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Adoption and US Citizenship - NOT political


SKL
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I've read a number of stories of international adoptees in the USA who are not US citizens, or not registered in the right places as citizens, at risk of being detained or deported (some have already been deported) due in part to having committed crimes.

This is not a Republican / Democrat issue, as it has been going on across administrations - it has to do with the law as written.  There are ongoing bipartisan efforts to fix it, and I'm not sure why it hasn't gotten fixed in all these years.  The stories I've read all arose prior to the present administration, so please don't use this thread as an excuse to discuss present immigration politics.  Adoption is a special case, and usually the kids were babies or toddlers when they came here.  Usually they believed they were citizens or that their permanent resident status was permanent regardless of anything.

For kids adopted in recent years, there is automatic citizenship, but it can still be problematic if the parents didn't get the Certificate of Citizenship to prove it.  The different departments of our large government don't always talk to each other, and it can take time to get things sorted out even if you are a citizen.  I know that in the adoption community, there are still many parents who don't believe they need to get the documentation, and don't feel it's worth the cost, or they want to take a stand rather than just getting it done.  In some cases, there are hardships that have delayed the formalities.

I see this fairly often on adoption-related sites, but I know there are some folks here whose families include international adoptees, and wanted to encourage anyone who isn't sure to look into whether they have a Certificate of Citizenship, and if not, how to get one before it becomes a problem.  The process to get a CoC for an adoptee changes as they approach the age of majority.  I hate to see people in a bind over things that should be easy to prevent.

(PS I am not an immigration or adoption attorney.  If you are unsure about legal status, I would suggest contacting someone with legal expertise in the field.)

Based on my understanding, the ideal is to have, at a minimum:  a birth certificate issued by a US state; a Certificate of Citizenship in the person's current name; and to confirm with the Social Security administration that the person is listed in their records as a US citizen.  The sooner, the better.

 

 

Edited by SKL
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3 hours ago, SKL said:

Based on my understanding, the ideal is to have, at a minimum:  a birth certificate issued by a US state; a Certificate of Citizenship in the person's current name; and to confirm with the Social Security administration that the person is listed in their records as a US citizen.  The sooner, the better.

 

We naturalized a few months ago so now DS14 has a US passport as well. DS13 is born here. What we were advised by USCIS was to get DS14 his certificate of citizenship before he turns 18 because we can do all the paperwork on his behalf. The reason being that lots of documentation is needed from the parents and some colleges asked to see the certificate of citizenship. For example, my husband misplaced his birth certificate and he has to get a replacement copy for filing the N-600 form for DS14 as they need copies of both parents birth certificate. If DS14 files after he turns 18, he would have to handle the legal work himself. Part of the N-600 requires the dates he is out of country, luckily he only went overseas twice so far and I kept the emails for flight bookings. (ETA: looks like Part 6 of form N-600 is not required to be filled)

Our local USCIS office sees many adults applying for the certificate of citizenship after they have been using a US passport for years. That’s why they encourage parents to apply for their minor kids to save their kids future trouble/hassle.

Edited by Arcadia
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My four children were adopted internationally, and all were citizens of the US when they entered the country, because of the circumstances of their adoptions. But only the younger three have Certificates of Citizenship. They were sent automatically at the time that we adopted them, but they were not sent automatically when we adopted DD17. I didn't realize that it was different to get one as an adult than as a minor, so we will look into it. Thank  you for the reminder. She does have a state birth certificate and a US passport.

We were warned about the deportation issue for non-citizen adoptees when we started the adoption process 18 plus years ago, so it not a new thing. But people can get deported, even if they have lived here since infancy. It's a serious issue.

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6 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

 

We naturalized a few months ago so now DS14 has a US passport as well. DS13 is born here. What we were advised by USCIS was to get DS14 his certificate of citizenship before he turns 18 because we can do all the paperwork on his behalf. The reason being that lots of documentation is needed from the parents and some colleges asked to see the certificate of citizenship. For example, my husband misplaced his birth certificate and he has to get a replacement copy for filing the N-600 form for DS14 as they need copies of both parents birth certificate. If DS14 files after he turns 18, he would have to handle the legal work himself. Part of the N-600 requires the dates he is out of country, luckily he only went overseas twice so far and I kept the emails for flight bookings. 

