The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 guaranteed citizenship to international adoptees, but it only applied to adoptees who were younger than 18 when the law took effect on Feb. 27, 2001. A bill introduced in March, the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021 (H.R. 1593), would ensure all internationally adopted children can become citizens. The bill is supported by Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Democrat – Illinois, and on May 18 it was Referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship.
The Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021 fixes the age limit problem by making citizenship automatic for international adoptees who were legally adopted by U.S. citizens as children, regardless of how old they were when the Child Citizenship Act went into effect. The bi-partisan bill was introduced by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). Senator Collins said:
“It is simply not right that international adoptees who were legally adopted in the United States are being denied citizenship due to a loophole in current law. Our bipartisan bill would address this loophole to allow these individuals to finally become American citizens. I encourage our colleagues to support it.”
These international adoptees face many barriers because they do not have citizenship, including applying for a passport, license, or student financial aid. In some cases, international adoptees have been deported to the country they were born in, where they may have no known family – even though they were legally adopted by an American family!
An experienced citizenship and immigration lawyer can help you navigate complicated and stressful citizenship and naturalization requirements. Mario Godoy and the other immigration attorneys at the Godoy Law Office can assess your situation and advise you on your best options. Call today at 630-912-0322.
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