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S. 2475 (113th): Children in Families First Act of 2014

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.


6/17/2014--Introduced. Children in Families First Act of 2014 - Establishes within the Department of State the Office of Vulnerable Children and Family Security which shall: (1) support the implementation in foreign countries of child welfare laws and policies; and (2) address the gap in U.S. diplomacy, policy, and operations with respect to promoting appropriate, protective, and permanent family care for children living without families.

States that the Office shall be headed by an Ambassador-at-Large who shall: (1) serve as a primary advisor to the Secretary of State and the President in all matters related to vulnerable children and family security in foreign countries; and (2) represent the United States in matters relevant to international child welfare, family preservation and reunification, and provision of permanent, safe parental care through kinship and domestic and intercountry adoption.

Amends the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS), through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to carry out the functions prescribed by the Convention regarding the accreditation of U.S. adoption services providers.

Establishes databases for internationally adopted children and adoption service providers.

Transfers from the Secretary of State to the Field Operations Directorate of USCIS specified adoption-related functions, including accreditation of agencies and approval of persons to provide adoption services and oversight of provider investigations.

Requires the Secretary of Homeland Security, through USCIS, to: (1) be responsible for processing and case-specific decision making on all intercountry adoption cases, (2) ensure that all intercountry adoption suitability and eligibility determinations of prospective adoptive parents are made in compliance with the Hague Adoption Convention, (3) ensure that all non-Convention adoption cases undergo specified preprocessing, and (4) be responsible for all case processing steps in Convention and non-Convention adoption petitions on behalf of children whom U.S. parents propose to immigrate to the United States.

Establishes within the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) a Center of Excellence on Children in Adversity.

Authorizes the President to provide assistance for programs in developing countries for nutrition, education, care, and protection of children.

Requires: (1) the President to establish a system to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of U.S. aid to children in adversity, and (2) USAID to carry out a priority country demonstration program implementing the (December 2012) Action Plan for Children in Adversity over a period of five years in at least six countries.