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Internationally adopted kids applying to college

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Replies to: Internationally adopted kids applying to college

  • kidzncatzkidzncatz Registered User Posts: 777 Member
    @begood I am also a PA resident. I suggest taking any documentation you may have to the DMV, including CofC, passport, readoption paperwork, original adoption paperwork, original and PA birth certificates, Social Security card, photo ID (such as a school ID), and several forms of ID for yourself. My Liberian S17 and I (old blond single mom) had a terrible time getting his permit last April. S15 (Vietnamese) had no such problem the year before. Just be prepared. It probably depends on which clerk serves you, but even the supervisor was rigidly unhelpful in S17's case.
  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 Registered User Posts: 3,836 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    I sent my daughter to DMV in Brooklyn, NY with the documents required according to the website (no citizenship certificate as I couldn't find it but with a recently issued adult passport; no state birth certificate as I never got one) and an application filled out and signed by me as the parent of a minor (at the time). I waited in the car outside. She emerged victorious having registered and taken the learner's permit test, and the photo card came a week later.

    I had much, much more trouble trying to transfer the registration of my late father's car at the same DMV office. It took several visits until the supervisor's supervisor finally acknowledged that I had the right stuff that I had brought on the first visit.
  • begoodbegood Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    @kidzncatz It's awful that they put your dear son through so much! I do not have a CofC. Our daughter has US passport (which we always keep current), original SS card, certified copies of her Certificate of Foreign Birth and her Final Judgment Confirming Foreign Adoption (we readopted in Florida, where we were living at the time), and photo ID from her school. I have PA driver's license, current US passport, original SS card... I think that's it. We may go in full-bore as a family with all our various IDs. I'm obviously naive - if the dang form says "SS card + ONE of the following", and ONE of the following is a US passport, and your son had one of those, how could they get away with requiring more???
  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 Registered User Posts: 3,836 Senior Member
    @begood, can you request help from one of your representatives in the state legislature?
  • begoodbegood Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    @oldmom4896 , we are not yet experiencing any difficulty. I'm a planner-aheader, looking toward learner's permit in 1.5 years and college app process in 3.5 years! I'm just stunned at the difficulty some families have had with these bureaucratic processes, despite having the documentation ostensibly required. I suppose I could take this interim time to work on getting a CofC, figuring there's no *downside* to having one...
  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 Registered User Posts: 3,836 Senior Member
    @begood, I think it's worth the fee to have a certificate of citizenship, especially these days with the political fallout against immigrants. We are in the process of getting a replacement C of C, although my daughter has to sign the paperwork herself since she's over 17 (she's 20).
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,521 Senior Member
    I had to get a new license in California in 2010. At that time they had just switched to a new program to comply with the REAL ID law, and my current OOS license couldn't be used as an ID. I was able to use my expired passport to prove I was a legal citizen or I could have used a certified birth certificate. I finally received the license in the mail about 13 weeks after I first applied, and it had holograms and 27 kinds of security. Then I moved to Florida and my kids also needed permits. I went to the DVM (called the tax collector) and asked exactly what we would need, and they gave me a checklist for both a license and to register my car. Certified birth certificates plus C of C OR a passport. Done. We all got new passports and that's all we needed. The Florida license has a special gold star on it, which means the state has certified our legal status.

    I do not take all the documents I have. I take their check list of what is required, and those forms only. I take control and as I go in I state, "I have the passport as proof of birth, citizenship, photo id...I have the from from her driver's ed class...I have $20..." I am very firm that I have the required documents.

    Now, of course, California gives licenses to undocumented persons. They don't look the same as the one it took me 13 weeks to get. I do not think the newer ones will work for federal government purposes (ID to get into federal buildings, TSA, for federal benefits).

    I, too, have had government workers tell me the a passport wouldn't work as proof of citizenship. I just look at them for as long as it takes for them to decide "well, I'll TRY it to see if it works." I'm always thinking, "Yes, why don't we try sending in the exact forms that are required and see if they work." And they always DO work.
  • emilybeeemilybee Registered User Posts: 12,946 Senior Member
    My sister was able to use her expired passport to get drivers license in CT when they moved but HSBC wouldn't take my expired passport as one of the ID's to be put on my mother's safety deposit box. They also wouldn't take my birth certificate because it doesn't have my married last name on it.
  • bearcatfanbearcatfan Registered User Posts: 1,025 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    I was pleasantly surprised how little the DMV in my small town cared about paperwork.

