Imagine learning as an adult that you are not a U.S. citizen after believing for your whole life that you were. Imagine getting deported because the process failed you.
Many of us know someone who was adopted from another country. Over 500,000 children have been adopted by American families since the end of World War II. But many of our adopted family members, partners, friends, and co-workers did not have their U.S. citizenship secured when they were children.
Tell Congress to SUPPORT the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2019. These signatures will be delivered by Adoptees For Justice, an adoptee-led organization.
Kris, a Vietnamese American adoptee, was one of the 2,500 children brought by Operation Babylift to the United States for adoption. Kris’ adoptive parents did not know that his citizenship application was never processed and believed he was a U.S. citizen. Now an adult, Kris faces barriers to gainful employment and cannot access social security and other social benefits when he retires. He worries about being deported to Vietnam, a country where he does not know the language or culture and has no known family.
Over 35 adoptees have been deported to 21 countries. Anissa, an adoptee from Jamaica, was deported and separated from her family including her daughter, Vanessa. When testifying at a Congressional briefing last month, Vanessa shared:
“The adoptee citizenship issue has made me feel abandoned. With my mother being deported to Jamaica when I was 12, I feel anxious at all times, wondering if something bad could happen to her and I’m thousands of miles away, helpless… I want her to be here with her family where she belongs.”
We need justice for Kris, Anissa and the thousands of transnational adoptees without citizenship.
Passing the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2019 will grant automatic citizenship for adoptees, with no bar on those who have been deported. It covers all qualifying international adoptees adopted by a U.S. citizen parent, regardless of the date when the adoption was finalized.
Adoptees should have the same rights as biological children. This is a human rights issue.
You can also show your support by:
1. Volunteering! Adoptees for Justice needs volunteers – lawyers, educators, writers, communications folx, legislative folx, graphic designers, fundraisers, etc! If you are interested in learning more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Donating! Adoptees for Justice is raising resources to support adoptees without citizenship via the Adoptee Defense Fund and for our education and advocacy efforts. Please donate HERE and type “adoptee” in the memo line