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Internationally adopted kids applying to college


Replies to: Internationally adopted kids applying to college

  • emilybeeemilybee Registered User Posts: 13,123 Senior Member
    edited January 2017

    When we had to send all my son's original documents (it was right after they announced you needed to passport to get into Canada and Mexico and passport offices were overwhelmed) it became a huge ordeal. S's summer camp was going there on a trip to Canada and because his birth cert says he was born in S. Korea he couldn't use that, so he had to have a passport.

    We sent all of his originals with application and they got caught up in some snafu and no one couid tell us where they were or why. I called both my Congressman and Senators and finally Congressman's office was able to find out that they were in a "lock box" in New Hampshire - but not why they were there. They were able to work their magic and got them unlocked and his passport issued and fed exec overnight right before he was leaving for camp.
  • MAandMEmomMAandMEmom Registered User Posts: 1,587 Senior Member
    @emilybee similar story here! Came home in June 2001 and made appointment to get laser vision for myself in Canada in late-September of 2001. Yup right after 9/11 trying to re-enter the US with a child with no passport and a carload of people wearing cataract glasses. Quite the ordeal...
  • BobsMom321BobsMom321 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    <snip> 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!<snip>

    Exactly. Oldest DD still doesn't have her COC but she does have her passport. She applied to and was accepted to several colleges and universities, public and private last year. She was also awarded scholarships and a little gap FA. We were never asked for any proof from anyone.
  • MareekahMareekah Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Thanks to everyone for the excellent info. Although he has a US passport, we applied to Homeland Security for a C of C for our adopted foreign born son (HS Junior) because of the current anti-immigration climate. I wanted to warn those who need a C of C that we are STILL waiting--4 months later. There must be a huge backlog. Also, because the entire country is transitioning to the "Real ID" by 2020, kids like mine must bring copious vital records, including adoption decree etc etc to the DMV in order for their kids to get their learners permits & drivers license.
  • begoodbegood Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    We applied for the C of C on May 29. It was approved August 18, but the Oath Ceremony wasn't held until November 15. So it is a long process. Hang in there. Worth the effort.
  • cameo43cameo43 Registered User Posts: 1,657 Senior Member
    edited March 2017
    @Mareekah: Things have gotten worse. We were told in December that the expected wait for the CoC was about 16 months.(Perhaps they knew there would soon be a flood of applications...)
  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 Registered User Posts: 4,026 Senior Member
    I recently applied for a replacement CofC (actually since my daughter is over 18, she had to apply but since I lost the original one, I did all the paperwork and paid the fee and she just signed). I received a confirmation letter that pointed me to a USCIS website that shows processing times for different forms filed at different USCIS centers. I just looked up the processing center for certificates of citizenship applications, N600, and it shows that they are now processing applications filed by May 31, 2016.

  • BarbalotBarbalot Registered User Posts: 666 Member
    On the CofC, has anyone actually used it for identification/citizenship purposes? My D, adopted from China, and I will be traveling to Europe later this week. While I'm 99 percent sure there won't be a problem with her getting back into the US with her passport (which says she was born in China), in the present climate nothing surprises me. I'm definitely not carting the CofC along. I'm thinking of taking a photo of it and keeping it on my phone, though.

    I got the CofC about 10 years ago after procrastinating a long time, and I'm glad I did, despite the cost, which is about double now.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,494 Senior Member
    There must be a huge backlog. Also, because the entire country is transitioning to the "Real ID" by 2020, kids like mine must bring copious vital records, including adoption decree etc etc to the DMV in order for their kids to get their learners permits & drivers license.

    My adopted daughter needed the exact same document to get a driver's license as my bio daughter and I needed - a passport. We were given the option of producing a valid passport or a certified birth certificate with a SS card or other forms, and since it was easier to get a new passport (all 3 of us had expired passports) than to get new birth certificates from one state for me plus another state for them and the other documents, plus we needed the new passports anyway.

    I used my daughter's C of C to get her original passport when she was about 4 years old. I have never used it since. Each new passport application has accepted her expired passport, and I use the passport for everything else - sports registration, schools, college, new jobs, airplane travel (even domestic).
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    edited April 2017
    I have never adopted and had no idea of all the red tape in our own country.


    There's plenty more if you talk to many folks who gone through the legal immigration process with the INS. My father came to the US in the early '60s, got his green card, and started the process of getting citizenship with a conscientious immigration lawyer in the '70s.

    He didn't get his citizenship despite the best efforts of that lawyer until I was nearly out of undergrad 20+ years later.

    That lawyer felt so bad about the long delay he never asked my father for any money other than the initial reasonable retainer fee back in the '70s, refused any further payment, and even attempted to refund that retainer fee which my parents refused to accept despite severe financial constraints.
    In some countries (like Korea), the child comes here still a citizen of that country and the adoption takes place here.


    I don't think that's true regarding retaining of South Korean citizenship. If a child is adopted in South Korea, my understanding is their law automatically removes South Korean citizenship.

    This detail is one reason why male South Korean-born adoptees have no worries about having to/having their parents renounce South Korean citizenship before the age of ~16 so they're not subjected to South Korea's mandatory military service when they visit South Korea from 16-~38.

    On the flipside, male Korean-American immigrants who emigrated as children after ~6 or so who/whose parents failed to formally renounce their citizenship before ~16 are subjected to South Korea's mandatory military service obligation. If they wait until after ~16, the Korean-American can only renounce citizenship AFTER SERVING HIS MILITARY SERVICE OBLIGATION.

