The Adoptee Citizenship Act: How You Can Help

The Adoptee Citizenship Act aims to protect the rights of international adoptees who are not currently recognized as US Citizens.

Maya Brown-Zimmerman August 23, 2016
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In December, I wrote The Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015: What You Need to Know. To recap, the Adoptee Citizenship Act (S.2275) was introduced in order to give citizenship to thousands of adult international adoptees whose parents never went through the process to make them citizens. It will also grant an easy way for adoptees who have been deported to return to the United States. Yes, adoptees who have committed crimes are being deported to their country of origin because they lack citizenship, even though most of them have little to no memory of the country where they were born, let alone knowledge of the language or any contacts there.

Adoptees SHOULD have all the rights and privileges that children born in the United States have. A bill passed in 2001 granted automatic citizenship to any adoptees 18 and under going forward. That’s great, but we have a responsibility to help those who weren’t affected by the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, and that’s where the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015 comes in.

There have been some hopeful developments over the past seven months. First, S.2275 has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Second, the House has introduced its own version of the bill: The Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2016 (H.R. 5454). Co-sponsors are Adam Smith (D-WA) and Trent Franks (R-AZ). It has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.

What can we do? We must contact not only the members of the committees, but our home state senators and congressmen as well. All members of the adoption triad need to show that we support adult international adoptees and are not going to back down until this bill is passed! Below, I’ve included emails that you can send, first to the co-sponsors and other committee members, and second to your home state senators and congressmen. I have linked directly to each person’s contact page. By cutting and pasting, you could reach out to everyone in less than 15 minutes! And, if email isn’t your thing, you can use these as scripts to make a phone call.

Senate Committee of the Judiciary:

Co-Sponsors

Committee Members

House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security:

Co-Sponsors

Committee Members

I wrote the examples for the Senate version of the bill, so if you send this to House members, just make the appropriate swaps!

I’m writing to you today as an adoptive parent and an ethical adoption advocate. I recently became aware of the plight of thousands of adult adoptees in the US: they’re not citizens, even though they were brought to this country to join families as their children. When we adopt, our child becomes just as if they were our biological child. There is no second class in our hearts, and adoptees shouldn’t be seen as a separate class by our government.

The fact that the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 didn’t include all adult adoptees is a wrong that needs to be corrected. Please do not let the Adoptee Citizenship Act die in committee! Adoption is a legal process. It is NOT immigration. Adoptees should have the same rights as any person born in the US.

Please, PLEASE push this bill forward! It must be a priority!

Sincerely,
Your name

Your state’s senators can be found here and your congressman here.

I’m writing to you today as an adoptive parent and an ethical adoption advocate. I recently became aware of the plight of thousands of adult adoptees in the US: they’re not citizens, even though they were brought to this country to join families as their children. When we adopt, our child becomes just as if they were our biological child. There is no second class in our hearts, and adoptees shouldn’t be seen as a separate class by our government.

The fact that the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 didn’t include all adult adoptees is a wrong that needs to be corrected. Senators Klobuchar, Merkley, and Coats introduced the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015. Adoption is a legal process. It is NOT immigration. Adoptees should have the same rights as any person born in the US. Instead, adoptees are being deported for small crimes, like a dime bag of marijuana. The Adoptee Citizenship Act will fix this! It will grant all adults not covered under the CCA of 2000 citizenship, and provide an easy way for those adoptees who have been deported to return to the US.

Please, do anything you can to push this bill forward!

Sincerely,
Your name

Thank you for advocating for this vital bill! When the triad stands together, we can accomplish great things, and I look forward to the Adoptee Citizenship Act being one of them!

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Maya Brown-Zimmerman

Maya Brown-Zimmerman is a mother of three, both biologically and through adoption. She has been blogging since before it was cool, and is passionate about everything from open and ethical adoption to special needs advocacy and patient-physician communication. In her spare time (ha!) she's on the board of directors for a medical nonprofit and enjoys medical and crime dramas. You can read more from her on her blog, Musings of a Marfan Mom.


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