Senate approves Jones package to stop the selling of children

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones to prohibit the practice of “rehoming” children.

Rehoming is the transferring of a child to another family on a permanent basis without the approval of the courts, oftentimes without a review or background check of the new family. The practice could be done with one’s own biological child or after a legal adoption has been finalized. Essentially, rehoming is the giving away of one’s child for the purpose of monetary gain.

“Children are not commodities. They cannot be sold in a simple transaction,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Selling children through this practice of rehoming has to stop.”

Senate Bills 923-926 would prohibit parents from transferring legal or physical custody of a child with the intent to permanently strip themselves of parental responsibility. If an unauthorized person is found to advertise for, solicit or recruit a child for adoption, they could be found guilty of a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.

“People are finding ways to make a profit by rehoming children, and we need to send the message that Michigan children are not for sale,” said Jones. “These children are being abandoned to people who could be pedophiles, abusers or sexual offenders.”

Several years ago, there was a case in Arkansas where a state representative rehomed his adopted daughters to the family of a man he fired from the daycare that he and his wife owned. The man the children were given to was later found guilty of raping the six-year-old girl and is now in prison.

“Rehoming is not a common practice, but it has the potential of being devastating to children who could end up being in homes of people who will hurt them,” Jones said. “We have to protect our children. They are our future.”

Under current state law, parents can temporarily transfer power of attorney of their children to another adult. This process could be used to make rehoming a possibility. SB 926 would prohibit a parent from knowingly and intentionally delegating their powers regarding the care and custody of their child for more than 180 days.

Jones’ bills now head to the House of Representatives, where similar bills (House Bills 5626-5629) have been introduced by Reps. Mike McCready, Tom Hooker and Hank Vaupel.

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Jones package to stop the selling of children

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate Committee on Families, Seniors and Human Services on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones to prohibit the practice of “rehoming” children.

Rehoming is the transferring of a child to another family on a permanent basis without the approval of the courts, oftentimes without a review or background check of the new family. The practice could be done with one’s own biological child or after a legal adoption has been finalized. Essentially, rehoming is the giving away of one’s child for the purpose of monetary gain.

“Children are not commodities. They cannot be sold in a simple transaction,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Selling children through this practice of rehoming has to stop.”

Senate Bills 923-926 would prohibit parents from transferring legal or physical custody of a child with the intent to permanently strip themselves of parental responsibility. If an unauthorized person is found to advertise for, solicit or recruit a child for adoption, they could be found guilty of a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.

“People are finding ways to make a profit by rehoming children, and we need to send the message that Michigan children are not for sale,” said Jones. “These children are being abandoned to people who could be pedophiles, abusers or sexual offenders.”

Several years ago, there was a case in Arkansas where a state representative rehomed his adopted daughters to the family of a man he fired from the daycare that he and his wife owned. The man the children were given to was later found guilty of raping the six-year-old girl and is now in prison.

“Rehoming is not a common practice, but it has the potential of being devastating to children who could end up being in homes of people who will hurt them,” Jones said. “We have to protect our children. They are our future.”

Under current state law, parents can temporarily transfer power of attorney of their children to another adult. This process could be used to make rehoming a possibility. SB 926 would prohibit a parent from knowingly and intentionally delegating their powers regarding the care and custody of their child for more than 180 days.

Jones’ bills now head to the full Senate for consideration. Similar bills have been introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives as House Bills 5626-5629 by Reps. Mike McCready, Tom Hooker and Hank Vaupel.

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Kowall bill will bring transparency to Macomb County drainage board

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall on Monday announced he will be introducing a bill to bring transparency to the Macomb County drainage board.

“Under the drainage board’s current structure, the county executive of Macomb County cannot make appointments to the board and has no oversight of it,” said Kowall, R-White Lake. “That is a bad arrangement.

“The Oakland County drainage board, by contrast, includes a member appointed by the county executive, subject to the approval of the county’s board of commissioners.”

Senate Bill 1117 would update the structural arrangement of the Macomb County drainage board so that it matches that of the Oakland County drainage board.

“Since the county executive of Oakland County is an elected position, accountable to the voters, having that person appoint a member to the county’s drainage board has helped ensure transparency,” Kowall said. “Residents have a right to know how and why the members of the drainage board are making their decisions.”

Kowall said the issue came to light after Macomb County Public Works Director Anthony Marrocco was interviewed by WXYZ-TV — and sent out pamphlets — stating that Oakland County was polluting the waters of Macomb Water.

The lawmaker said that without transparency on the Macomb County drainage board, there is no way to investigate any evidence, or lack thereof, for Marrocco’s comments. It is time to shine a light on the county’s practices, he said.

Sen. Rick Jones is a co-sponsor of SB 1117.

“No county government should have books that the people of the county can’t see,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “It’s time to open the books and be transparent.”

Kowall said that to achieve everyone’s goal of superior water quality, the proper governmental structure must be in place.

“There is a need for collaboration and for a regional approach to water issues,” he said. “An open county structure, such as Oakland County’s, encourages such cooperation.”

Kowall is the majority floor leader in the Michigan Senate. He has previously served as public safety director for White Lake Township in Oakland County.

SB 1117 will be officially enrolled when the Senate returns to session in mid-October.