WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, this week joined Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and 38 members of Congress in sending a bicameral letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken advocating that the State Department assist Ukrainian refugees and aid American families who have already begun the process of adopting Ukrainian orphans. The letter asks the Department of State to aid the Ukrainian government to establish a consular office in Poland to process paperwork required for adoption. The letter further asks about current State Department efforts to aid Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees.
The letter reads in part, “We write to thank you for the work of the United States Department of State to assist the people of Ukraine during this crisis and to make you aware of a particular group of orphans amongst the many fleeing the country. There are families already towards the very end of the process to adopt Ukrainian orphans, and they are waiting for approval from the Ukrainian government to be united with their adopted children on U.S. soil.”
The members continue, “We believe the State Department can do more to urge or aid the Ukrainian application process to continue, especially for cases close to finalization. … Helping these orphans to join their American families expeditiously will allow them to get to a safe, nurturing environment while freeing up resources for other refugees. In a warzone and a refugee crisis, it is often the most vulnerable who bear the greatest consequences.”
Full text of the letter can be found here.