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Internationally adopted kids applying to college

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Replies to: Internationally adopted kids applying to college

  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 Registered User Posts: 3,491 Senior Member
    emilybee, the parents of some children who were not citizens when they entered the country because they weren't seen by a single parent or both parent before the adoption took place in the foreign country need to readopt or gain recognition of the adoption by their state before they are automatic citizens. As soon as that recognition/readoption takes place, they are automatically citizens. In the case of Korean adoptees, they automatically become citizens once the adoption is completed here in the U.S. Having the certificate or not having the certificate does not make them citizens but as soon as they are eligibble for passports, they are citizens.
  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 Registered User Posts: 3,491 Senior Member
    I get irritated when they require extra documents for my daughter. I know she can't be President of the US, but in all other ways she should be treated just like every other American kid. If another applicant doesn't have to provide proof of citizenship, why should she? Her SSA status is 'citizen'. FAFSA doesn't, and shouldn't, require more than that if all other students are getting their FSA ID with nothing more than their SSNs.

    I agree 100 percent. But after all the hassle of college admission and financial aid, added to the fact that my father died the day after accepted-students day for my daughter, I just didn't have it in me to argue!

    Because my daughter was born in China and despite the fact that she hadn't set foot there since our adoption trip at 23 months of age, the student health office at my daughter's university required proof that she didn't have active TB. Again, it was much less stressful to comply than to give them a fight about it.
  • emilybeeemilybee Registered User Posts: 10,855 Senior Member
    edited February 2016
    "the parents of some children who were not citizens when they entered the country because they weren't seen by a single parent or both parent before the adoption took place in the foreign country need to readopt or gain recognition of the adoption by their state before they are automatic citizens. As soon as that recognition/readoption takes place, they are automatically citizens. In the case of Korean adoptees, they automatically become citizens once the adoption is completed here in the U.S. Having the certificate or not having the certificate does not make them citizens but as soon as they are eligibble for passports, they are citizens."

    I k is that. It is clearly spelled out in the law. Once they are adopted theyare automatic citizens. Osprey and twoinanddone seem to me to be talking about a class of other adoptees then those.

    This is what twoinanddone said: "
    It is not correct that all internationally adopted children automatically become citizens when they arrive in the US or when they are adopted. It depends on what type of visa they entered the US under, and whether the adoption was finalized in the birth country or needs state action in the US."

    All international adoptees, IMO, are automatically citizens when adopted per the law.
  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 Registered User Posts: 3,491 Senior Member
    If the child was not seen by both parents or the single parent before the adoption took place in the foreign country, when they enter the U.S., they get a different kind of visa stamped in their foreign passport. They automatically become citizens once the adoption is finalized in the state of residence.
  • emilybeeemilybee Registered User Posts: 10,855 Senior Member
    i don't think that is the situation they are referring to, but maybe I'm reading what they said wrong. I am just asking them to clarify what Twoinanddone meant by, "or when they are adopted." She didn't mention because adoption having taken place overseas.
  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 Registered User Posts: 3,491 Senior Member
    No one needs a visa for their kid unless the kid was adopted internationally.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 10,631 Senior Member
    I should have said that some adoptions require additional steps in the US, which may have to be done in a state court, before the Child Citizenship Act kicks in and citizenship is conferred. It is not automatic upon entering the US for everyone.

    Some children enter the US and once they clear US immigration, they are citizens. Poof, magic. The USCIS will send a certificate of citizenship for proof or the parents can apply for a passport using all the required (originals, no copies of documents have ever been accepted for passports, even for US born applicants) documents and the child's passport with the "A" (alien registration) in it because the passport agency can crosscheck the citizenship with that number and can confer proof of citizenship by issuing a passport.

