Senator Bob Corker on Friday said he welcomed passage of S. Res. 502, a Senate resolution concerning the suspension of exit permit issuance by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for adopted Congolese children seeking to depart the country with their adoptive parents.
“I’ve had the opportunity to hear first-hand the stories of many Tennessee families who are stuck in limbo trying to provide a better home and life for orphaned children living in the DRC, and I remain committed to broader efforts to improve the international adoption process so children can have the opportunity to grow up in permanent and safe families,” said Senator Corker. “I’m pleased this resolution passed, and I hope the administration will use the upcoming U.S.-African Summit to press for a solution.”
The bipartisan resolution unanimously passed the Senate Thursday night.
In September 2013, the DRC suspended the issuance of exit permits for children adopted by foreign parents. Over 145 children who have been legally adopted by U.S. families and have been given Congolese passports and U.S. visas await exit letters, including several children with urgent, life-threatening medical problems.
Advocacy groups indicate at least 23 families in the Volunteer State are affected by the DRC’s halt on adoptions. Corker has met with several Tennessee families in various stages of the adoption process and continues to work towards a solution that will bring the children home to the United States. Corker’s staff has also met with State Department officials, including the U.S. ambassador to the DRC and the DRC’s ambassador to the U.S., to discuss a resolution to this issue.
Last month, Senator Corker joined 167 members of Congress in asking President Obama for his personal engagement on this issue, and in April, the senator wrote to the president and prime minister of the DRC to request an end to delays in processing adoptions. As of today, there has been no response from the Congolese government.
Text of the resolution is available here.