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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 17, 2021 03:01 PM
From: Representative Karen Boback and Rep. Tina M. Davis
To: All House members
Subject: Unregulated Adoptions (Re-Homing)
In the near future we plan to reintroduce legislation (former HB 1867) to criminalize "informal" unregulated adoptions, a process often known as "re-homing".   The term “re-homing” has been used when referring to dogs and cats who were “adopted” but, for one reason or another, the placement was not successful. It is unconscionable to advertise a child for placement without the oversight of a court or agency to ensure that the child will be safe and cared-for in their new placement. Therefore, we will be introducing legislation to stop this horrific practice of private re-homing.

As we all know, unfortunate reality is that adoptions don’t always work out, even when the parents are good people who entered into the adoption with the best of intentions. Situations vary, but reasons can include undisclosed physical or mental challenges or psychological conditions such as Reactive Attachment Disorder (commonly known as RAD), which is sometimes a factor with children who have been abused or institutionalized. Other times, divorce or lost jobs/wages result in an inability to provide for the adoptee. Sadly, some struggling adoptive parents make the decision to attempt to find new homes for their adopted children by posting a simple internet ad. Our question, where is the oversight? This practice places already-traumatized children at an extraordinarily high risk. The victims of private re-homing often report gruesome tales of physical, sexual or emotional abuse by their new guardians.

Please join us in support of adopted children in our Commonwealth and protect them from the dangers of re-homing.

Previous sponsors:

Introduced as HB1146