    My oldest was adopted before the new rule for automatic citizenship if both parents traveled, so we ended up re-adopting her for the Ohio BC and then did the CofC and a passport (that has long since expired). Her original SS card had "not valid to work" stamped on it, but that was cleared up pretty quickly.

    When we went to get her learner's permit all they wanted to see was the Ohio bc, which clearly states she was born in China. I brought everything, just in case. All they wanted was the basic forms of ID anyone else might need to show.

    The public schools, again, have only wanted to see what they would see with any other kids - SS card and birth certificate. It might make a big difference having a US birth certificate versus the original country one, and probably saves a few headaches. In my town, all we had to do was petition at the courthouse - it literally cost nothing, just filing some easy paperwork and showing up at a court date and the bc came in the mail a week or so later.

    I will say that getting the Certificate of Citizenship is well worth it. Both my children have had theirs since they were tiny (we filed the paperwork within a week of getting home). It was a PITA to have to go to a particular city in person to get it (maybe it's changed) but it's a good piece of paper to have and is not supposed to be questioned.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,521 Senior Member
    The SS card designation was actually "valid for work" or something similar. Yes, our 2 year olds were allow to go out and start pulling their weight. Welcome to America, now get a job!

    Some states still don't care about the legal status as their DL aren't REAL ID compliant. Public schools also cannot prevent an undocumented student from attending.
  • Y Knot!Y Knot! Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    My daughter will have dual citizenship until she is 18 (then she can renounce her non-U.S. one). She will be applying to college when she is still 17 and I saw that the app asks if the child has dual citizenship. Any idea why they ask? Does it make a difference (positive or negative)?
  • pdwm56pdwm56 Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    Our girls were adopted from China in 1998 and 2000. Our eldest applied to 8 universities around the country from small to very large, was accepted at all and was never asked for proof of citizenship. However when she had to renew her passport this year, her 4th passport as she's a 19 year old adult now, we were both still required to accompany her along with copies of her adoption certificate. They assured me the next one she could get without us. I said good because we aren't getting any younger!
  • ShrimpBurritoShrimpBurrito Registered User Posts: 1,379 Senior Member
    I have three teens who were adopted from Ukraine ~3 years ago. The oldest will likely be applying to colleges soon. I had no idea these kind of headaches may be waiting for us! If my son has a valid SSN and US passport, I don't understand how there could be any question regarding his citizenship. I thought those documents were bulletproof. What raises the red flag on the college application? Place of birth? The dual citizenship question?

    Anyway, thank you for this stickied thread.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,521 Senior Member
    It is not the application or admissions that causes problems, but the application for financial aid IF the SSN doesn't reflect the citizenship.

    My daughter has been a citizen since 2001 and I changed her SS status at that time. She has a C of C but I haven't used it for anything since her original passport in about 2003. She got her driver's license using only her passport. She's had no problems.
  • jlhpsujlhpsu Forum Champion Penn State Posts: 1,717 Forum Champion
    I have 3 adopted internationally. 1 from Russia in 1999 and 2 from China in 2004 and 2006. For the first adoption from Russia, we were told we fell under the Citizenship Act of 2000 and he was a citizen and we didn't have to do anything else. That was true - until he wanted a drivers license. Then we had to go through everything. We sent in his adoption certificate and birth certificate - both originals and translations - in order to get his passport. Now we use that for any citizenship questions. He is currently a rising senior applying to colleges. The passport is cheaper than the Certificate of Citizenship and comes faster. My other 2 internationally adopted kids came far enough after the Citizenship Act that we were mailed Certificates of Citizenship automatically for both of them. Easy Peasy.

    It is a pain - every sports team where we had to prove age etc...People don't think of the problems when all of your documents are in another language.

    We did NOT have to readopt here in PA. All of our adoptions were finalized in their birth country when we were there with them.

    I also have one not adopted and she, of course, hasn't had to answer any questions and no one asked me any questions when I had her,lol. Quite a difference from the homestudies and very personal questions asked to adopt!

    Interesting thread - lots of things we have to think about that others don't. I used to travel with copies of my adopted kids adoption papers when we traveled anywhere just to make sure that no one asked me anything since they were of different racial backgrounds.
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