If they did, the Adoptee Citizenship Act (S. 2275) would have already passed.
If they believe that adoption is a way that children become part of forever families, there should be no hesitation to support this bill.
If they have ever supported the need for orphans to have families, they should pass this bill.
If they have children and grandchildren they love, they should pass this bill.
Thousands of children were adopted to the US for decades. Some of their American parents failed to get them citizenship. It was not the failure of the adoptees, who came here with the full oversight and the permission of the US government.
The Adoptee Citizenship Act would give retroactive citizenship to all international adoptees brought to the US prior to 2000.
Why is guaranteeing US citizenship for internationally adopted children even an issue?
A small percentage of those adoptees whose parents failed to get them citizenship have gotten into trouble with the law, served their time, and are now subject to deportation, due to an immigration law that should never have included adoptees. Some have been deported. At least one has died after having been deported.
Some in our Congress believe that if an adoptee is convicted of a crime, and serves his time in jail, it is okay to then deport him forever out of the US. That perspective tells us that they do not believe in the integrity and value of adoption.
The bottom line: In failing to support this bill, members of Congress are saying that adoptees–who were promised a forever family, who arrived here legally as the children of American parents–are not really genuine family members, and they thus can be deported. The US government approved the international adoption. The US government should now approve citizenship for all international adoptees.
Many children of our Congressional representatives and other elected officials have gotten into trouble with the law. I hope the children were treated fairly by our justice system and, if found guilty, served their time. I doubt the sons or daughters of our elected officials were then deported away from the only family they have ever known, forever. Adoptees should be treated fairly as well.
There are many adoptive parents and grandparents in our Congress, and many whose staff members have adopted or were adopted themselves. If they are not supporting this bill, they are saying, “It is okay to deport adoptees, because they are not really part of our family.” And that is just not true.
Adoptive parents and adoption agencies should promote this legislation and contact their Congressional representatives. The 161 members of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute–a third of our Congress–tout the value of permanency for children in need of parents, and celebrate Angels in Adoption. Every one of them should be demanding passage of this bill, saying it is long overdue, and it is right and fair for adoptees.
Ask your member of Congress: Do you believe in adoption? Then sponsor and vote for the Adoptee Citizenship Act.
You can find out who your Representatives and Senators are here. You can send a message about the Adoptee Citizenship Act here. Please contact them today.