July 25, 2016 --
By Holt International
Eugene based charity,
This could have been any adoptee. Any adoptive family. That’s the messages adult adoptee and adoptee advocate Emily Kessel wants to convey in regards to the Adoptee Citizenship Act, a bill that was introduced into the House in June. “My adoptive parents naturalized me,” Emily says, “but there are thousands of international adoptees who were adopted by U.S. parents who don’t currently have citizenship.”
Over a decade ago, the Adoption Bill of 2000 granted automatic citizenship to all international adoptees, but inadvertently omitted adoptees who were over the age of 18 at the time of the bill’s enactment. This oversight left thousands of adoptees, adopted by U.S. citizen parents, vulnerable to deportation, and prohibited them from many rights granted to U.S. citizens. “But they are really Americans to the core,” Emily says. “They should be treated as first-class Americans, not second-class citizens.” If passed, the Adoptee Citizenship Act will provide automatic retroactive citizenship to internationally adopted individuals who were never naturalized when they were adopted or were not granted automatic citizenship in the 2000 bill. “It’s been over a decade, and we need to get this bill passed,” Emily says.
Read the full article and discuss it »