BOSTON, MA—Senator Edward M. Kennedy today discussed the critical need for sustainedsupport of adoption initiatives in the United States Congress at an event hosted by theCongressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) held at the Downtown Harvard Clubsponsored by Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management.
“I’m proud to support important legislation that assists foster children and adoptive familiesand to further CCAI’s cause to ensure that every orphaned child, both here and abroad, hasthe opportunity to be part of a permanent, loving family,” said Senator Kennedy.Senator Kennedy, a member of The Congressional Coalition on Adoption (CCA), the largestand most active caucus in the United States Congress, addressed a group of adoption andfoster care supporters about the need to further raise awareness about the need andimportance of every child to have a loving family.
Kennedy also commended the Massachusetts companies who are leading the way in adoptionfriendlypolicies in the workplace and discussed the role of the Congressional Coalition onAdoption Institute and their work in continuing to serve the needs of the adoption and fostercare communities.
The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Caucus, a bicameral, bipartisan group of nearly 200Members, is served by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, a non-partisan, nonprofitorganization dedicated to raising awareness about the tens of thousands of fosterchildren in this country and the millions of orphans around the world in need of permanent,safe and loving homes. Through strategic briefings, roundtables, and weeklycommunications, CCAI exists to serve the Members of Congress as they seek to draft positivechild welfare legislation and meet their constituents’ needs.
“There are 198 other Members of Congress who also belong to the Congressional Coalition onAdoption Caucus, and because of CCAI’s convening and educational role, we’re able to makemajor legislative and policy differences on behalf of orphans both in the U.S. and around theworld. There’s still a lot of work to be done, and I hope you will join us in our efforts tosupport the cause of orphans here and around the world,” said Senator Kennedy.Hosting the event was Stuart C. Williams, Managing Director, Deutsche Bank Private WealthManagement. Mr. Williams, recently appointed to the Board of Directors of CCAI, worksdiligently to raise awareness of adoption and foster care issues. He’s proud to have had hiscompany named as one of the top 100 Adoption Friendly Workplaces in a recent studyreleased by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Mr. Williams is an adoptive parentinvolved with both the financial and legislative path of adoption and foster care issues."Having adopted two of our three children, we believe that adoption positively changes thelives of all who are touched by it. CCAI, in my opinion, can play a pivotal role in furthering theinterests of orphans and all members of the adoption and child welfare community," saidWilliams.
The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organizationdedicated to raising awareness about the tens of thousands of orphans and foster children inthe United States and the millions of orphans around the world in need of permanent, safe,and loving homes through adoption; and to eliminating the barriers that hinder these childrenfrom realizing their basic right of a family. CCAI does not receive any government fundingand they rely on the generous support of foundations, corporations, and individuals toaccomplish their mission.
Deutsche Bank is a leading global investment bank with a strong and profitable private clientsfranchise. A leader in Germany and Europe, the bank is continuously growing in NorthAmerica, Asia and key emerging markets. With 73,114 employees in 73 countries, DeutscheBank competes to be the leading global provider of financial solutions for demanding clientscreating exceptional value for its shareholders and people.
Locally, Deutsche Bank sponsors the Deutsche Bank Championship PGA Tour event, whichholds its traditional spot on the calendar each Labor Day in Norton, MA at the TPC of Boston.In its first four years, the Championship has raised more than $7 million for charity, includingits primary beneficiary, the Tiger Woods Learning Center, as well as many local New Englandcharities. The Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the event generates nearly$50 million in economic activity for the region annually. This year the Deutsche BankChampionship will host the top 120 golfers on the PGA Tour as part of the prestigious new PGAPlayOffs.
The Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the event generates nearly$50 million in economic activity for the region annually.For more information, visit CCAI’s website at www.ccainstitute.org<http://www.ccaiinstitute.org/> .
Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management
Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management has been serving the interests of wealthyindividuals, families and select institutions for more than a century. With offices across theU.S., Deutsche Bank's Private Wealth Management business division provides a variety ofcustomized solutions to private clients worldwide including traditional and alternativeinvestments, risk management strategies, lending, trust and estate services, wealth transferplanning, family office services, custody and family and philanthropy advisory. Private WealthManagement includes the U.S. Private Bank and Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown, the private clientservices division of Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., the investment banking and securities armof Deutsche Bank AG in the United States and a member of NYSE, NASD and SIPC.Remarks of Senator Edward M. Kennedy
Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute Luncheon
Friday, June 1, 2007
(As Prepared for Delivery)
For more than two decades, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption has worked to improvenational policies on adoption and help to meet the needs of the thousands of children waitingto be adopted every year. Nearly two hundred Members of Congress belong to the Coalition,and many of us have attended your informative briefings and other events. I’ve workedclosely on these issues with my Senate colleague Mary Landrieu, one of the chairs of theCoalition, and her passion and commitment to this cause are truly inspiring.As we all know, harmful influences in young people’s lives have lasting scars. We’re remindedof that each time a child is a victim of abuse or neglect, or left without a safe and caring placeto come home to – each time we see a child who lacks routine health care, immunizations, ormental health services – each time a young person drops out of school, joins a gang, orbecomes a victim of substance abuse.
