IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 28, 2011
Mr. Burr (for himself and Ms. Landrieu) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
To develop a strategy for assisting stateless children from North Korea, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as
North Korean Refugee Adoption Act
Sense of Congress
It is the sense of Congress that—
thousands of North Korean children do not have families and are threatened with starvation and disease if they remain in North Korea or as stateless refugees in surrounding countries;
thousands of United States citizens would welcome the opportunity to adopt North Korean orphans living outside North Korea as de jure or de facto stateless refugees; and
the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security should make every effort to facilitate the immediate care, family reunification, and, if necessary and appropriate, the adoption of any eligible North Korean children living outside North Korea as de jure or de facto stateless refugees.
In this Act:
The term foreign-sending country—
the country of the orphan’s citizenship; or
if the orphan is not permanently residing in the country of citizenship, the country of the orphan’s habitual residence; and
excludes any country to which the orphan—
travels temporarily; or
travels as a prelude to, or in conjunction with, his or her adoption or immigration to the United States.
The term Hague countries means a country that is a signatory of the Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, done at The Hague on May 29, 1993.
The term non-Hague country means a country that is not a signatory of the Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, done at The Hague on May 29, 1993.
Strategy on adoption of North Korean children by United States citizens
The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall develop a comprehensive strategy for facilitating the adoption of North Korean children by United States citizens.
In developing the strategy under this section, the Secretary shall—
consider the challenges that United States citizens would encounter in attempting to adopt children from North Korea who are currently living in Hague countries and non-Hague countries regardless of their legal status in such countries;
propose solutions to dealing with the situation in which a North Korean refugee child does not have access to a competent authority in the foreign-sending country;
propose solutions to dealing with North Korean refugee children who are not considered habitual residents of the countries in which they are located;
evaluate alternative mechanisms for foreign-sending countries to prove that North Korean refugee children are orphans when documentation, such as birth certificates, death certificates of birth parents, and orphanage documentation, is missing or destroyed;
provide suggestions for working with South Korea to establish pilot programs that identify, provide for the immediate care of, assist in the family reunification of, and assist in the international adoption of, orphaned North Korean children living within South Korea;
provide suggestions for working with aid organizations in Asia to identify and establish pilot programs for the identification, immediate care, family reunification, and international adoption of North Korean orphans living outside North Korea as de jure or de facto stateless refugees;
identify other nations in which large numbers of stateless, orphaned children are living who might be helped by international adoption; and
propose solutions for assisting orphaned children with Chinese fathers and North Korean mothers who are living in China and have no access to Chinese or North Korean resources.
Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a written report to Congress that contains the details of the strategy developed under this section.