WASHINGTON, March 5, 2012 — Last week, during Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s testimony to the Senate about the State Department’s fiscal year 2013 budget request, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) asked what measures the State Department was taking to assist vulnerable and orphaned children.
Sen. Landrieu asked how the United States can be “a little more focused” on connecting orphaned children with families.
In the video exchange below, you’ll see that Secretary Clinton says that the U.S. is working to improve adoption systems. While she touted the 9,000 children brought into families through inter-country adoption, what she neglected to say is that number represents half of what it was several years ago. Secretary Clinton did acknowledge that inter-country adoption, “is an important part of what we can do to help vulnerable children.”
Secretary Clinton underscored the need for “a multi-prong strategy,” whereby inter-country adoption is combined with other assistance, including in-country care and U.S. aid to nations struggling with serious issues involving vulnerable children
Although no policy changes or commitments were exacted from the State Department, the fact that this exchange between Senator Landrieu and Secretary Clinton about the role the United States should play in assisting orphaned children was brought to the fore in this important forum is significant.
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