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Internationally adopted kids applying to college

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Replies to: Internationally adopted kids applying to college

  • bearcatfanbearcatfan Registered User Posts: 1,047 Senior Member
    She could see if her local courthouse has a birth certificate on file for her. If not them, maybe the state bureau of vital statistics.

    My daughter's CofC has her birthdate on it - whether it's her actual birthdate or not doesn't matter, it's the one that's on all her paperwork. When we had our appointment, we had to bring her original birth certificate (from China), her original final adoption decree, and legal name change (we readopted and changed her name).

    And I keep their CofC in the safe deposit box, but I do have a copy of it at home just for personal use.

    Depending on the country, I would imagine the adoption was legal.
  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 Registered User Posts: 3,900 Senior Member
    @greenbutton, I know of a lawyer who deals with issues surrounding international adoptees. PM me if you want contact info. She is in PA but I believe she is aware of issues elsewhere.

    Your future DIL may be able to fill out a form to get the info the U.S. government has on her adoption--copies of the paperwork her mother submitted when FDIL entered the U.S. I agree with others that her passport and COC should be sufficient for any eventuality but you never know.
  • janiemirandajaniemiranda Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
    edited December 2018
    Does the young lady know the agency that handled her adoption? If so, perhaps she can contact them for some answers about her adoption paperwork. The young lady has her citizenship papers in her own possession? Not her mom?
  • greenbuttongreenbutton Registered User Posts: 2,605 Senior Member
    She believes there are no adoption papers, because that's what she's been told by Mom her whole 25 yrs of life. For her to start searching would constitute a real breach of the relationship and I doubt that I can effectively advocate for that.Although I think it's ridiculous she hasn't been told any of these things, but she was told she couldn't visit the country of birth until she was an adult, lest someone recognize her and demand legal rights to her. Who tells a 10-yr -old that? I don't think there is a birth certificate, otoh, FDIL told me she only knows that she was flown to the US on her birth country's passport, and she doesn't have dual citizenship.

    I don't think it's my place, unfortunately, to shake FDIL and say she really has a right to know all this. And I feel like I'm prying to ask too many questions.But something seems off, at least to my uninformed mind, so I'm really grateful for the information.
  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 Registered User Posts: 3,900 Senior Member
    @greenbutton, anyone adopted from China (among other countries) entered the U.S. for the first time with a passport from the birth country. But it does sound pretty crazy, what she was told and not told. What a shame. Perhaps when you feel it's appropriate, you could tell her that you'd be happy to help her find out whatever she wants to know.
  • ivansmomivansmom Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I would think she should be able to obtain a Certificate of Foreign birth by using her passport and her COC.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,987 Senior Member
    A certificate of foreign birth is issued by a state, like a birth certificate, and it's really quite useless as it doesn't prove citizenship. I used it once or twice to register my daughter for something but it looked different than a state birth certificate (vertical, not horizontal, and had different information on it) so it was questioned. It was just easier to use the passport for everything. To get one without the original birth certificate from the foreign country might be difficult. I got my daughter's after her 're-adoption' in my state (some require this, others don't), but to do the readoption I had to submit all the adoption papers.

    On the C of C, it says it is illegal to copy it for purposes of proving citizenship. It is not illegal to make a copy and often places do after viewing the original (like college financial aid offices). Our adoption agency wanted a copy because they wanted to make sure we were all applying for citizenship (old days, when not automatic). The copy wasn't to prove citizenship but to prove they saw the original.

    It will definitely NOT void the adoption and the copy police will not come out to arrest you, it's just that the copy is not valid for anything. When my daughter got her first passport, I had to send the original C of C to the passport agency. It wasn't good enough for the guy at the post office to just look at the original and make a copy because we were trying to prove citizenship to get the passport. The adoption may have been finalized in the birth country under those laws and nothing the US government could do to void the adoption finalized in another country. The C of C doesn't award the adoption, it is the proof of US citizenship.

    I'm sure there was not only a birth certificate but adoption certificates and other paperwork for the C of C. The mother would have needed those to get a visa to get into the US. To get the C of C, you had to submit all the paperwork with the application for citizenship. Now, post 2001, that's all obtained before the visa is issued to come into the US. If FDIL has the C of C, at some point some US officials saw the birth certificate and the adoption certificates.

