Capito, GOP colleagues seek federal prohibition against selling children

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) helped introduce a bill this week that would prohibit black market adoptions of children.

“It’s unconscionable to believe children in America — or anywhere — could be bought and sold,” Sen. Capito said. “All children deserve the full weight of the federal government behind them, fighting for their lives and well-being.”

The Keeping Infants Domestically Safe (KIDS) Act of 2019, S. 1164, sponsored on April 11 by U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), would establish a federal law banning the sale of minors for financial gain. A patchwork of laws enacted by various states currently make such sales illegal. 

Joining Sen. Capito as original cosponsors of S. 1164 are U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Steve Daines (R-MT). 

“I’m proud to join my colleagues in addressing this horrible practice,” said Sen. Capito.

If enacted, S. 1164 would make it unlawful for a parent, legal guardian, or other custodial adult to sell, trade or offer to sell or trade, a minor in exchange for money or other consideration, and likewise would make it unlawful for someone to purchase a minor in exchange for money or other consideration, according to the text of the bill.

Any person who violates such federal law “shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not less than 30 years or for life, or both,” according to the text.   

At the same time, Sen. Capito noted that S. 1164 would ensure the government didn’t interfere with the legal adoption process, surrogacy or gestational carrier agreements that abided by state law.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is reviewing the measure.