    One former Korean-American colleague who emigrated to the US after 6 and whose parents forgot to formally renounce his South Korean citizenship before ~16 stated he can't step on South Korean soil until he's in his late 30s or else he risks being conscripted at any point in his stay there to serve out his mandatory service.

    In some cases, even American-born Korean-Americans who effectively became dual citizens because a distant relative registered them in the South Korean family registry effectively become dual-citizens and thus, subjected to the draft once they step onto South Korean soil as this case demonstrated:


  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    ^ ^

    I meant international adoptions.
  • sbgal2011sbgal2011 Registered User Posts: 292 Junior Member
    We adopted two children from Russia in 2000, now they are a junior and senior in high school. We always use their passport as a means of showing proof of citizenship. We never use the CofC. We readopted in the U.S. so they have a birth certificate, but it clearly shows they were born in Russia, and it clearly states that the birth certificate is not proof of citizenship. So we never let their U.S. passports expire, as we feel it's the easiest way to prove citizenship.

    As for travelling abroad, we have never had any problems coming back to the U.S. with their passports. They are citizens, they have U.S. Passports, end of story. We have entered the U.S. through JFK, Miami, Charlotte, Houston, and other airports, and never had a single issue.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,494 Senior Member
    don't think that's true regarding retaining of South Korean citizenship. If a child is adopted in South Korea, my understanding is their law automatically removes South Korean citizenship.

    You are incorrect, @cobrat. Some adoptions are completed overseas, some are not. If they are not, the child arrives in the US as a permanent resident, with a green card. Sometimes the parents aren't even legal guardians of the child. When the adoption process is completed in the US, the child will become a citizen automatically under the child citizenship act IF the child is under 18. What the birth country does with its citizenship is up to the birth country. Sometime the person will remain a citizen of both countries, sometimes the birth country will revoke citizenship - the US doesn't require renouncing citizenship.

  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    You are incorrect, @cobrat. Some adoptions are completed overseas, some are not.


    I was mainly talking about ones completed overseas.

    If the male adoptee still retains South Korean citizenship when he arrives in the US and he/adopted parents fail to formally renounce that citizenship before ~16*, he then faces the liability of being conscripted into the South Korean armed forces to serve his service obligation as any South Korean born citizen.

    I hope the adoption agencies which arrange adoptions in the US are aware of and have made arrangements/made adoptee parents of male adoptees aware of this issue or else even with naturalized US citizenship, that adoptee may find himself surprised at being confronted by South Korean draft officials/taken off departing flight back to the US and immediately conscripted then and there for ~2+ years. .

    * If one waits until 16 or older, the male South Korean national even with naturalized US citizenship won't be allowed by South Korea's government to formally renounce South Korean citizenship until he's completed his service obligation until he's well past draft age(~38 or so).

    This is the reason why some male Korean-Americans I've known and in news reports I've posted above whose parents failed to formally renounce citizenship before ~16 can't visit South Korea until they're nearly 40 as doing so will risk their being arrested and immediately conscripted to serve their service obligation. It's a serious issue/concern within the Korean-American community.

    One Korean-American former colleague who spend all but the first 5 years of his life in the US can't visit South Korea for several more years precisely because his parents, like many others, assumed his South Korean nationality would automatically be dropped once he became a naturalized US citizen as a child until they found otherwise when planning a family trip to visit South Korea when he was about to graduate HS.

    He ended up having to stay home to avoid the risk of being immediately conscripted considering his Korean proficiency was practically nonexistent and the notoriety of the severe disciplinary regimen/hazing in the South Korean armed forces.

    I would have been in the same position myself if I was born in the ROC(Taiwan) and failed to renounce ROC citizenship before ~16 though they do provide the "Overseas Chinese" option which allows ROC nationals living abroad to visit Taiwan without getting drafted provided they stay no more than a few months each year or a certain number of months in a 2 year period.

    One HS classmate who ended up studying engineering at NTU ended up getting conscripted and served his 2 years after graduating from college because he exceeded the maximum number of months he could stay in the ROC controlled territories as an Overseas Chinese within a 2 year period.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,494 Senior Member
    I think you are mixing up children adopted to US citizens (and the adoption might be completed overseas in countries like China that have also adopted the Hague treaty and those countries that haven't adopted it) and those who are citizens (born) in another country and come to the US with parents or even on their own and get citizenship once they are here. For those who come to the US adopted on foreign soil, they become automatic US citizens upon entry. There is nothing to renounce, nothing to complete. The USCIS will send a Certificate of Citizenship after entry.

    It is still up to the 'sending' country whether to revoke citizenship. The US citizenship process, whether because of adoption or another procedure, do not require the citizenship of another country to be renounced. Some of those other countries have a process, like it seems S.Korea does, to continue citizenship with responsibilities or to renounce it. Some countries, China, give no option and revokes it (usually the only outward sign of this is when you apply for a visa in your US passport and the Chinese consulate requires your Chinese passport which they clip the cover). Some countries require (yes, require) dual citizenship until age 18 and if the child travels to that country before he is 18 he must use that country's passport, and then at 18 has to accept to continue citizenship with responsibilities (military service may be one) or renounce.

    The US doesn't require the new citizen to do anything. If S. Korea removes citizenship upon adoption IN S. Korea, that child would have no country from the date of adoption until he lands on US soil, and would have no passport to use to travel. There have been instances when the family doesn't return to the US for some time. I know of cases where the adoptive parent DIED just after adoption and the child has to remain in country for some time. Doesn't seem like a good idea to revoke citizenship until the new country accepts the child.
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