Thursday, February 24, 2011

Guide to Citizenship for Adult International Adoptees

Ethica has released this invaluable resource for adult international adoptees, and explains the importance of confirming citizenship status:
If you were under 18 on or after February 27, 2001 and your adoption by a U.S. citizen parent was finalized before your 18th birthday, you may have acquired U.S. citizenship automatically, under the Child Citizenship Act (CCA). But if you are a foreign born adoptee who turned 18 before February 27, 2001, it is possible that you have not acquired U.S. citizenship even if your adoption by a U.S. citizen parent was finalized. If you are a foreign born adoptee who was under age 18 on or after February 27, 2001, it is possible that you have not acquired U.S. citizenship if your adoption was never finalized by a U.S. citizen parent.

In all cases, it is extremely important that you confirm and obtain proof of your citizenship status before engaging in activities that only U.S. citizens are permitted to do, such as voting in Federal (and some State and local) elections, performing jury duty, or claiming citizenship at any U.S. border or port of entry. Establishing your citizenship may also be important if you are charged with any criminal activity or are questioned by any U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials or other government entity.
It's really a shame that the onus has to be on adult adoptees for something their parents should have done while they were children.  At Resist Racism, the same opinion, passionately expressed:
When I am the Despotic Ruler of the Universe, I will punitively enforce draconian regulations against privileged persons whining about things that “cost too much money.”

And adoptive parents of kids from other countries will be required to acquire their children’s certificates of citizenship and valid passports.

* * *

So go ahead and punish the government by refusing to fork over your $600. Despite the fact that if you had done it when I told you the first time, you wouldn’t have spent so much. But the only person who will really suffer from this is your kid.
When you read about the deportation of an adoptee (like here and here and here), adopted as an infant or small child, who knows nothing about their country of origin and who does not speak the language of their country of origin, and whose adoptive parents dropped the ball,  what do you think about those parents?  Do you want to be one of them?
Didn't think so.


Von said...

Who knows, nothing surprises any more.It sometimes looks as if adopters want a nice cuddly baby but don't care what happens later.
Taking a child from his/her homeland and not ensuring citizenship is gross abuse in my book.

Anonymous said...

On the 22nd I picked up the citizenship papers of my sons, who arrived in this country 14 months ago (they had to be readopted before I could get the citizenship papers).

I felt so relieved, knowing that even if anything happens to me they will always be able to stay here. Like Von said, it's terrible for a child not to have citizenship in the country s/he'll make her/his home.