Deporting Adult Adoptees, an article in the July 4, 2012 article in Foreign Policy in Focus by Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, Caitlin Kee and Kristin R. Pak drawns attention to the serious issue of intercountry adoptee deportation.
The story of Jenna Johnson (name changed at source’s request) might sound unusual. But she’s actually one of thousands of adult adoptees who were not grandfathered into the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA), which as of February 27, 2001 grants automatic citizenship to children who arrive in the United States on IR-3 visas. Parents whose children travel on IR-4 visas, which in recent years constitute almost half of all inter-country adoptions, finalize procedures by re-adopting their children in their states of residence at which time citizenship attaches.
Although an estimated 75,000 adopted children were protected on the bill’s enforcement date, adoptees who had already reached the age of 18 were left vulnerable. In this past decade, the media has reported on about 30 of the most urgent cases in which adult adoptees face removal and forced overseas separation from their families in the United States.
Although the CCA exempted adult adoptees like Jenna from losing permanent residency due to voter fraud, it still failed to make her and all other adult adoptees citizens. Why are adult adoptees, who are their parents’ legal children and heirs, any less American than those whose birthdays qualify them for CCA eligibility?
Read the entire article here.