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Adoptee Faces Deportation

A young adoptee who lives in Vancouver, Washington is now facing possible deportation to Mexico due to misinformation regarding obtaining citizenship. I wish this was just an isolated incident, but it is not. As I have previously posted, several international adoptees have already been deported to their respective countries due to paperwork oversights. The need for parents to be absolutely certain their children have obtained citizenship can not be overstated.

International Adoptee Deportations

In the present social and political climate, this point can not be overstated. International adoptees who do not have their citizenship papers, can be (and have been) deported. It is critical that international adult adoptees  have their certificate of citizenship and a valid passport. Adoptive parents of internationally adopted children need to make sure they have applied for, and received, these papers for their children.

Thank you to  Resist Racism for illustrating the point so clearly in the following posts:

From Two Adoptees Deported:

“According to the Department of State, in 2007 there were 18,748 immigrant visas issued to orphans from the top twenty sending countries. Of these, 5,580 were IR4 visas. Children who arrive on IR4 visas do not receive automatic citizenship. They must complete additional requirements and then file for a change of status.

That means that 5,580 children, or 29.7 percent, from the top twenty sending countries potentially might not receive citizenship through their parents’ errors or omissions. And that’s just for 2007 alone.”

From More Deportations:

“As it stands, there are more than a dozen documented cases of adoptee deportations.  In addition, last April the AP documented 55 cases of citizens erroneously deported.  Erroneous detentions have spanned time periods ranging from one day to five years.”

“In 2007 alone, more than 5500 children arrived on IR4 visas.  This means they will not acquire citizenship until their parents complete additional requirements.  That is not counting the children who arrive in the U.S. under “humanitarian parole.”  In 2010, more than 800 Haitian children arrived in the U.S. using this temporary permission.

“Humanitarian parole” has never been intended to be used as a path towards citizenship.  The USCIS states this on its website”

Open Thread Wednesday

Madonna’s 2nd Malawi Adoption Approved     

It’s Open Thread Wednesday… what’s on your mind?

International Adoption – Discussion on New York Times Forum

The New York Times has a discussion on their Opinion Forum about the circumstances under which international adoption should be allowed. Celebrity adoptions often spark debate on the ethics of international adoption, and this time is no different.  Madonna is seeking to adopt a second child from Malawi and  some organizations have said that the child, Mercy James,  should be kept in her home country.

The Forum includes commentary from international adoption experts and comments from readers. There are a lot of strong opinions on the Forum, and some posters are upset that while The New York Times chose various experts on international adoption, no adult international adoptees were included on the panel.

What should the standard be for allowing international adoptions?

Tell us what you think!

Fewer Americans Adopting from China

An article worth reading that talks about the decline in the number of Americans adopting from China. “In 2005, American citizens adopted 7,906 children through the state-run China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA). In 2008, that number fell to 3,909 kids.”

Read the story here

It’s interesting that there are now cultural shifts in China that are changing the perception of adoption.  And I found this heartening, “Peoples attitude toward having girls is changing dramatically,” Zhong said. “I have friends [in China] who have girls, and they are just so excited.”

What’re your thoughts on the decline in American adoption from China, and the increase in adoptions within China?  How do you feel about the cultural shift in attitude towards adoption in China?

I’m also curious as to what others think about the inclusion of this link, within the article itself. It directs the reader to look at photos from the Heart Gallery, ”a project to document children free for adoption” in America.


“I am sorry, what did you say?”

This last December I met with Polo, a writer for the Asian Reporter and author of a new book Counter Culture, immigrant stories from Portland cafe counters, who was born in Indonesia and immigrated to the United States some years later. I was meeting with him and Liz Rogers, an Adoption Mosaic board member and Korean adoptee, to discuss various issues of trans-racial adoption.

I was very much enjoying our conversation and learning more about Polo’s amazing work in the immigrant community. At about the same time in our conversation that I found myself saying “Wow, he is doing so much for “that” community,” Polo asked “So, how old were you and your sister when the two of you immigrated to this country?” Instead of just answering “4 and 5 years old,” I paused because my head was racing with questions of “What does he mean, who is he referring to, what is he talking about?” In somewhat of a confused state I said “I’m sorry, what did you say?” Before Polo had a chance to repeat himself, Liz piped in and explained that she too had been taken back when she recently had been asked the exact same question.

As I sat there speechless (and as many of you who know me well know, this does not happen often), Liz proceeded to explain to Polo that for many of us who were adopted internationally we don’t see ourselves as immigrants. I was so grateful Liz was able to step in and explain. Polo had, what I interpreted as, a look of concern and confusion. After the initial shock Polo and I were experiencing (mine of “Wow, I have never thought of this” and his of “Wow, she has never thought of this” ), we were able to engage in a rich conversation which included Polo explaining that immigrating here is such an important part of who we are and that by denying this we are denying an important part of our selves, since how we came to this country does play a role in defining who we are.

Since that coffee date in December, I have put a lot of thought into this and have begun to explore and dialogue with friends (both non-adopted and adopted) what it means to immigrate to this country. I took a small poll in the last couple of months with close friends and family, and there is no doubting it – everyone I have spoken to agrees that my sister and I did indeed immigrate to this country. However, there is not clarity around whether those same people consider us immigrants by definition. So, I find myself asking? What is it about the adoption process that seems to makes our immigrant status go away? And is that a good thing or bad?

As all of this is new territory for me I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas about this topic.