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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”

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  melissa wrote @ May 2nd, 2010 at 7:41 pm


“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.”

How terrifying and nightmarish for the adoptees and citizens involved…

  Livia wrote @ May 3rd, 2010 at 11:13 am

Please take a look at the points below (made by the same blogger; you can find them on comments section of links above) as to why adoptive parents need to make sure to have acutal CITIZENSHIP PAPERS for their children, not just passports:

“Yes, I personally know of two citizens who were required to provide proof of citizenship because the passport was not accepted. One was petitioning for a non-citizen spouse and one was adopting intercountry. Other cases that I’ve read involved CIS making its own determination of citizenship and not accepting passport as final proof.

Short answer, I would shell out the money:

1. Certificate of citizenship does not expire, passport does. Child may not be financially fixed to continually renew passport as s/he becomes an adult.

2. Filing for and receiving the certificate ensures that the *CIS* has a record of citizenship. This is especially important for children who arrive on IR4 visas; otherwise CIS never has a record that they became a citizen.

3. Sometimes more than one proof is required. Additionally, sometimes one proof has to be mailed off somewhere. I personally prefer to have more than one proof, thus ensuring that even if one leaves my hands I still have another.

4. CIS does not accept other determinations of status. It prefers to make its own. In one case that I linked in another post, a citizen is at 3 years and counting. Good thing he’s not deportable.

5. Political climate increasingly hostile towards immigrants and persons of color, if passport is doubted I like having another form of proof readily available. Personal knowledge of a number of cases in which proof of citizenship was demanded where it shouldn’t have been required, including one in which child with certificate of citizenship was required to have certificate of citizenship for parent before passport was issued.

6. Very difficult for adult adopted persons to obtain naturalization or certificate of citizenship as adults, often complicated by death or estrangement of parents or loss of original adoption documents. Better for CIS to have the records in its file that certificate was issued.

7. Time for adjudication of citizenship often quite lengthy especially when based on documents other than citizenship proof. If you’re being held in custody or face imminent deportation, time may be of the essence.

I’m sure there are more but these are just off the top of my head.”

  Korean Focus wrote @ November 15th, 2011 at 1:29 pm

A petition is circulating on Change.org demanding a change to current law to grant citizenship to all US intercountry adoptees and allow deportees to return to the United States. Please share far and wide to gather as many signatures as possible to present to the Congressional Coalition on Adoption. The petition can be found here: http://www.change.org/petitions/citizenship-for-all-us-intercountry-adoptees.

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