    But if additional steps are needed, to complete the adoption in state court, the child becomes a citizen if and when those steps are taken. Problem is the state court cannot confer citizenship so now you have to take more steps to get proof your child is now a citizen. No magic. You can apply to USCIS to get a C of C, or you can apply to get a passport. Either agency can take those state documents and all the foreign ones and determine you have completed all steps and the child is a citizen under the Act. No other federal or state agency can make the determination, including the SSA and including your college. If you have applied for a SSN before completing the steps while the child was not a citizen, the original status will be 'Alien with right to Work' (charming, right?)

    Once you have that proof of citizenship, you can take it to the SSA and they will issues a SSN as a citizen or change the status if you already have one.

    Like @oldmom4896 , I usually just give the agency, doctor, airline, DMV the passport because I don't like arguing with clerks. We use passports when other documents would be acceptable (like on a cruise you can use the passport or birth certificate) because it is easier to have one document. However, at schools I stand my ground. Regulations do require the FA officer to confirm legal status IF there is a problem or question and see an original document showing status, like a passport, CofC, green card. Those requesting just copies either really don't have a citizenship confirmation problem or they are not following the regulations and physically viewing an original. If they say they can start processing the FAFSA with a copy but then must see an original before anything is disbursed, then I guess I'd send the copy, but only if there was a problem or question of status, not just because 'they always do it that way' or 'we require this of all foreign born students.' No, that I'll argue as an out of date policy and not required by FAFSA.

    Do you think children born overseas to military members or ex pats are always asked these questions? Their birth certificates show they were born in a foreign country but no one questions their citizenship.

    If everyone has to show proof of citizenship (like at the DMV), I do it. And I understand why others just provide the requested documents because it is easier and there have been times I've done it too. I have two children the same age it is obvious when they and their information are treated differently. I've had state and school officials tell me that a passport isn't proof of identity or citizenship, and I usually just stare at the person until he says something like "I guess I can try using this." Are there clerks at SSN who will interpret the Child Citizenship Act and take your state court papers and decide the child is a citizens? Of course there are, they just don't have the authority to do it. If you found one, good for you (and double check that the status was changed because maybe the clerk didn't have the power to make the change at all). If you've gotten a passport issued based on copies of a C of C, you were lucky as that is not allowed, you must submit an original and they will mail it away and you will worry and fret until you get it back.

    I don't give SSNs to the dentist or the hockey team or even the high school that claimed it needed it for college applications; it turns out they didn't as my kids are in college and I never provided the SSNs. I always ask why the information is needed, and even then I still may not provide it. It is really more to do with financial fraud than adoption, but I just don't like all that information 'out there' if there is no requirement for it to be provided.
  • BarbalotBarbalot Registered User Posts: 303 Member
    No issues for college for my daughter, who was adopted from China in 1998.

    But I did have to prove she was a citizen and entered the country when she did so she was not forced to take hours of ESL tests just to go to kindergarten orientation. I had to rush order her a passport to meet the documentation requirements. Still makes me mad.
  • emilybeeemilybee Registered User Posts: 10,855 Senior Member
    "I should have said that some adoptions require additional steps in the US, which may have to be done in a state court, before the Child Citizenship Act kicks in and citizenship is conferred. It is not automatic upon entering the US for everyone."

    Ok. I assumed you were saying that some international adoptees still had to go through the naturalization process.

    I don't believe you have to take any additional steps to get citizenship - your child is, in fact, a citizen after adoption.
    One has to show some form regardless if you are born in the US or not to get a passport or SS#. International adoptees just have to show different proof than a person born here.


    "But I did have to prove she was a citizen and entered the country when she did so she was not forced to take hours of ESL tests just to go to kindergarten orientation. I had to rush order her a passport to meet the documentation requirements. Still makes me mad."

    That seems very bizarre. Where was this and when?

