Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Proposal aims to strengthen adoption regulations 5:10 PM By Dan GearinoLee Newspapers DES MOINES n An Iowa Senate committee voted Wednesday to strengthen the state's regulation of adoption facilitators, a measure written in response to problems first reported early last year by the Lee Enterprises Des Moines Bureau.Sens. Dave Mulder, R-Sioux Center, Amanda Ragan, D-Mason City, and Keith Kreiman, D-Bloomfield, are the main backers of a bill that would give the Iowa Department of Human Services the authority to oversee facilitators."What we hope to accomplish is to eliminate facilitators who are in there just for the money, who take advantage of young girls and take advantage of couples who are wanting to adopt," Mulder said.The bill was recommended Wednesday by the Senate Human Resources Committee, which Ragan chairs. The committee action means the proposal will survive Friday's deadline for bills to pass House or Senate committee."This is a really, really good bill," Kreiman said. He is an attorney who has experience with adoption cases.Ragan described the measure as a "shell bill," meaning that it includes only a basic statement of its intent. She said the details will be fleshed out over the next few weeks.Adoption facilitators are individuals or companies that charge a fee to match prospective adoptive parents with women looking to place their children for adoption.The Lee Enterprises Des Moines Bureau wrote a series of stories early last year about the unregulated nature of the adoption industry. The stories showed how a California facilitator, Adoption Insight, advertised on the Internet and in newspapers across the country to find pregnant women interested in adoption. The company paid to relocate some of the women to Sioux City to give birth and place their children for adoption, sometimes to parents from other states.

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