Our local USCIS office sees many adults applying for the certificate of citizenship after they have been using a US passport for years. That’s why they encourage parents to apply for their minor kids to save their kids future trouble/hassle.

Ugh. DD17 has been to several countries, because we have been on a couple of cruises. Documenting that might be a hassle, because we didn't always have our passports stamped. I think we could figure out the specific dates she was in foreign countries, but proving it with documents would be more of a hassle.

I'm thankful for this thread!! Because it had not occurred to me that we should get the CofC this year (she turns 18 at the end of the year).

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13 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

Ugh. DD17 has been to several countries, because we have been on a couple of cruises. Documenting that might be a hassle, because we didn't always have our passports stamped. I think we could figure out the specific dates she was in foreign countries, but proving it with documents would be more of a hassle.

 

It is on Part 6 in page 8 of the N-600 form 

https://www.uscis.gov/system/files_force/files/form/n-600.pdf

Not sure if it’s asking for parent or child details and whether we need to fill up that section for DS14. Looking at page 7 of the instructions, I don’t think we need to for DS14 but we will clarify with our local office.

https://www.uscis.gov/system/files_force/files/form/n-600instr.pdf

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11 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

 

It is on Part 6 in page 8 of the N-600 form 

https://www.uscis.gov/system/files_force/files/form/n-600.pdf

Not sure if it’s asking for parent or child details and whether we need to fill up that section for DS14. Looking at page 7 of the instructions, I don’t think we need to for DS14 but we will clarify with our local office.

https://www.uscis.gov/system/files_force/files/form/n-600instr.pdf

It looks to me like that section is for children born outside of the US to parents who are citizens of the US. So the children would be citizens of the US from birth. If I'm reading it correctly, it doesn't apply to my children.

In other words, some children are born to US parents, but the birth is in another country. They are still citizens of the US, though they were born elsewhere.

My children were immigrants not born to US parents.

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I have not read the replies in this thread, but on our last trip to the ACS (American Citizen Services) in the U.S. Embassy (2018), there was a couple  who were adopting a Colombian baby from the Mother here.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/Intercountry-Adoption/Adoption-Process/how-to-adopt.html

There are other web pages on State.Gov that U.S. Citizens can read.

It is my  belief that children adopted legally in another country, by parents who comply with ALL of the regulations of the host country and with ALL of the regulations of the U.S. Government are OK with paperwork and I suspect they may have a U.S. Passport when they travel to the USA, however, I am not sure about that.  It may be that instead of a U.S. Passport, they have a one-time permission to enter the USA and that the rest of the paperwork is done in the USA.

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There was a heartbreaking story a couple of years ago of a young man adopted from Korea as a baby who had an unhappy, unstable upbringing in the US, ended up on kind of a bad path for awhile, including some minor trouble with the law, then got his life back together... and was deported to a country he'd never been to past infancy. I kept thinking how horrible it was that the US had doubly victimized him. First by not giving him the legal protections of citizenship when he was adopted into an unstable situation and then again when they sent him to a country he knew nothing about.

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DD was adopted in 2002, and we did not get a certificate of citizenship. I don't remember anyone even mentioning that particular document, although we had it drilled into us that we should do a readoption in the US and that both parents had to see her before the adoption was finalized in her birth country (getting that done on very short notice was CRAZY, since we had to travel separately and only had a few days to do it when they suddenly moved the adoption date up). So we did do a readoption and name change in the US very soon after bringing her home, and we immediately sorted out her Social Security status and got her a US Passport, which has always been kept current (she's now 16).

DS was born in the UK, and when we registered his birth with the US Embassy in London, they issued a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, which I think is the equivalent of a Certificate of Citizenship. At the time we were told to take REALLY good care of it, because they would not issue a replacement if it were ever lost, but I understand now you can apply for a regular CofC if the birth abroad thing is lost. He has never had any problem, or had to prove his citizenship, even at college. He just checked the US Citizen box and they never asked for any proof or additional info.

So now I'm wondering if I really need to get a CofC for DD, even though she was readopted in FL (so she has a FL birth certificate that says "record of foreign birth") and is definitely a citizen as far as Social Security is concerned, and has a valid passport? Are people saying she still needs a CofC on top of that or risk deportation???

