So you've read about the issues, you've flipped through our Adoption Advocacy Toolkit, and now you're ready to reach out to Congress as an adoption advocate! Here is a directory of resources to help you get started.
First things first...
- Who are your Members of Congress? You are represented in Congress by two Senators and one Representative based on where you live. You can enter your home address at www.govtrack.us to double check who your Members are and find a list of their social media, official website, and preferred phone number.
- Your Members may be part of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, the largest bicameral caucus in Congress. Find out what that means here and check to see if they've joined here. If they have joined, great! Be sure to thank them for joining the caucus and expressing interest in adoption-related legislation. If they haven't, ask them to join. It's a simple way for them to get more involved.
- Are your Members already bill sponsors? Before you call, look up the bill number at congress.gov to see if your Members have already signed on as a co-sponsor. If they have, thank them for their support! If they haven't signed on yet, your voice matters. Use your story to show them why this legislation is important to you, as their constituent.
Calling or Emailing Congress
Members of Congress list their contact information on their official websites (which you can look up at www.govtrack.us). You can call their Washington, DC, office or their district offices and ask to speak to the staff person who works with adoption-related issues (or international child welfare, if applicable). Most offices don't publically list email addresses; instead, they have an online comment form. If you leave a message in the comment form, be sure to reference the bill numbers and leave your contact information so they can get in touch with you.
Meeting Your Members in Person
If you'll be in Washington, DC, contact NCFA and we can help schedule a meeting for you with your Members of Congress. Members also have local offices, so it's easy to visit them near your home! Just call ahead to make an appointment with the appropriate staff member who handles adoption-related issues. Read through our Adoption Advocacy Toolkit for tips on making the best impression during your meeting!
Most Members of Congress are on Twitter and Facebook...and some are on Instagram and Snapchat, too! You can easily find their social media accounts through their offical websites, or you can check out CSPAN's Twitter directory of verified Congressional accounts. Social media is a quick and easy way to thank Congress for their support and to follow up with them after you call, email, or meet in person.