Numerous families across the United States adopt children, with many turning to international adoption. Though, international adoptions often have much at stake, both throughout the adoption process and once the children arrive in America. If you chose to add to your family through international adoption, you probably cannot fathom how you might feel if your child had to return to their place of birth. And for adoptees raised in America, the thought of returning to a country you never knew is likely terrifying.
Due to neglected paperwork, tens of thousands of international adoptees currently face deportation. Countless families throughout the U.S. must take extraordinary steps to keep their families together. But while this is a challenging time, there is new legislation that could help international adoptees earn automatic citizenship.
The Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2019
Jenny Town, a Korean-American adoptee and analyst on North Korea affairs, is calling on Congress to support the Adoptee Citizen Act, as many of the adoptees at risk of deportation are of Korean descent. However, if passed into law, the Act could change the lives of innumerable people born overseas and adopted as children by American citizens.
How could you qualify to gain citizenship?
There are still matters for lawmakers to resolve before finalizing the Act. Yet, the impact of this legislation could be extremely beneficial to families in these situations.
In order to qualify for protection under the potential new law, you must meet specific conditions before the government will grant you citizenship. To become a citizen through the Act, you must:
- Not yet have citizenship
- Live in the United States legally
- Have been adopted before you turned 18
In certain circumstances of previous deportation, you could also gain citizenship upon passing a criminal background check and legally returning to the U.S.
Both adoptive parents and international adoptees may take encouragement from the possibility of this bill becoming law. An experienced attorney can help you understand how the Act could benefit you and your family.