WASHINGTON, D.C. – Led by U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) introduced legislation to make it illegal to sell a child for any purpose, an expansion of current federal law. The Keeping Infants Domestically Safe (KIDS) Act would establish a federal law to outlaw the selling of minors for financial gain. The crime is currently only covered by a patchwork of laws enacted by various states.

“It’s unconscionable to believe children in America—or anywhere—could be bought and sold,” Senator Capito said. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in addressing this horrible practice.  All children deserve the full weight of the federal government behind them, fighting for their lives and wellbeing.” 

“It’s hard to believe any parent or guardian would sell a child, but it happens and it warrants federal attention,” Senator Hyde-Smith said. “The KIDS Act would give federal officials the ability to fight black market adoptions and encourage the legal adoption process.” 

There have been specific cases in Mississippi and Texas where guardians have attempted to sell children to fund drug habits and for other financial gains. Under the KIDS Act, both the seller and the buyers of minors would be subject to the same federal imprisonment and fine penalties imposed on those who sell minors for sexual exploitation (18 U.S. Code §?2251A). 

The legislation would ensure no federal interference with the legal adoption process, surrogacy, or gestational carrier agreements conducted in accordance with state law. 

A copy of the KIDS Act (S.1164) is available here.


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