    I didn't have to show any proof of citizenship to enroll my S in kindergarten in 1998. All I showed them was his birth certificate.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 10,631 Senior Member
    Check the wrong box and it's difficult to get out of the ESL track, especially if you are in a district with a lot of non-English speakers as we were. The question asked if my daughter's original language was English, I checked no and they kept testing her. In middle school. She always scored very high in English language acquisition because that's all she'd heard or been speaking for 10+ years, and the school liked it because it made them look good. When we moved, I check the 'yes' box for English as first language and that ended the testing. If I showed the foreign birth certificate at school registration, I could again end up having to prove the kid speaks English. I just stopped showing them the certificate of foreign birth.

    There can be internationally adopted children who are not citizens under the Act. If the parents don't complete the steps required, they will not become citizens. I know some (older now) who never did. I know some who didn't have legal adoptions from the birth country and can't complete the process. Yes, they would have to go through the naturalization process if they can't get qualified in time under the Child Citizenship Act. I helped a guy with his step daughter's process. She was adopted by his wife, maybe by him, no one was really sure, country without a lot of good documentation and adoptions sort of 'friendly', he was a US citizen, wife was not. I finally asked him if the daughter had an "A" visa stamp in her passport, she did, and they issued her a US passport based on that. Could we have successfully argued that she deserved citizenship if they hadn't issued the passport? Probably not, but he got lucky He'd also asked at immigration and they agreed with me he should just try to get the passport as his 600I application had expired and everything was all mixed up and they weren't going to process a certificate of citizenship based on what he had by way of adoption documents. Not all countries have straight forward processes.
  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 2,808 Senior Member
    edited February 2016
    Obviously, we all have had a variety of experiences here.

    But I think it's good to have a thread at least opening up the discussion, so future adoptive parents will have some idea of what's going on.

    Perhaps my experiences differed from some of yours because of the way Korea does adoption. We never travelled; I met my son for the first time at JFK. We never adopted him in Korea. As a result, both my husband and I had to formally adopt him in the US. As I mentioned, the change in law was just happening at that point in time.

    I do have a question, I guess it's in particular for parents of Korean kids, but I'll take anyone's input: So many of you mention passports. The odds are good that we're not leaving the US anytime soon. (Not a political statement, more of a financial one.) All our family is in the US. We haven't left the US since we became parents. None of our kids have passports and both of ours have expired.

    Is there any overriding reason why my son (the only one of my 3 who was adopted) should get a passport before his 18th birthday in June? Or after, for that matter, if he's not planning any international travel?
  • K8sMom2002K8sMom2002 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Oh, yes, in this day and age of immigration issues, a passport is ABSOLUTE proof that you are an American citizen. In fact, it was the ONLY way we could get our daughter's SSN status changed. We adopted her from China when she was 8.5 months old.

    We live in Georgia, and we have to show proof of citizenship when we get/renew our driver's license. I've got to start the process of getting my DD's passport renewed so that she can apply for her learner's. They will NOT accept a certificate of foreign birth in Georgia for ANYTHING.
  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 Registered User Posts: 3,491 Senior Member
    I think a passport is a good idea for anyone 16 or over, especially if that person was born elsewhere and especially if that person is not white (alas). Several states' drivers' licenses are no longer accepted for travel in the Western Hemisphere.
    https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs

    At age 16, adult passports are issued and they are good for 10 years and renewable by mail.
  • emilybeeemilybee Registered User Posts: 10,855 Senior Member
    edited February 2016
    Yep, get the passport.

    My S also got the enhanced NYS drivers license which was good to use to get into Canada but it wont be acceptable ID even for air travel in the states and NYS hasnt complied with the new law yet ( they got an approved extension for now.) He lives in Massachusetts now but I'm not sure if their DL's are compliant yet either.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 11,447 Senior Member
    edited February 2016
    Boy, you guys had it so much worse than we did with our son born in the US of a born/raised US mother and an immigrant US citizen father whose English was better than 90% of the US born population. Because H's home Indian language was not English it triggered a form when he entered kindergarten (early and already reading). I guess it was better that the school identified students early on for help with language. The hoops we jump through... Although 99% of the people are honest there are enough scams that require proof.
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