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‘Re-homing’ bill does not go far enough to protect adopted children

Thank you for your Nov. 10 editorial “Protect adopted children with the ‘re-homing’ bill,” and for urging the swift passage of a bill to ban the disgraceful practice of re-homing adopted children.

Although the bill's Senate sponsors, Jennifer Flanagan and Bruce Tarr, sought the strongest protections possible, the bill as passed includes weaker penalties than originally envisioned, thereby making the re-homing of an adopted child a misdemeanor for a first offense in most cases. In other words, if you get caught re-homing a child once, the penalty is likely less than if you were caught shoplifting an iPhone. Stronger penalties only kick in after a second attempt, or if the individual the child is being re-homed to is a known abuser.

As the organization that first brought re-homing to the attention of lawmakers, the Children's League of Massachusetts does not believe that an individual whose intention is to hand off a vulnerable child to a stranger — who may do the child harm — deserves a second chance to get caught again. We will be urging lawmakers in the House to include stronger penalties in their version of the bill, and we hope others will too.

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Erin G. Bradley
Executive director
Children’s League of Massachusetts
Boston