ETA: Whoa, a Certificate of Citizenship costs $1,170?! 😱

Edited by Corraleno
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27 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

<snip>

DS was born in the UK, and when we registered his birth with the US Embassy in London, they issued a Certificate of Citizen Birth Abroad, which I think is the equivalent of a Certificate of Citizenship. At the time we were told to take REALLY good care of it, because they would not issue a replacement if it were ever lost, but I understand now you can apply for a regular CofC if the birth abroad thing is lost. He has never had any problem, or had to prove his citizenship, even at college. He just checked the US Citizen box and they never asked for any proof or additional info.

<snip>

 

My DD has a CRBA.  That requires that at least one of the parents is a U.S. Citizen and meets certain requirements and can transfer U.S. Citizenship to the baby.

The baby is born a U.S. Citizen. The CRBA takes the place of a Birth Certificate one would be issued by a City or County or State in the USA for a baby born there.

Someone with a CRBA is NOT a Naturalized U.S. Citizen. They were born a U.S. Citizen.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/while-abroad/birth-abroad/replace-amend-CRBA.html

"Birth of U.S. Citizens Abroad. A child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents may acquire U.S. citizenship at birth if certain statutory requirements are met. ... According to U.S. law, a CRBA is proof of U.S. citizenship and may be used to obtain a U.S. passport and register for school, among other purposes."

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55 minutes ago, Lanny said:

I have not read the replies in this thread, but on our last trip to the ACS (American Citizen Services) in the U.S. Embassy (2018), there was a couple  who were adopting a Colombian baby from the Mother here.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/Intercountry-Adoption/Adoption-Process/how-to-adopt.html

There are other web pages on State.Gov that U.S. Citizens can read.

It is my  belief that children adopted legally in another country, by parents who comply with ALL of the regulations of the host country and with ALL of the regulations of the U.S. Government are OK with paperwork and I suspect they may have a U.S. Passport when they travel to the USA, however, I am not sure about that.  It may be that instead of a U.S. Passport, they have a one-time permission to enter the USA and that the rest of the paperwork is done in the USA.

Depending on whether the parents visited prior to the adoption being finalized, they get an IR3 or IR4 visa.  With an IR3 visa the child becomes a citizen upon landing in the USA.  With an IR4 you need to re-adopt in the USA.  In either case, you need to get the CoC - nowadays it comes automatically for an IR3, but if you change the name, it is recommended to get an updated CoC.

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

 

We naturalized a few months ago so now DS14 has a US passport as well. DS13 is born here. What we were advised by USCIS was to get DS14 his certificate of citizenship before he turns 18 because we can do all the paperwork on his behalf. The reason being that lots of documentation is needed from the parents and some colleges asked to see the certificate of citizenship. For example, my husband misplaced his birth certificate and he has to get a replacement copy for filing the N-600 form for DS14 as they need copies of both parents birth certificate. If DS14 files after he turns 18, he would have to handle the legal work himself. Part of the N-600 requires the dates he is out of country, luckily he only went overseas twice so far and I kept the emails for flight bookings. 

Our local USCIS office sees many adults applying for the certificate of citizenship after they have been using a US passport for years. That’s why they encourage parents to apply for their minor kids to save their kids future trouble/hassle.

I would also note that some states ask for CoC to get a driver's license, and there might be implications for the Real ID.  I have heard some colleges also ask for the CoC.  There may be ways around it, but personally I would rather have the CoC in hand so there are no unexpected delays.

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49 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

 

So now I'm wondering if I really need to get a CofC for DD, even though she was readopted in FL (so she has a FL birth certificate that says "record of foreign birth") and is definitely a citizen as far as Social Security is concerned, and has a valid passport? Are people saying she still needs a CofC on top of that or risk deportation???

