The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act was signed into law on July 27, 2006 on the 25th anniversary of the abduction of six year old Adam Walsh from a Florida mall. It was later discovered that Adam had been murdered but the perpetrator, who later confessed, was never charged due to lost evidence.
This federal law, named in Adam’s honor, was passed in response to several egregious cases where children were abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered by sexual predators who were previously convicted of serious sexual violence offenses but, because of their state law at the time, were not required to register or provide notification to the community about their place of residence, business or schooling. Many believe that having such information would have empowered the community with knowledge and provided it with the ability to provide enhanced protection of the endangered children and other community members at risk of victimization.
Title I of the Adam Walsh Act is also known as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).