Ending International Adoptions. The Trump Administration has imposed new fees and regulations that threaten to end international adoptions. The U.S. State Department imposed a new $500 “monitoring and oversight fee for adoptive families.” The new fee went into effect Feb. 15. The fee will fund a new agency called the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity that will monitor international adoption agencies. Agencies will now have to file for accreditation every four years. Chuck Johnson, president of the National Council for Adoption (NCFA), believes the new regulations could bring an end to international adoptions. In 2004, U.S. families adopted more than 22,000 children. In 2017, that number had fallen to about 4,600.
Pro-Life Legislation Advances. Elections have consequences. One of the consequences of GOP takeovers of state legislatures is a growth in pro-life legislation. Idaho is considering a bill that would require informed consent for abortions to include information about the reversal process for chemical abortions. The state Senate passed this bill 29-6, and it now moves to the House. In Iowa, the state Senate passed a bill to ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected. If the bill becomes law, that could end most abortions in the state, since modern techniques can detect a heart just weeks into pregnancy. Abortionists who violate the law could face felony charges, but women seeking an abortion would not face penalties. And in Florida, the state House passed a bill prohibiting abortion by dismemberment, sending the bill to the Senate.
GOP Down. Sen. Thad Cochran, from Mississippi, is the latest Republican to say he would not be running for re-election. In fact, he is resigning next month, citing health concerns. He’s 80 years old and has been in the U.S. Senate since 1979. “I regret my health has become an ongoing challenge,” Cochran said in a statement. “I intend to fulfill my responsibilities and commitments to the people of Mississippi and the Senate through the completion of the 2018 appropriations cycle, after which I will formally retire from the U.S. Senate.” At least 42 Republicans in the House are retiring or seeking a different office. Most political observers say these retirements and resignations will make it hard for the GOP to retain control of both houses of Congress following the mid-term elections later this year.
Polyamory Grows. A recent article in “Rolling Stone” highlighted the growing acceptance of polyamory. As is often the case, entertainment media has contributed to that acceptance. “As polyamory is treated less like a novelty and more of a valid relationship model, modern entertainment is learning to reflect that,” the article says. The TV show “Big Love” is the most famous example, but recent streaming series, including “Unicornland,” have explored polyamory while enjoying ratings success. Of course, polyamory is not new. Chuck Colson devoted a BreakPoint commentary to the idea way back in 2009. What is new is that back then Chuck was saying that when we reject the biblical standard for marriage as a lifelong monogamous relationship between one man and one woman, sexual chaos would follow. Now, “Rolling Stone” is saying more or less the same thing.