Support #CitizenshipForAllAdoptees

Has it been ten years since I've been writing here? I can hardly believe it, especially when I consider all that has happened during that time. My children were 15 and 17 in 2006 when I began this writing adventure. They've been through high school and college since then, and are both now grown and working. It has been a wonderful decade.

One thing hasn't changed, however, and isn't so wonderful: the loophole in the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 still hasn't been correct, which means that the citizenship status of thousands of adoptees is still in jeopardy. A new bill has been introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota (the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015) which, if passed, would make citizenship retroactive for all intercountry adoptees. The time has come to pass this important legislation, and you can help.

On Tuesday, April 19th, the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), 18 Million Rising, Gazillion Strong, and the Adoptee Rights Campaign (ARC) are sponsoring the Adoptee Citizenship Act Day of Action in Washington, DC and around the country. KAAN joins these organizations in support of adoptee citizenship. You can add your voice by contacting your Senators and urging them to support this important bill. If you do write, tweet or post on Facebook, you can also flood the internets with this bill.

Here is the letter I wrote, which is the message I'll deliver by voice. Post your support using hashtag #CitizenshipForAllAdoptees when you do. Let's end this horrible injustice once and for all.
I write to you to urge your support for the S. 2275, the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015. This important legislation will amend the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, which provides citizenship for intercountry adoptees at the time of their entry into the United States or when their adoptions are finalized. The CCA 2000, however, applies only to adoptees who were under the age of 18 at the time it went into effect on February 27, 2001. 
The responsibility for ensuring adoptee legal status lies with adoptive parents and adoption agencies. When they fail to uphold their responsibilities, adoptees bear the outcome. Some obtain citizenship through their own efforts, but those who do not (sometimes because they are unaware they are not citizens) are at risk of violating U.S Federal law through no fault of their own by representing themselves as citizens upon return to the United States at any port of entry (including Canada and Mexico), applying for public benefits (including Federal education aid), or voting in Federal or other elections. Worse still, adoptees without citizenship who commit a deportable offense face separation from the only family and country they know, with devastating impact. 
The Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015 will amend the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 to provide all intercountry adoptees with the legal protection of U.S. citizenship. It will secure the legal status of older intercountry adoptees, in spite of the failures of the agencies and adoptive parents to complete the naturalization process. 
My children were born in Korea, adopted as infants, naturalized as toddlers, educated in Fairfax County and raised as Americans in Alexandria. For thousands of intercountry adoptees just like them – save for the citizenship we adults have failed to secure for them - I urge you to support this legislation and help to make it law.


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