S. 3331, Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012

October 18, 2012
Cost Estimate


As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on September 19, 2012

S. 3331 would expand the accreditation standards in the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 to cover all international adoptions. Currently, those standards apply only to adoptions from countries that are parties to the Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Convention).

The Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services share the responsibility of overseeing adoptions from Hague Convention countries and also have staff to monitor adoptions from countries that are not parties to the convention. Based on information from both agencies, CBO estimates that no additional personnel would be required to implement the bill but that employees currently handling nonconvention cases would need training to implement the accreditation standards under the Hague Convention. Thus, CBO estimates that the bill would have insignificant discretionary costs over the 2013-2017 period, assuming the availability of appropriated funds.

CBO further estimates that under the bill the number of adoptions from nonconvention countries would decline. With fewer people entering the United States through adoption, the demand for government programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Medicaid would be reduced. CBO estimates that very few people would be affected and, thus, that enacting the bill would reduce direct spending for such programs by less than $500,000 over the 2013-2022 period.

Enacting S. 3331 also would increase revenues from civil penalties imposed on those who violate the regulations governing international adoptions. CBO estimates that few people would be affected by such penalties and, thus, that additional revenues deposited in the Treasury would not be significant over the 2013-2022 period.

Because enacting S. 3331 would affect direct spending and revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, as discussed above, CBO estimates that any such effects would not be significant in any year.