Florida Senate Panel Wants To Stop 'Rehoming' Of Children

Dec 17, 2013

The term "rehoming" used to refer to pet adoption. Now it has a darker meaning.
Credit littlebluecottage/flickr

A Florida Senate committee has approved a bill cracking down on parents who illegally put their children up for adoption.

The practice often involves children who were adopted from other countries.

It's called "rehoming," and it puts kids into new families -- for free. The kids are typically offered for adoption on the Internet by parents who just don’t want them anymore.

An investigation by Reuters news agency found children often wind up being physically and sexually abused in their new homes.

“I couldn’t believe what is going on with people who have adopted kids and who they’re giving the kids to,” said Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood.

She chairs the Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee, which proposed the legislation to make moving a child more difficult in Florida.

“It’s just like putting up kids for sale, but there’s really no monetary exchange,” Sobel said. “I think it’s a form of trafficking, human trafficking for children.”

It’s already illegal in Florida to put a child in a new home without a court order and a home study of the new family.

The proposed bill makes it a felony for anyone to advertise a child for adoption. It would require the court to inform adoptive parents that counseling is available. It would also require international adoption agencies to be certified through the U.S. state department.