Email your Reps about the Adoptee Citizenship Act

Email Your Representative
Due to COVID-19, email is one of the best ways to get in contact with your representative’s office about an issue. However, members of Congress do not openly publish their email addresses but instead use customized forms on their website. Don’t worry–we made it easy with our email template and guide below!
Step 1Go to Democracy.io. Enter your street address.

Why do I need to enter my address? This is to ensure that you are emailing the correct members of Congress. Your Representative is determined by which Congressional District your residence falls within. Your 2 Senators are determined by your state of residence.

Step 2: Select whether you are writing to your Representative or to your Senator. If they are selected, a red check will appear next to their name. Click “write to them!”

Note: Do not select all because the Senate bill number is different than the House bill number). It is very easy to complete this twice.

Step 3: Write your Subject and Message.

Now is your opportunity to explain why the passage of the Adoptee Citizenship Act is important to you and try to convince your member of Congress to act. Feel free to use our email template below – these sections can be easily copied and pasted into the corresponding text boxes in Democracy.io.

Please note that bolded text will need to be updated. Underlined text can be easily be personalized!

If you are emailing your Representative, choose “H.R. 2731” and “House” (and delete out “S.1554” and “Senate”).

If you are emailing your Senators, choose “S. 1554” and “Senate” (and delete out “H.R. 2731” and “House”).

Subject: [S.1554 or H.R. 2731] Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2019

“My name is [FIRST, LAST NAME] and I reside in [CITY, STATE]. I’m a constituent of [Rep or Senator]. I want to call your attention to the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2019, a critical piece of legislation for Americans who were internationally adopted as children, and an issue that is very important to me.

The 2019 Adoptee Citizenship Act has strong bipartisan support in the House of Representatives with 92 co-sponsors (31 Republicans and 61 Democrats). The sponsor is Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA-9) and the Republican lead is Congressman Rob Woodhall (R-GA-7). There is also an identical bill, S. 1554, in the Senate.

Currently, the law governing international adoption places adoptive families at risk throughout the United States. Although the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-395) made the acquisition of citizenship automatic upon finalization of adoption, it left out all adoptees who were adults at the date of enactment (February, 27, 2001). There are circumstances where adopting parents did not complete or were misinformed about their duty to naturalize their adopted children. These adoptees grew up believing that they were citizens only to learn their status as adults – often too late.

Adoptees for Justice, an intercountry adoptee-led organization, is aware of the deportations of at least 50 individuals who were legally adopted by U.S. citizens as children from foreign countries, breaking up families and returning deported adoptees to places where they were born but have no other connections. These adoptees do not possess the language, cultural background, or any family in the countries in which they are deported to and struggle to survive.

Adoption is understood as attaining a family and a permanent home. However, the U.S. government has failed to ensure that all international adoptees received citizenship, causing untold pain and separation as adoptees lose their families and the only home they’ve ever known.

The proposed legislation [S. 1554 or H.R. 2731], or the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2019 in the U.S. [House or Senate] would grant citizenship to adoptees whose parents did not or were misinformed about their duty to complete the necessary processes to provide their adopted children with citizenship. This legislation would restore parity in the legal treatment of adopted and biological children of U.S. citizens since only internationally adopted children of U.S. citizens are subject to deportation.

I’m asking for your support in cosponsoring this important bill which would guarantee the naturalization of adoptees who have immigrated to America under the promise of finding a permanent home through adoption. 

I feel as I know you do, that every adopted child is entitled to a safe, secure, permanent placement; citizenship is an essential component.

As someone who is gravely concerned about this issue, I urge [Rep or Senator] to support and co-sponsor the Adoptee Citizenship Act now.

Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,
[FULL NAME]

Optional: Personalize your message.

Personalizing your message helps make a lasting impression and a more effective call to action for your member of Congress.

 If you are have some relationship to adoption (adoptee, adoptive parent, adoption professional, etc), please state it!

We’ve left some examples below that would replace the more generic and underlined “As someone who is gravely concerned about the issue,” in the email template.

Examples:

  • As an international adoptee myself who was lucky enough to receive citizenship, I believe it is a tragedy that the U.S. government has not fulfilled its promise to all internationally adopted Americans to have a permanent home in the United States.
  • As a parent who adopted their child from COUNTRY in YEAR, it is unacceptable that adopted children are not given the same security and opportunities as biological children.
  • As an adoption professional, I am gravely concerned that not all international adoptees received U.S. citizenship. Lack of citizenship violates the fundamental promise of adoption–that adopted children receive a permanent home.

Step 4: Congratulations! You just made a difference by demonstrating your support of the Adoptee Citizenship Act!

Step 5: Help us gain momentum by sharing! Now that you know how easy it is, share your experience with others and encourage them to email by clicking these links below:

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