May 12, 2021 - World

Exclusive: Lawmakers urge Biden administration to work with China on adoptions

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) asks questions during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee

Photo credit: Tasos Katopodis-Pool/Getty Images.

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is urging the State Department to help American families waiting to be united with their adoptive children in China.

The big picture: The coronavirus pandemic has halted intercountry adoptions, leaving hundreds of families and children in limbo.

What's happening: Klobuchar, Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and 48 other senators sent a letter today to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, asking him to prioritize engagement with the Chinese government to help unite American families and children in China.

What they're saying: "Several hundred American families have been approved and matched with children in China, but the pandemic has indefinitely halted many of these adoptions. In the interim, many children have been left without the love and protection of a family," the senators wrote.

  • "We encourage the United States and China to hold diplomatic discussions at the highest levels to establish guidelines that allow American families to safely travel to China and unite with their adopted children."

Between the lines: Amid growing U.S.-China tensions, some U.S. officials are striving to find areas in which engagement with China is still possible. Climate change cooperation is one such area, and using diplomatic channels to ease adoptions could be another.

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