Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Wicker Resolution on International Adoption Earns Overwhelming Support at OSCE Assembly

Please see below the press release regarding adoption of Mississippi Senator, Robert Wicker’s resolution regarding intercountry adoption at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Istanbul this week. Also attached is the language of the resolution itself here.

July 2, 2013

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., on Tuesday applauded the passage of a first-of-its-kind resolution aimed at protecting children and families caught in the middle of legal adoption changes. Wicker’s resolution was introduced at the 57-country OSCE Parliamentary Assembly this month in the wake of new adoption laws banning U.S. families from adopting Russian children. The measure was approved with no amendments.

After the vote, Wicker said: “Support for this important measure sends a strong signal through the OSCE and beyond that we will not shy from an issue simply because it is sensitive or complicated.  This is an emphatic call for states that permit inter-country adoptions to honor the rules in place at the beginning of the process.  The OSCE has the power to promote a new norm, and today we set a precedent that benefits the wellbeing of children.”

The measure approved today at the Parliamentary Assembly’s Annual Session in Istanbul urges OSCE countries to resolve differences related to inter-country adoption and avoid any “indiscriminate disruption of inter-country adoptions already in progress.”  The resolution will join the declaration that members will vote on during the closing session.  Resolutions and the final declaration adopted in Istanbul help shape OSCE and national policy.

In January, a new law in Russia barred Americans from adopting Russian orphans. The law affected approximately 700 children who were in the process of being adopted. In nearly half of the cases, the children had already met and bonded with their prospective adoptive families.

Senator Wicker’s resolution also requests the OSCE Ministerial Council to clarify international commitments safeguarding the nascent family formed where an inter-country adoption is well-advanced.  The OSCE is the only regional organization that includes lawmakers from Russia and the United States.

“The introduction of this seminal resolution marks a significant step forward for the millions of children currently living without a safe, loving family,” said Kathleen Strottman, Executive Director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. “Brain research and common sense agree: children have a basic human need for a family.  Because of Senator Wicker’s leadership, our global policies will better reflect this important principle.”

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is comprised of 323 parliamentarians from 57 countries spanning, Europe, Central Asia and North America. The Assembly provides a forum for parliamentary diplomacy, monitors elections, and strengthens international cooperation to uphold commitments on political, security, economic, environmental and human rights issues.

Media Contact:

Ryan Taylor, Director of Communications, Sen. Wicker, +1 202 224 6253
Neil Simon, Director of Communications, OCSE, neil@oscepa.dk, +45 60 10 83 80

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