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Internationally adopted kids applying to college

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Replies to: Internationally adopted kids applying to college

  • begoodbegood Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Chumom, the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (enacted in 2001) was a complicating factor for many families. I was the most "on it" person I know when it comes to paperwork. Within two weeks of coming home with our daughter from China in 2002, I sent off her original documents off to get her US passport, then turned around and used the passport to get her social security number. Then we readopted her in the state we were living in at the time so she would have a birth certificate issued by a US government entity. Despite being made an "automatic citizen", the only paperwork she received from USCIS was a green card designating her a permanent resident alien. Had she been adopted in 2004 or later, she would have received a Certificate of Citizenship automatically. Had we adopted her prior to 2001, we would have been required to apply for a CoC. Those "gap years" between 2001 and 2004 caught a lot of families in their net: their children were "automatic citizens" with no bureaucratic trail from US immigration to prove it. Until recently, that didn't seem like a big deal. Right now it feels like a big hairy deal.
  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 Registered User Posts: 3,546 Senior Member
    edited May 16
    I adopted my daughter from China in 1998. Paid for and got her citizenship certificate in 1999 or 2000. We were asked for proof of immigration status when she accepted her admission to college in 2014 and they accepted a copy of her passport.

    Because she had been born in China, they requested documentation of TB infection. As it happens, she had had a positive PPD and was treated with INH when she was 5. The pediatrician's office faxed her treatment history to the college.

    Interestingly, a friend in her 60s who was born and grew up in Columbus, OH and my niece, now 41, who was born and grew up in Milford, CT had positive PPDs in their teens and the niece was treated with INH but neither of them was ever asked for documentation of TB status.
  • ChumomChumom Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Being issued a Permanent Alien Resident card is a red flag. Go to SS and turn it in with proof your child is a citizen.
  • me29034me29034 Registered User Posts: 1,047 Senior Member
    @chumom Your experience in the 90"s isn't relevant for those of us that adopted later. As described by @begood the law changed. My son also received a "green card" when he came home. This is what they automatically sent at that time because they hadn't figured out how to handle the automatic citizenship thing yet. We did get a US passport soon after and I visited the SS office after getting this and they said they changed it in their system so that he was a citizen in their data base.

    But, I was participating in some on-line forums at the time that advised people to apply to get a certificate of citizenship even though our kids were already citizens and it technically wasn't required. At that point he already had a US passport but we decided to do the additional paperwork anyway. I did this and am so glad I did in retrospect. He was adopted in 2001 and it was probably about 2003 that I applied for the CofC for him. I sent in the paperwork and maybe 6 months later the CofC came in the mail. I still have his old original green card - no one ever asked for it back.
  • begoodbegood Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    @me29034, we had to surrender our daughter's green card at the oath ceremony this past November where she received her certificate of citizenship. It took me 13 years to fully internalize why we might need BOTH a passport and a certificate of citizenship. This thread was instrumental in helping me get off my behind and get that ball rolling. And now she is listed as a US citizen with both the Dept of State (passport) and Dept of Homeland Security (cert. of citizenship). The application process was expensive, time consuming, worrying, and frustrating, but SO worth it in the end.
  • me29034me29034 Registered User Posts: 1,047 Senior Member
    @begood We had no oath ceremony. The CofC just came in the mail one day. I'll admit I was surprised by that.
  • begoodbegood Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    @me29034, I believe that she was required to go to the oath ceremony because she was age 14. Kids under 14 do not have to attend the oath ceremony. Because she was 14, the application was hers, not mine on her behalf, and I was the "preparer" of the application. She signed it as the applicant.
  • ChumomChumom Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    You are absolutely correct all our experiences are different. But I stand by my first statement which is to follow through with your paperwork. You did and you admit that you are happy that you did so.
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 28,568 Senior Member
    I will be speaking with my relative who adopted a child from Taiwan to be sure they have all their required paperwork and hopefully can avoid some of these headaches. My other relative who adopted two kids from Korea has never mentioned citizenship issues with his kids and one is nearly done with her masters in education and a tenured teacher so she's ok.
  • janjmomjanjmom Registered User Posts: 209 Junior Member
    Here's a news story about a girl who thought she was a citizen until she applied for a license -
    yet another person caught in the paperwork gap when the law changed!
    http://www.wxyz.com/news/local-news/investigations/adopted-teen-finds-she-is-not-us-citizen-when-trying-to-get-her-drivers-license
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 12,194 Senior Member
    That news article doesn't correctly summarize the Child Citizenship Act. It WAS retroactive, but the child had to have entered the US on the correct visa and the parents had to have completed all the steps necessary to have filed for citizenship. My daughter entered the US on an I-3 visa, adoption completed overseas, in 1999. I did a readoption in the US because that's what my state recommended, and I applied for citizenship for her. While that was in process, the Child's Citizenship Act became effective. Her citizenship papers were processed and we went to a 'hearing' but the date on her certificate is 2/27/01, effective date of the act. Retroactive. The hearing was nothing more than picking up the certificate.

    If they would have applied for citizenship in 2001, it may have been rejected because they hadn't completed the adoption. I'm not sure how they got a passport since their 'A' number either in the Guatemalan passport or on the green card would have been required to get a passport. A passport is proof of citizenship, even at the DMV.
  • bearcatfanbearcatfan Registered User Posts: 300 Member
    With both of my children - adopted in 2001 and 2003 - the experience was different. With my older one we re-adopted, got her OH birth certificate, passport and CofC. With my second, we didn't get the passport. We did, however, have to apply for the CofC because only one parent traveled.

    With both, we had to appear before the INS in Cleveland and swear an oath for them. Despite the headache -and my older daughter throwing up in the INS lobby because we couldn't reschedule it AT ALL even due to illness - it was well worth it.

    Things change all the time. Those were our experiences in terms of paperwork for citizenship proof.
  • MAandMEmomMAandMEmom Registered User Posts: 751 Member
    I didn't do any of that and hope my kids will be ok. They came home in 2001 and 2002. They have US passports and social security cards.
  • annamomannamom Registered User Posts: 679 Member
    edited May 20
    I am sorry if it has been discussed. Does anyone know how to get a birth certificate for the kids. I am in NJ...I was told at one point that I have to sent the **original** adoption paper to our state capital....I am nervous and did not send... as of now, my kid has citizenship certificate and passport...but I think it is more it is convenient to have a birth certificate....
  • bearcatfanbearcatfan Registered User Posts: 300 Member
    @annamom You can probably call the county clerk in your area to see what you need to do. You might not have to deal with the state folks at all.

    We had to go down to our local courthouse and fill out paperwork, providing a photocopy of the relevant paperwork. I don't remember handing over anything for them to keep, even temporarily. A few weeks later in the mail we received the state-certified birth certificates (with the raised seal).

    This is for Ohio, in a small town.
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