It’s not a ShAmE…It’s a SHAM! (Dear Department of Homeland Security, what is this promise that you speak of?)

Photo Dec 17, 11 39 35 PM

Dear Adoptees Without US Citizenship, we’ve been Lied to!

The minute our adoptive parents took us into their arms and declared we were “theirs” we entered into a world of change. For some, not a large amount of change. But for others, a “whole new world”.

As an international adoptee without US citizenship, I was lied to. When the US allowed my adoptive parents to legally adopt me from Haiti, a promise was presented. My life as a poor little black kid would now be different. I would have new opportunities, I would have plenty of food to eat, I would speak a language that would hopefully get me a job, I would be connected to people who would, by virtue of adoption, pass down all the rights and privileges they assume as American Citizens.

They can’t give me the white privilege they have because it does not work that way. But at least they can keep their promise of giving me the rights of being a U.S. citizen.

On a personal and individual note, my adoptive parents didn’t care enough to make the effort to make me a U.S.citizen. They were told they had to go back to the US for a period of time until I was naturalized, and then they could return with me to whatever country they chose to raise me in.

“You were not a priority at the time.” My adoptive father says with little to no emotion in his voice. “You were not important.”

“You were a foster kid” he continues to say before I stop him.

It is sad that I have to explain to my father that I was legally adopted by him and I have all the papers to prove it. I am NOT a foster child. He did not just have legal custody or guardianship of me, I had HIS last name and this makes a huge difference.


But he still does not get it. He still sees me as a foster child, because I never was really his child.

“Your father didn’t want you…it is I who wanted you…” my adoptive mother says for the millionth time. She tells me that he never really wanted me anyway. God put me on her heart and she had to convince him to keep me.

She was a collector.

Several years after my adoption she went in search for more children who would take care of me, because I was a “problem” at the time. So she basically put out a verbal Ad searching for poor families wanting to give up their children.

Low and behold, she found MANY and decided to take in twins. In her mind, they would cure my eating problems. Never once did she stop and think that not having food in the orphanage was the cause of hoarding and eating out of the garbage can.

Not once did she offer to get me help from a psychologist or a therapist. “We don’t have good ones here in this country” she would say as an excuse. But yet they were millionaires, so why not spend some of that money taking me to the US for therapy instead of Botox on the face and lavish travels to Europe and other parts of the world. Why not use some of that money to heal my lazy eye?

No….none of that would do.

See, it looks good to have a child who is not “well” because you get recognition and notoriety. She loved the attention. So she took in more and more and more and more children. Children came and went, she didn’t even know their names, didn’t care to learn them properly and often confused them with us.

Was this the “better” life they promised us?

No. Leave me in the orphanage, I prefer to stay with people who really want to get to know me, help me be part of my culture.

APs who adopt overseas are so blind to the reality that we may not have wanted to be adopted in the first place.

And the US is at fault for this. They let Americans adopt kids without thinking about the well-being of the child. Part of the well-being of the child is security.

Citizenship offers security. Did you know that there are over 18000 adults who were adopted as children who were not given US citizenship after their US citizen parents adopted them?

This is a U.S. problem. Yes! The parents should have filed, they should have taken the proper steps. But why make it more complicated than an adoption process? Why add another layer?

When a biological child is born overseas, the parents fill out a form and BAM their child is American. But when an adoptee is adopted overseas, there is so much red tape.

Here’s the thing. It’s not a shame that APs didn’t file for citizenship for their adopted children, it’s a SHAM that the US does not see us as part of them; therefore treating us like biological children.

It’s a lie and a Sham.

We are promised a better life, security, and the rights of our adoptive parents but are not given it when we are adopted and often we don’t even find out we are not citizens until we become adults.

For me, I learned I was not a U.S. citizen very early. I could not travel to some places with my parents, I needed a visa to get into the US. I needed a student visa to go to college. I had to stand in immigration lines for hours to be admitted; often missing my next flight to my final destination. I was searched, I was detained for forgetting to have my SEVIS (a document proving I have the right to study in the US) on me “at all times”. I could not work without special permission, and that special permission cost money to get. I could not get financial aid, I could not vote.

