Children's Health Bill Contains Language on Title X, Adoption
On May 9, the House of Representatives passed, 419-2, an omnibus children's health bill that contains the Infant Adoption Awareness Act, a provision directed largely at pregnancy-options counselors in Title X family planning clinics. Authored by House Commerce Committee Chairman Tom Bliley (R-VA), the provision represents a hard-fought compromise between family planning advocates and antiabortion legislators seeking to promote adoption in family planning clinics to the exclusion of any information about abortion ("Family Planning and Adoption Promotion: New Proposals, Long-Standing Issues," TGR, October 1999, page 1).
As negotiated and passed by the House, the provision would fund adoption organizations to train counselors in Title X clinics and community health centers "in providing adoption information and referrals to pregnant women on an equal basis with all other courses of action included in nondirective counseling." Adoption organizations and family planning providers would collaborate to develop best-practices guidelines on the provision of adoption information and referrals to pregnant women. Within one year following enactment, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services would be required to submit a report to Congress evaluating the extent to which adoption information, and referral upon request, is provided by family planning clinics "in order to determine the effectiveness of the training."