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Internationally adopted kids applying to college


Replies to: Internationally adopted kids applying to college

  • bearcatfanbearcatfan Registered User Posts: 1,131 Senior Member
    I was also told, when my kids were little, to always have a family picture in my wallet just in case anyone got suspicious over crying kids who didn't look like their parents. We are just beginning our college journey (oldest is going to be a junior). It will be interesting to see what her ethnicity and background have to do with that process, if anything.
  • begoodbegood Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    Though it doesn't prove citizenship, I was able to use my 14-year-old daughter's current US passport and her original social security card to get a PA photo ID this morning. The requirement said to bring ONE of the following: original birth certificate or current US passport. I brought both. The lady asked for the birth certificate first, then changed her mind and asked for the passport. I was glad I had thought to bring them both. It was a quick and easy process, and now she has official state ID. Yay!
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,492 Senior Member
    Why do you think a passport doesn't prove citizenship? It absolutely does.
    The most common documents that establish U.S. citizenship are:

    Birth Certificate
    issued by a U.S. State (if the person was
    born in the United States), or by the U.S. Department of State
    (if the person was born abroad to U.S. citizen parents who
    registered the child’s birth and U.S. citizenship with the U.S.
    Embassy or consulate);

    U.S. Passport,
    issued by the U.S. Department of State;

    Certificate of Citizenship,
    issued to a person born outside the
    United States who derived or acquired U.S. citizenship through a
    U.S. citizen parent; or

    Naturalization Certificate,
    issued to a person who became
    a U.S. citizen after 18 years of age through the naturalization
  • begoodbegood Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    Sorry, twoinanddone, my wording wasn't precise. I meant that I knew the PA state ID wouldn't prove US citizenship.

    It's interesting, though. It took me 14 years after the adoption of our daughter to apply for the Certificate of Citizenship, because I too thought it was an either/or: passport or CoC, and getting a passport was a simpler, less expensive process.

    What finally convinced me was the dual agency aspect: from what I understand, passports are issued by the Dept of State and are considered "strong evidence" of citizenship. Certificates of Citizenship are issued by USCIS and are considered "proof" of citizenship. Passports can expire; the CoC does not expire. The two agency databases are not linked. Therefore, it's probable that until our CoC app is approved, my daughter will still be listed in the USCIS database as a resident alien, not as a US citizen.

    The other thing that convinced me was this thread, and the stories of the difficulties some internationally adopted children have faced when trying to get driver's licenses and FA for college, and the hoops they've had to jump through to prove citizenship.
  • bearcatfanbearcatfan Registered User Posts: 1,131 Senior Member
    I know we shouldn't *have* to have a CoC, but there are going to be times, places and bureaucrats who don't give a hoot what the law says. Those are people standing between you and whatever you are trying to do. A CoC is absolute proof that is accepted anywhere. I looked at it as the final piece of paperwork for both our adoptions.

    Funny side story: The morning we had to travel three hours away to get my second child's certificate (back in those days you had to drag even babies and toddlers for an interview) my oldest woke up sick as a dog. As you know, you can't reschedule those things without a lot of drama. I'm not even sure I had a phone number. Anyway, we went and we got everything we needed. As we were leaving, my oldest puked all over the floor of the lobby. I felt really bad for the poor security guy who just smiled and said to take care of her. But I felt the INS deserved that one, lol.
  • poblob14poblob14 Registered User Posts: 429 Member
    aside from that I have two kids - one of them was adopted. I forget which
    I kind of do that too . . . both of mine were adopted, but when they were younger, people would come up to me and ask, "Are they adopted?" and for a minute I would think, "How did they know that?" (Kids are ethnically Chinese; I am extremely white.)
  • jape123jape123 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    When my older daughter, adopted from China, applied for financial aid four years ago, we actually had to send all of her original paperwok off to get an American passport as proof of citizenship.
  • bearcatfanbearcatfan Registered User Posts: 1,131 Senior Member
    @jape123 You did not have a Certificate of Citizenship?
  • cameo43cameo43 Registered User Posts: 1,657 Senior Member
    @bearcatfan: there was a gap between when the Citizenship Act kicked in and when they began sending the CoC automatically to adoptive families... many families didn't get them. And as of 12/23/16, I am told, the fee for a CoC is going up to $1,150., about double the current fee. That's a lot of money for one document, thought it is an important one. I know many families who have gotten passports for their kids and have used those as proof of citizenship with no issues... and others who have not been able to get passports without a CoC!
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,492 Senior Member
    You can definitely get a passport without a C of C. You just need to have the 'A' number from the Chinese passport or a green card. The passport agency/state department can look up the A number and see that the child came in on a IR-3 visa and is a citizen under the Child Citizenship Act (if that is in fact the case; if they came in under an IR-4 and you needed to take steps to get citizenship like re-adoption, you then have to prove that you took those steps). My child did use her C of C to get the original passport, and I have never used it since. Always use the passport.

    She has never been questioned about citizenship. Her status with the SSA is 'citizen' and none of her university paperwork was ever questioned. They never asked to see a passport, the original SS card, a birth certificate. She attends a school that is 35% international students, and they have no issues with who is a citizen and who isn't.

  • bearcatfanbearcatfan Registered User Posts: 1,131 Senior Member
    edited November 2016
    Holy cow they charge a lot for the CofC these days .... because they can.

    My first came home before the CofC was automatic and we applied and got one. My second came home after that, but because I traveled without my husband we had to apply anyway to get one (both parents had to travel to get it automatically sent back then, maybe it's changed). I'm glad we have ours. It is funny, though, that the picture on the certificate is them when they were tiny toddlers. I wonder how relevant it really is, in terms of saying "yes, this is you on the paper."
  • emilybeeemilybee Registered User Posts: 13,123 Senior Member
    S doesn't have a CoC. He has a passport which we had to present all his documentation to get.

    For his FA his college did ask for proof of citizenship so we provided a copy of his passport.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,492 Senior Member
    I wonder how relevant it really is, in terms of saying "yes, this is you on the paper."

    My birth certificate says I weigh 8 pounds, 9 ounces. Oh, how I wish it were true!
  • MAandMEmomMAandMEmom Registered User Posts: 1,587 Senior Member
    I have one adopted from Ukraine in 2001 and one from Belarus in 2002 and always assumed we were good as it was after 2000. We both traveled and finalized in country. We got passports ASAP upon return and have just renewed them. Freaked me out to send original documents to get them but they were safely returned. My kids are dual citizens until 18 and can renounce at that time if they choose.

    ^^ as someone said above I'll play that card if it helps with college options!!
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