This is day 3 of National Adoption Awareness Month, so this is my daily post to amplify the voices of adoptees.
Most people outside the adoption community are often moved by stories of babies and children being adopted internationally, brought to new families, and growing up as proud Americans. It’s the Hallmark narrative, and there are elements of truth to it.
Another less well-known truth is that some of those sweet children grow up not knowing that they’ve never received U.S. citizenship. They don’t learn that truth until they go to vote, or apply for certain financial aid programs, or commit a crime, whether a petty one or a serious felony. Like others (such as biological adult children) who have committed crimes, these adoptees serve their time and handle the consequences. But then, some adoptees, who know only America as their home, are then deported.
it is an outrage. It undermines the heart of adoption, and it is shameful that our United States Congress has yet to enact new legislation to provide citizenship for all international adoptees. I don’t think any other country has failed to do this the way that we have.
The organization Adoptees for Justice has been working to change that. They’ve advocated for the Adoptee Citizenship Act to grant U.S. citizenship to all international adoptees, a status that should have been automatic.
I hope you will visit their website and their Facebook page, for updates and actions. I hope you will contact your federal representatives and ask them to support the Adoptee Citizenship Act, and urge others to do so as well.