ETA: Whoa, a Certificate of Citizenship costs $1,170?! 😱

Well, given that a man who was born in the USA, and a veteran, who had his passport, driver's license, and military ID on him when arrested, STILL ended up detained by ICE, yeah, I'd say check whatever boxes you can. 😞

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According to this USCIS document, children adopted abroad by US citizens who entered the US on IR3 visas after February 2001 were supposed to be automatically sent a CofC. We never got one, and neither our agency nor the US Dept of State office in Miami,  where we got her US Passport, ever mentioned it. But when I look at the form to replace one that was lost or not received, the form requires you to provide the number of the certificate — that was never received. And the form to request a CofC if you've never had one assumes the person does not have a passport or other proof of citizenship, so it asks for copies of birth certificates, adoption degrees, both parents' birth certificates, marriage certificates & divorce decrees, and all kinds of other documents that were already provided when we got her passport. Not to mention the $1,170 fee!

It boggles my mind that, in the current climate in this country, a US citizen with a current, valid US passport could still be at risk of deportation. Insane. ☹️

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16 minutes ago, SKL said:

I would also note that some states ask for CoC to get a driver's license, and there might be implications for the Real ID.  I have heard some colleges also ask for the CoC.  There may be ways around it, but personally I would rather have the CoC in hand so there are no unexpected delays.

I had to use my CRBA for my Real ID.  I would assume that you would need a CoC if it applied instead. 

Re. marriage name change.  I had to show my official marriage certificate (which I did not have and had to go 26 years after my marriage to get) to prove my current name.  It was fine in conjunction with the CRBA and I assume would be with the CoC as well. 

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2 hours ago, Storygirl said:

Ugh. DD17 has been to several countries, because we have been on a couple of cruises. Documenting that might be a hassle, because we didn't always have our passports stamped.

That is unnecessary. According to the instructions, only people who were born outside the US and claim to have been US citizens at birth are required to document presence of self and parent.

Just done that. Heads-up: the filing fee for the N-600 is $1,100. Not something everybody can easily afford.

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49 minutes ago, SKL said:

I would also note that some states ask for CoC to get a driver's license, and there might be implications for the Real ID.  

 

We applied for the Real ID last month using our US passports and have received our Real ID in the mail. We would apply for CoC for DS14 of course. 

11 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Just done that. Heads-up: the filing fee for the N-600 is $1,100. Not something everybody can easily afford.

 

My husband was amused that the N-600 fee is higher than the naturalization N-400 fee of $640. I agree it is not cheap.

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I have to admit that we still don't have a COC for our older DD.   We just don't have nearly $1200 laying around,   DD21 was adopted before the COC was issued automatically but she does have a passport and US issued birth certificate,   Younger DD was adopted later and has a COC as it was mailed automatically.  

I've heard more and more students having trouble as colleges are asking for the COC but fortunately this was not an issue for her when she transferred to a large public university this year, or when she began at a smaller private university two years ago.  She is planning on graduate school in another year and a half, fingers crossed it still isn't an issue.  By the time we have a spare $1200, the fee will likely be $3000 as it has steadily gone up since we brought them both home, outpacing any of our surplus funds.  

 

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18 minutes ago, ZiMom said:

I have to admit that we still don't have a COC for our older DD.   We just don't have nearly $1200 laying around,   DD21 was adopted before the COC was issued automatically but she does have a passport and US issued birth certificate,   Younger DD was adopted later and has a COC as it was mailed automatically.  

I've heard more and more students having trouble as colleges are asking for the COC but fortunately this was not an issue for her when she transferred to a large public university this year, or when she began at a smaller private university two years ago.  She is planning on graduate school in another year and a half, fingers crossed it still isn't an issue.  By the time we have a spare $1200, the fee will likely be $3000 as it has steadily gone up since we brought them both home, outpacing any of our surplus funds.  

 

If she really wants to go to grad school and she hopes to get it paid for by the university (i.e., not professional degrees), I'd work rally hard to get everything squared away.  I know in the grad schools my husband have run, US citizens have an easier time getting funding.  $1000 Is cheaper than grad school.

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32 minutes ago, YaelAldrich said:

If she really wants to go to grad school and she hopes to get it paid for by the university (i.e., not professional degrees), I'd work rally hard to get everything squared away.  I know in the grad schools my husband have run, US citizens have an easier time getting funding.  $1000 Is cheaper than grad school.

