Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Call for Action --- U.S. Adoptive Families!

I spoke with McLane Layton this afternoon. She is the executive director of EACH ( and was one of the co-authors of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 "CCA", when she was working for the U.S. Senator who sponsored the law.

The intent of the CCA was that ALL children who enter the U.S. on "full and final" adoption decrees from the sending country were to receive U.S. Citizenship automatically.

For Haitian, Ethiopian, Guatemalan and Liberian adopted children, there would not have been any IR4 visas, just IR3 visas because these countries' courts issue "full and final adoption decrees" that the U.S. State Department has decided not to recognize as full and final if one or both adoptive parents did not meet in person prior to the finalization of the adoption.

For Fiscal Years 2006 through 2007, from October 1, 2005 through September 20, 2007, 6,438 children entered the United States with full and final adoption decrees issued in the judicial authorities in their respective countries, Haiti, Ethiopia, Guatemala and Liberia.

However, the U.S. Department of State does not recognize these 6,438 children's adoptions as full and final because either one or both adoptive parents did not personally meet the child prior to or during the adoption process.

Therefore, these children are not eligible to obtain automatic U.S. citizenship and if the adoptive family does not "re-adopt" the children who entered on IR4 visas, the children can ultimately be deported from the U.S. to their "home country". As far as the U.S. State Department is concerned, the adoptive parents merely have "legal custody" of the "adopted" child.

EACH is working on legislation to improve the implementation of the Child Citizenship Act to provide citizenship from the point of full and final adoption versus the law now which requires our adopted children to enter the US first for citizenship to attach and enter as immigrants on an immigrant visa versus as children of American citizens.

However, EACH needs adoptive parents to join the organization. (It does not cost anything.)

Strength needs to be in numbers. Please, if you have not joined EACH yet, do so now.

Please help introduce and pass this IMPORTANT legislation. Our internationally adopted children should have the same U.S. citizenship rights as our biologically born children.


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