Delegate Mark Keam - Virginia's 35th House District

Press Release: Delegate Keam's Bill Voted Out of House


For Immediate Release:  Thursday, February 4, 2010

Contact:   Rob Abbot, (703) 380-8883

Delegate Mark Keam Successfully Moves Legislation through the Virginia House of Delegates; Bill would Help Family Law Practitioners by Clarifying Ambiguous Requirement

RICHMOND - This afternoon, the full chamber of the Virginia House of Delegates voted on HB 1133, a bill introduced by Delegate Keam, and adopted the measure on a 96 to 2 vote.  The vote would have been unanimous but for two Delegates who cast their "no" votes in a tradition of "hazing" Freshmen Delegates on their first legislation voted on by the House.

Keam's bill would clarify the term, "counsel," as that word is currently used in the process of placing a child for adoption.  Practitioners of family law in Fairfax County met with Keam to seek the General Assembly's assistance in providing better guidance of its original intent, as the word, "counsel," could be interpreted very broadly or narrowly.

If interpreted broadly, it could require a local adoption agency to provide actual counseling to the birth mother, which could be costly and time consuming, as well as being outside the scope of the agency's capacity.  On the other hand, if the term is narrowly defined, the agency's responsibility would be limited to providing important information about the adoption process so that the birth mother would be made aware of her rights and responsibilities.

On January 28, the House Health, Welfare and Institution Committee voted unanimously to adopt the narrower definition as proposed by Delegate Keam.  The bill was then sent to the House where the full body today voted to adopt Keam's measure.  The bill now heads to the Senate for its consideration and adoption.

To read the bill's text and to follow its status, please visit:

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To follow Delegate Keam's work in Richmond virtually visit: ;;

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