Alabama 4th District U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt on Wednesday was named a co-chair of the of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption (CCA) for the 115th Congress.
“I am honored to be the new Republican House Co-Chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption. I look forward to working with my co-chairs and colleagues to promote adoption among U.S. families and in our policies and laws. Adoption is such a wonderful choice and I will do all I can to help more children find their forever families,” Aderholt said.
The CCA is the largest bicameral, bipartisan Congressional Member organization and works to engage Members of Congress on issues pertaining to children in need of permanency and adoption, children in the foster care system, and domestic and international child welfare, as well as to advocate for every child’s right to a safe, stable and loving family.
Aderholt and his family are longtime supporters of 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 finding their forever — adoption, foster youth and child welfare issues. Since his first days as a Member of Congress, he has sponsored and co-sponsored dozens of bills relating to adoption and child welfare issues, and over the years Aderholt has made clear his commitment to children without families, whether through assisting families in his own state and district, participating in CCAI’s Angels in Adoption® Program, advocating for preservation of the adoption tax credit, or responding to international crises such as the Russian ban on inter-country adoption that impacted hundreds of American families who were in the process of adopting.
In 2016, Rep. Aderholt joined CCAI on a 20/20 Vision Program congressional delegation to Haiti, which moved him deeply and strengthened his commitment to elevating family care for orphans and vulnerable children as a priority for the U.S. government.
The work of a co-chair
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 place children in families.
Aderholt will join CCA’s current three co-chairs: Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Representative Brenda Lawrence of Michigan.
“The Congressional Coalition on Adoption plays a pivotal role in advancing policies to protect foster youth and promote adoption,” said Blunt. “As a champion for foster youth and adoptive families, Rep. Aderholt will be a strong addition to the team. I look forward to working with him and the CCA to continue our effort to help more children find 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.
“As Senate co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption I’ve worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to help make the adoption process better for families across our country. As the new House co-chair, Rep. Aderholt will be an important advocate for adoptive families as we work to ensure that every child has a safe home and a loving family,” Klobuchar said.
Lawrence added, “Our adoptive and foster youth are deserving of strong advocates in Congress. Because of his indisputable passion and dedication to serving some of the most vulnerable populations, I am proud to welcome Rep. Aderholt as the new Co-Chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption. I look forward to working with him as we fight for children in need of a permanent and loving family.”
“We are so pleased that Representative Aderholt is stepping into this leadership role in the Congressional Coalition on Adoption. He has demonstrated a strong commitment to child welfare and adoption policy. CCAI looks forward to supporting him and his staff in the co-chair role as a resource,” said Becky Weichhand, Executive Director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.
History of the coalition
For more than 30 years, CCA Members have led Congress in the passage of legislation that has dramatically improved the lives of children and families including the “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.” Most recently, many CCA Members supported the passage of the “Family First Prevention and Services Act.”
Today there are over 437,000 children in foster care, and nearly 118,000 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.