As legislative sessions convene all over the country, many new bills will be passed into law concerning adoption. Some will make it easier for adoptive parents and others will make the path a little more difficult. One bill in the Indiana legislature has been very interesting.
An Indiana House Committee voted unanimously on a bill no longer requiring background checks on prospective adoptive parents. This sounds like a really terrible idea until one learns why. The Child Services Legislative Director, Parvonay Stover, testified that the National registry of child abuse and child neglect does not exist.
Stover claims Congress passed a law in 2006 requiring a Child Abuse and Neglect Registry be created. Each state would add their substantiated claims to one centralized registry. The problem is creation of the registry never happened, therefore there is no registry to check.
Currently, Indiana law states that adoption providers must run a criminal background history and a check of the child abuse and child neglect registries. This is making it difficult for Adoption agencies and adoption professionals to help families adopt. One adoption through the Baptist Children’s Home is being stalled to to the law requiring the adoption agency to check the registry that does not exist.
The agency is very concerned about this adoption and all adoptions in the future if this bill does not pass. Luckily, the House Committee unanimously approved the bill.