FRANKFORT – On Wednesday, Speaker Jeff Hoover unveiled the Adoption Work Group, consisting of eight House members, which will be charged with a sweeping and progressive overhaul of Kentucky’s adoption process. Since taking over the Kentucky House last November, Kentucky’s New Majority has led an aggressive approach to fix the adoption system in the state, with the end goal of placing every single child in a loving home. Over the years, the adoption process has grown more cumbersome due to increasing paperwork, and escalating cost, both of which have had an unfavorable effect on the number of families seeking to adopt.
“Our caucus has always been committed to improving the adoption process in Kentucky, and we have consistently led the way on legislation,” said Hoover. “Unfortunately, until now, the adoption system, and the children who depend on it, have not received the attention they deserve. I am honored to appoint members from the Republican and Democrat caucuses to this group, and I look forward to the legislation they create and seeing it become law.”
Speaker Hoover appointed five Republicans and three Democrats to the bipartisan work group, including Chair David Meade, Co-Chair Joni Jenkins, Robert Benvenuti, Jeff Donohue, Derrick Graham, Donna Mayfield, Melinda Prunty and Russell Webber.
“Adoption is special to me and my family, and I’m honored to chair this group to streamline the process and reduce the cost to adopt,” said Chair David Meade, R-Stanford. “For years I’ve fought hard to provide a loving home for every child in Kentucky, and I am excited to join my colleagues and start work right away.”
Meade, the Majority Caucus Chairman, led the charge on adoption reform in the 2017 Legislative Session, which unfortunately fell victim to damaging language in the Senate, and led to its demise. Alongside Meade, Representative Joni Jenkins, D-Shively, has been an advocate for change and improvement in the Kentucky’s adoption system during her time in the Kentucky House of Representatives.
“I look forward to joining Representative Meade as we lead this group toward finding solutions to improve one of the most important systems in the state, and one that touches the lives of many of our children,” said Jenkins. “We should always put our children first, and in order to do so work must begin immediately on the challenging task of crafting legislation to protect children, but also to streamline the process.”
When it starts work over the interim, the group will be charged with finding legislative solutions to improve Kentucky’s adoption process, and to ultimately present draft legislative to Hoover in December – and in time for the 2018 Legislative Session that begins next January.