Hoover follows through on promise to appoint interim adoption work group

04/19/2017 02:50 PM

House Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, has appointed eight members of the House of Representatives to serve on a bipartisan Adoption Work Group.

In appointing the work group, Hoover is making good on a promise to House Majority Caucus Chair David Meade, R-Stanford, who withdrew a concurrent resolution during the session that would have established a task force to recommend changes to the state’s adoption system.

Meade withdrew the resolution after the Senate removed the task force requirement and instead included adoption among more than a dozen issues to study during the legislative interim.

Now Meade will chair the adoption work group alongside co-chair Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Shively,. Other members of the work group include Representatives Robert Benvenuti, Jeff Donohue, Derrick Graham, Donna Mayfield, Melinda Prunty and Russell Webber.

Hoover said he was honored to appoint members to the working group to investigate and improve the adoption process in Kentucky.

“Our caucus has always been committed to improving the adoption process in Kentucky, and we have consistently led the way on legislation,” Hoover said in a news release. “Unfortunately, until now, the adoption system, and the children who depend on it, has 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.”

In a phone interview with Spectrum News, Meade said initially the group will meet once a month with an end goal aimed at drafting a report to Hoover on December 1 recommending legislative changes to the state’s adoption process.

“I think the first month we’re going to try to invite some adoption attorneys, we’re going to speak to some family court judges,” he said. “Throughout the process … we’re going to meet with adoptive families, and that of course they’re going to be a very vital part of this. They’re going to tell us their stories and what we could have done to improve their process.”

Meade said the group will also speak with adoption agencies and work closely with Kentucky Adoptive and Foster Care Association.

Among the people Meade hopes to hear from are Gov. Matt Bevin and First Lady Glenna Bevin.

“We’re hoping that we can work together on this as well, to come up with some solutions,” he said.

Meade and his wife adopted their daughter more than 4-years ago.


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