Update from Ethica: Both good news and bad

We were not successful last week in getting the amendment into the  Trafficking Victim Protection Reauthorization Act of 2011. However, we have heard from one Senator’s office who is interested in working with Ethica to introduce the amendment as a stand-alone bill.

Here is the official update from Ethica:

Dear Friends,

Thank you for all that you’ve done to call and email the Senate offices in Washington to ask them to include this small, but critical amendment in the TVPRA 2011.  We are so grateful to have such enthusiastic and committed supporters.

I’m writing with some updates, both exciting and a little disappointing.  First, the disappointing:  we learned earlier today that after much consideration, Senator Leahy’s office could not include our amendment in the TVPRA 2011 that will be sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow for markup.  We were just too late to the discussion, which was unfortunate, but understandable.  For those wondering about our timing, we had the language worked up for quite some time, but didn’t start to float it on the Hill until last week.  Ethica is very insular in adoption politics. Because TVPRA is a trafficking bill, not an adoption bill, we wanted to take some time to reach out to groups in anti-trafficking before formally pursuing our amendment, because Ethica does support TVPRA as it is written and the last thing we wanted to do was compromise the ability of it to succeed.  TVPRA 2011 passed the House committee last week, and it is being considered this week on the Senate side.  Had we come to the bill sponsors a few months ago, we would have had a much better chance, which is unfortunate.

An hour after that update from Senator Leahy’s office, however, I received a phone call from another senator’s office.  I had stopped in to discuss our amendment with them yesterday, on a wing and a prayer that it might fall on interested ears.  This office was very excited about working with us to introduce the amendment as a stand-alone bill, and they wanted to know if we’d be interested in helping with that.  I replied that we would, of course, welcome the opportunity!  We are extremely excited about this significant step in the process to improve the regulation around intercountry adoption and, moreover, bring the perpetrators of trafficking for the purposes of adoption to justice.

We could not have gotten to this point without your enthusiastic support – thank you!  We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more that we can share.  We’ll continue to post updates on Facebook, Twitter, and here.

For now, we continue to look for those who can assist us with this work immediately.  We’re in immediate need of:

1)  Volunteers in the Washington, DC, metro area.  This is a fabulous opportunity for law students or those in media or social marketing.

2)  Funds.  As you may know, Ethica is an all-volunteer organization run on a shoestring budget.  However, advocating for adoption reform requires money, and we are currently paying for this out of our own pockets.  We need money to cover things like business cards, letterhead, parking fees and insurance – at a bare-bones minimum.

3)  Phones and keyboards!  We will keep you updated as we know more ways you can help by calling and emailing friends, colleagues, and congressional offices.

With continuing gratitude for your help and support,

Rachel

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