Statement by Assistant to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater Announcing the Formation of the Interagency Task Force o

Statement by Assistant to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater Announcing the Formation of the Interagency Task Force on Adoption

August 24, 1987

The President announced today the formation of an interagency task force on adoption. He asked the task force to report to him, through the Domestic Policy Council, by November 22, with specific recommendations on how adoption can be encouraged.

The President said: ``Americans are a warmhearted, caring people, and for years American couples have reached out to embrace children who otherwise would grow up without a stable family life. We must expand and broaden our efforts to make sure that America's familyless children are adopted. We must do all we can to remove obstacles that prevent qualified adoptive parents from accepting these children into their homes.''

The task force will identify and categorize Federal and State laws on adoption, analyze current Federal adoption policies, and prepare recommendations for the President on the following:

whether Federal legislation should be proposed or supported;

identifying regulatory changes that could be made to encourage and support adoption;

identifying State or local actions that could be taken to encourage and support adoption of both infants and ``special needs'' children;

other activities that could be undertaken to educate the American people about all aspects of adoption and its benefits.

The task force will report its recommendations to the President through the Domestic and Economic Policy Council process. Members of the task force include:

Mary Gall, Counselor to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, Chairperson;

Richard Abell, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice;

Stephen J. Entin, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy, Department of the Treasury;

Dodie Livingston, Commissioner, Children, Youth, and Families, Department of Health and Human Services;

Barbara S. Pope, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Family Services, Education, and Safety, Department of Defense;

John Bode, Assistant Secretary for Food and Consumer Services, Department of Agriculture;

Michael Baroody, Assistant Secretary for Policy, Department of Labor;

Wendy Gramm, Administrator for Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget;

Gary Bauer, Assistant to the President for Policy Development, the White House;

Robert W. Sweet, Jr., Deputy Executive Secretary for the Domestic Policy Council, the White House;

Mary Rose, Deputy Under Secretary for Management, Department of Education;

Juanita Duggan, Assistant Director for Legislative Affairs, ACTION; and

Delores Martin, Senior Policy Analyst, Welfare Reform Office, the White House.