I could not call myself an american.

And yet, my passport had my father’s last name and BOTH my parents were born in the US and spent over 18 years in the US.

My father worked in the Peace Corpse.

Their biological children had US passports AND Haitian Passports. Are we not as good as biological children?

Adoptee515 captured the essence of what is the present state of adoptees without citizenship via indentation and I have inserted my own experience as well:

The 14th Amendment’s section on equal protection says “the laws of a state must treat an individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances.” The country that processed my adoption asserts something to the effect

[the adoption decree that] the same rights of the parent-child relationship afforded to those of birthright are now bestowed on the adopted child. Clearly this type of language in a court-issued document can lead the parents and the adoptee to assume this is all-inclusive.

In my case, the US allowed my Peace Corpse parents’ adoption of me to move forward. It is unfounded that a federal agency doesn’t. While yes, you can say federal law reigns over state… when someone adopts, the case is handled by county of residence representative of the state of residency.
The adoption decree doesn’t say “except if you are foreign-born, then the parent-child rights are null and void according to the fine print within the immigration policy.”
Adopted children don’t arrive with a tag or any manual that stated “if your name changes, tell immigration. If you move, tell immigration. At 14, talk to immigration. At 18 go get fingerprinted by immigration; as an adult before 10 years is up, go get a new green card before the expiration date. If you want to avoid immigration-related problems that immigration won’t properly clue you into, go get naturalized.”

We’re adopted children/adults, not iPads, cars, and collectible Cabbage Patch dolls.

By violating the 14th Amendment, the US has also violated the 8th Amendment by imposing excessive fines and extortion.
Yes there’s loss of wages, loss of Social Security benefits, loss of the form/filing fees of passport apps and immigration forms.
This rings true for me in a different way. I recently paid 1070 for the beginning of the green card process. I will have to do it again for my daughter. Had I been granted citizenship, she too would be a citizen.
We’re also talking about commuting for appointments, processing fees for adoption records, marriage records, 2 passport sized photos per application form, postage and mailing costs, copying/faxing, printing, phone calls.
We’re also talking about in eligibility for academic scholarships, delays and extra steps with filing for federal financial aid which is the key for Pell Grants, work studies, federal educational loans.
People claim adoption is about building families. There is no basis; no trust to build a healthy family to provide and safe-keep until there is verifiable, undeniable proof I will not ever be at risk of being deported.
Innocent until proven guilty. It seems the US thinks we are guilty for being assigned an immigrant status the US gov’t forced upon us, and then expects the burden of proof to be on us. That doesn’t seem like proper application of due process.
The premise of adoption is that the adopted child is accepted and assimilates. For what? To carry lifetime burdens continually proving to the US and its representative branches, to our employers, to the state agencies, to Social Security, to State Departments, we belong?
It’s chronic emotional abuse, theft, through excessive bureaucratic rigmarole. 
Deporting adoptees without citizenship on the assumption they are and have always been citizens means they have been subject to cruel and unusual punishment that citizens are not subjected to — cruel and unusual punishment is also in the 8th Amendment.
Furthermore, certain violations against children are federal offenses (child porn, kidnapping/abduction), which implies jeopardizing the safety of children are enforceable by federal agencies. It is federal agencies promoting unlawful treatment and bureaucratic harassment stemming from legislative and regulatory oversight towards a class of children.
The point of all the stories from people coming forth are essentially describing forms of reckless, careless, discriminatory negligence. These offenses are not done in the best interests for children of US citizens. These are serving the interests of administrative and law enforcement entities.
It amazes me how many American parents don’t file for their child’s citizenship. But it amazes me even MORE how the US government is “OK” with that.
Let’s call a spade a spade.
This adoption situation is not a SHAME….it is a SHAM!
Call your senators today….tell them you support the Adoptee Citizenship Act (S.2275) because adoption should not be a SHAM. Family is family, and it includes ALL the rights!

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