both domestically and internationally and to eliminating the policy barriers that hinder children from having safe, nurturing, and forever families.
“CCAI is happy to have Congressman Smith is stepping into the role of co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption,” said CCAI’s Board of Directors Chair, The Honorable Mary Landrieu. “Amazing things can happen when Members choose to come together across party lines to elevate the needs of children, youth, and families. We are so grateful for Congressman Smith’s willingness to join the three other co-chairs of the CCA who work with their colleagues on behalf of vulnerable children.”
In the last 36 years, Members of the CCA have led Congress in the passage of legislation that has dramatically improved the lives of children and families including the “Family First Prevention and Services Act,” the “Adoption and Safe Families Act,” the “John Chafee Foster Care Independence Act,” the “Promoting Safe and Stable Families Act,” the “Hope for Children Act,” the “Intercountry Adoption Act,” the “Fostering Connections and Increasing Adoptions Act,” and the “Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act.”
Today there are over 423,000 children in foster care, and nearly 123,000 of these children are eligible for adoption, waiting for families to call their own. Children living in orphanages globally are estimated conservatively at eight million, with unknown numbers living on the streets.
The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (www.ccainstitute.org) is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization that serves as an objective, educational resource for information critical to advancing the efforts of federal policymakers on behalf of children in need of families. To learn more about CCAI, follow the organization on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.