Alena Mulhern was just eight years old when she determined what she truly wanted to be when she grows up: President of the United States of America. It was after a family trip to the nation’s capital that she set her mind and heart on the lofty goal. When she told her mother, however, Alena was dismayed to learn that the law would prevent her from fulfilling her dream. Alena was born in China and, at 10 months of age, was adopted and made a citizen of the U.S. Being born abroad automatically disqualifies Alena from the office of the President, along with about 260,000 other adoptees.
When Alena’s mother told her it couldn’t happen, Alena argued the fairness of that law. Alena’s mother’s response: “Ok then, what are you going to do about it?” Thus began Alena’s quest to petition for changes.
While still in the 2nd grade, Alena gathered over a hundred signatures on her petition that she sent to President Obama and his wife, Michelle. She was thrilled to get form letters back from both of them, yet her agenda wasn’t moving forward. So Alena teamed up with her lawmaker uncle, Massachusetts state representative, Josh Cutler. Although the duo doesn’t expect to change the Constitution, they believe that making a change to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 will do the trick. The act currently allows adoptees who were born outside of America all rights . . . except the right to become the United States President.
Representative Cutler is almost as passionate as Alena. “Why shouldn’t she have this dream? I am optimistic about it,” Cutler told People Magazine. So together, Cutler and Alena are fighting for passage of Resolutions Equality for America’s Adopted Children. Once this resolution meets with success in the state legislature, Alena hopes that federal lawmakers will become interested, thus propelling her opportunity to run for POTUS.
Watch Alena’s compelling words here.