These are the kinds of challenges faced by America’s foster children –over half amillion of them, with nearly 120,000 waiting to be adopted. The number of children in fostercare has almost doubled in the last twenty years, and the average time a child remains infoster care has grown to about three years.
Each year, 20,000 children in foster care age out of the system, without ever being placedwith a permanent family, and their lives are forever affected. They’re likely to be poor,become homeless or go to jail, or depend on welfare.
In Massachusetts, 3,000 children are waiting to be adopted from the state foster care systemthis year. In recent years, the Commonwealth has legalized over 800 adoptions a year fromthe system. We have strong policies in place to support child well-being and enable childrenin foster care find safe homes, but we obviously need to do better.
During my years in the Senate, I’ve worked to make the safety and well-being of children ahigher national priority. In 2000, we passed a needed law to grant citizenship to foreign-bornchildren of American parents, and to children adopted by American parents outside of theUnited States. The law also improved the adoption process for families and children, especiallyfor children being adopted from other nations.
Several important federal incentives exist to support families in adopting children. TheAdoption Assistance Program provides funds to states to help children whose specialcircumstances or needs make it more difficult to place them for adoption. States in turn usethe funds to reimburse families for the costs of adopting a child, and provide monthlysubsidies to adoptive families to assist with caring for the child.
The federal tax credit for adoptions – $10,000 for domestic or international adoptions – is animportant financial incentive to promote adoption. The Family and Medical Leave Act helpsencourage adoption and foster care, by requiring companies to grant up to 12 weeks of unpaidleave to employees working toward the placement of an adoptive or foster care child.We’ll continue to support efforts at the federal level to promote these important policies. Inaddition, many states have their own programs and policies to assist families in the adoptionprocess and support adopted children. The tuition waiver program here in Massachusetts is anexcellent example – it grants free tuition at many state colleges for adopted children.We’re also proud of the many organizations and partners we can count on to supportadoptions. Deutsche Bank is an important leader on this issue, and I commend them for allthey do for this cause. Four other Massachusetts organizations have been rated among themost adoption-friendly workplaces in America. South Mountain Company in West Tisbury wasranked eighth in the nation; College Coach in Newton was ranked the number four smallemployer and number four in its industry; Ocean Spray scored tenth in its industry; andMillennium Pharmaceuticals was among the top ten medium-d employers. Deutsche Bankand these Massachusetts corporations deserve our gratitude for their dedication andcommitment to adoption, and for their other support – such as paid leave – in assistingemployees to adopt.
According to a recent annual survey, 45 percent of major companies in the United Statesoffered financial adoption benefits last year, compared to only 12 percent in 1990. That kind ofemployee benefit can make a real difference in the decision to adopt. It makes the adoptionprocess more affordable, and it allows parents to spend more time and bond with the child.The benefit also makes good business sense – it attracts employee interest and improvesemployee loyalty and retention.
Despite this support, we still face too many challenges in finding a safe and permanent homefor all children. The most common obstacles to adoption are recruiting adoptive homes,terminating parental rights, and managing court cases and child welfare cases. We still havemuch to do to help children in foster care beat the odds and thrive in spite of difficultcircumstances.
That’s why I care so much about the good work of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, ofthe Institute, and of all the organizations and companies across the country who supportfoster children and adoption. The Institute has an indispensable role in educating legislatorsand many others about these issues, and in providing direct help to children waiting to beadopted.
Your Angels in Adoption program has told the stories of those who have touched the lives offoster children and orphans to all of us in Washington. For eight years, you’ve helped raiseawareness of the need to support these children who have not yet found a permanent home.We’re inspired each year by the remarkable examples of people across the nation who havebrought hope and stability to these children.
Your Congressional Foster Youth Internship Program is another excellent example. It enablescollege students who have spent time in foster care to serve as interns in Congressional officesfor a summer. It’s a wonderful program that helps raise awareness of children in foster care,and it helps these young men and women to gain valuable work experience.
We can’t let children in foster care and those waiting to be adopted fall through the cracks,and because of you, we’re making impressive progress every day, every week, every year.Thank you all for attending this luncheon today, and thank you to the Institute for all they doso well. I look forward very much to working with you in the years ahead, and I hope many ofyou will join us in our efforts.
Melissa Wagoner/ Keith Maley (617)565-4472