    She should be okay using the passport as an ID or even just her driver's license. I really suggest she use ONE birth date and stick with it. SSN, passport, driver's license, etc all with the same birth date, same spelling of her name, same info. And I'd use the one on the C of C because it is easier to change info with the SSA or state DL office, but almost impossible to change the C of C.

    The US doesn't require cancellation of the citizenship of the birth country but those other countries might cancel their citizenship by requesting the passport back or clipping the corner (invalidating) when requesting a visa to travel to that country. Some of the European or eastern Block countries require the child to maintain citizenship in their country until the 18 birthday, so if you travel to those counties the child has to use the original passport.
  • MAandMEmomMAandMEmom Registered User Posts: 1,383 Senior Member
    In order to get a US passport, the mom would have had to send in the adoption documents, actual raised seal originals and not copies. I know for us that scary sending off all those originals, but in both cases they were returned.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,987 Senior Member
    I didn't have to send in the adoption documents for a passport. I sent the original C of C (which was scary and the post office guy put it in a special envelope so it wouldn't be stapled or folded because he saw me practically passing out at the idea of giving him the document). After the Child Citizenship act became effective, you could get a passport with the "A" visa stamp in the original passport so then the issue became whether you wanted to submit the original passport or the C of C. I picked the C of C because it could be replaced if lost ($$$) but the original passport? Nope.

    The mother may not have any adoption certificates or birth certificates if she submitted the originals when she applied for the C of C. You are NOT supposed to file the originals but some people do. When I went to the citizenship appointment at the INS (now USCIS) they had a copy of everything I submitted and made me turn in the original Green Card, but everything else was a copy.

    I think the bride to be should start working on her mother, showing her the list of documents she'll need to get married (or even get a driver's license in the future). She should just say they need to work together to create a paper file.

    I did work with a guy who was a US citizen but who had married a woman from some Island country (Marshall? Marianas?) and the issue was with her two children whom he had adopted but in an informal way. At some point someone had filed an I-600 or I-600A (or I- 400?) and they had either been denied or expired, and you cannot file a second one (a very strange part of the procedures). He was trying to retire and wanted his kids to get his SS benefits. We went round and round and finally I suggested he just try to get US passports for them under the Child Citizenship Act using the "A" stamp in their passports because they had entered the US legally when he transferred back to the states to work for the government. It worked. I do not think there are 'good' adoption papers for the transactions that took place but somehow he got them into the US, they returned to the Island, and they have US passports and get US benefits.
  • MAandMEmomMAandMEmom Registered User Posts: 1,383 Senior Member
    ^ I guess maybe we had to send in the adoption documents as we didn’t have a CofC. We got a passport for my son ASAP in 2001 as we were planning to go to Canada in September (right after 9/11 ironically) so I could get laser surgery on my eyes.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,987 Senior Member
    ^^And I've heard stories of different passport agents requiring different paperwork. I know we've been lucky as we've never had a problem getting a passport (I think she's on her 4th) and always just used the old one to get the next one, no problems getting a DL, never asked for any proof for student loans, no mix up at the SSA, etc.

    I do think some of it is my death stare at the clerks. "Here are the docs your application requests." I always took the application and highlighted what it wanted and what document I was using to meet that requirement. I had the other documents with me, but was never asked for them and didn't offer them up.
  • 19parent19parent Registered User Posts: 141 Junior Member
    I am reading these past dozen comments very thankful that I listened to all those who posted horror stories and worst case scenarios when I brought home my daughter in 2002. Even though the law had changed and she was an automatic citizen as soon as the plane touched down, I was told the paperwork would take a few years to catch up, and sure enough we were still given a green card instead of citizenship card. I waited in a very long line in LA to get a citizenship interview for that certificate of citizenship the month after I returned and I also went through all the paperwork and court date with the judge to received a delayed registration of birth from the State of California to get a birth certificate, and then got a passport. I don't think you can be too safe when it comes to citizenship. Even if no one questioned my daughter today, I still wouldn't trust that there would be some new requirement that would question her documentation.
  • ivansmomivansmom Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    My son, adopted from overseas in 2001, does not have a CoC. A US passport proves citizenship. We've used it many times. I was under that impression that the poster upthread was trying to help her FDIL obtain some documents with birthdate, etc... The young lady already has a US passport so her citizenship will not be in question. Her mom definitely had to have had adoption documents, birth certificate, etc. to obtain the passport in the first place.
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