Representative Deborah Ross has sent a letter to the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security urging them to streamline the procedures for American families adopting orphans from war-torn Ukraine.
Ross, a Wake County Democrat, is asking that U.S. and Ukrainian officials work together in issuing expedited visas for Ukrainian children who have already begun the adoption process with U.S. families.
She has also requested that federal agencies allow families to attend adoption court at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, D.C. rather than making them travel to Ukraine.
Ross says that there are currently several hundred children who could be brought to the U.S. sooner rather than later.
"These are children, these 300 to 400, are children who already have a good amount of their paperwork done, and we would hate for them to be lost in the shuffle of war when they have loving families here in the United States," says Ross.
She says the U.S. is working closely with adoption officials to protect against the possibility of child exploitation.
Ross says that since sending her letter, other lawmakers have taken up the issue, and she has high hopes it will be on President Biden's agenda during his European visit this week.