Immigration Bill would Extend Citizenship to All Foreign Adoptees

Irene Jordan, Assessments and International Program Director

The U. S. Senate passed an immigration reform bill on June 27, 2013. Included in this bill is an amendment that would extend automatic citizenship to all persons born outside the U.S. who were adopted by U.S. citizens. This is a very important benefit and protection to those foreign adoptees who are not currently citizens of the U.S.  Adoptees who do not have citizenship risk deportation, loss of rights such as voting, and ineligibility for certain college scholarships


The Citizenship for Lawful Adoptees Amendment was sponsored by Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La). Senator Landrieu is an adoptive mother, and an advocate for adoption.

Under current law, the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 ensures automatic U.S. citizenship for most but not all adoptees.

The Citizenship for Lawful Adoptees Amendment to the new immigration bill would extend citizenship to adoptees who are not covered by the Child Citizenship Act.  This includes:

§   Those adoptees who were over 18 years old on February 27, 2001;

§   Those adoptees who entered the U.S. with a visa issued for an adoption in which the sole adoptive parent or both parents did not visit the child in the foreign country during the adoption process. Currently those adoptees do not become citizens until the adoption is re-finalized in the U.S.


In order for the Citizenship for Lawful Adoptees Amendment to become law, the immigration reform bill must first be passed by the House of Representatives, and signed by President Obama. Contact your representative to encourage support for the Citizenship for Lawful Adoptees Amendment.

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Tags: Citizenship,immigration bill,foreign adoption
Category: Adoption
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