But her DD (like mine) is a citizen and does have proof of citizenship — a US Passport. The fact that some colleges and even government agencies would require a $1200 CofC when a $140 passport proves exactly the same thing is absolutely ridiculous, IMO. 🤬

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2 hours ago, Corraleno said:

But her DD (like mine) is a citizen and does have proof of citizenship — a US Passport. The fact that some colleges and even government agencies would require a $1200 CofC when a $140 passport proves exactly the same thing is absolutely ridiculous, IMO. 🤬

I can't imagine a college not taking a passport as proof of citizenship. How would they even know if a person was adopted, much less if they were born in another country?

My son went to a state uni and was never asked for proof of citizenship, why would a college ask for that? IIRC, the application asked if he was a citizen of the US, but there was no verification process.

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6 hours ago, peacelovehomeschooling said:

Do you mean if you change the child's name when they come home or do you mean when the child gets married as an adult?   If you mean when they get married they should get an updated CoC, that never once occurred to me. 

I was referring to if the child's name is changed after coming home, but I also wonder whether people do it after they get married too.

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15 hours ago, Corraleno said:

According to this USCIS document, children adopted abroad by US citizens who entered the US on IR3 visas after February 2001 were supposed to be automatically sent a CofC. We never got one, and neither our agency nor the US Dept of State office in Miami,  where we got her US Passport, ever mentioned it. But when I look at the form to replace one that was lost or not received, the form requires you to provide the number of the certificate — that was never received. And the form to request a CofC if you've never had one assumes the person does not have a passport or other proof of citizenship, so it asks for copies of birth certificates, adoption degrees, both parents' birth certificates, marriage certificates & divorce decrees, and all kinds of other documents that were already provided when we got her passport. Not to mention the $1,170 fee!

It boggles my mind that, in the current climate in this country, a US citizen with a current, valid US passport could still be at risk of deportation. Insane. ☹️

An immigration lawyer explained to me that the department that issues passports is different from the one that issues CoC, and a passport isn't actually proof of US citizenship.  She says the only document that proves US citizenship [for an immigrant] is the CoC.

Edited by SKL
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5 hours ago, SKL said:

An immigration lawyer explained to me that the department that issues passports is different from the one that issues CoC, and a passport isn't actually proof of US citizenship.  She says the only document that proves US citizenship is the CoC.

Well the US Citizenship and Immigration Service — the department that actually issues the CofC — does consider a US passport to be proof of citizenship. They state that multiple times on their website, and on one page they actually say "Your U.S. passport is your best proof of U.S. citizenship." The US State Department, the Justice Department, and the Social Security Administration all consider a US passport to be proof of citizenship. Citizens who are born in the US can't even get a CofC, so anyone born here would need either a US passport or a certified copy of their birth certificate to prove citizenship. If "the only document that proves citizenship is a CofC," then no one born in the US could ever prove their citizenship!

 

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We are not Residents of a U.S. State or Territory.  I am assuming that a valid U.S. Passport can be used as "Real ID" in a U.S. airport?   Or, in place of a "Real ID"?

Regarding the original documents. Whether a U.S. Birth Certificate or a CRBA or something else, there are things on the paper the officials look for that are not obvious to people who do not work with those documents for a living all day.

On one occasion, some people from the ACS in the U.S. Embassy came here, about 6 or 7 years ago and we went to get a Renewal Passport for DD.  I thought that I had all of the paperwork with me. The woman needed the original CRBA.    I didn't want to ship it to Bogota, but I had to do that and fortunately got it back OK with the new Passport.

 

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1 hour ago, Lanny said:

We are not Residents of a U.S. State or Territory.  I am assuming that a valid U.S. Passport can be used as "Real ID" in a U.S. airport?   Or, in place of a "Real ID"?

Regarding the original documents. Whether a U.S. Birth Certificate or a CRBA or something else, there are things on the paper the officials look for that are not obvious to people who do not work with those documents for a living all day.

On one occasion, some people from the ACS in the U.S. Embassy came here, about 6 or 7 years ago and we went to get a Renewal Passport for DD.  I thought that I had all of the paperwork with me. The woman needed the original CRBA.    I didn't want to ship it to Bogota, but I had to do that and fortunately got it back OK with the new Passport.

 

You are correct. A passport can be used as a “Real ID” at an airport.

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2 hours ago, Corraleno said:

Well the US Citizenship and Immigration Service — the department that actually issues the CofC — does consider a US passport to be proof of citizenship. They state that multiple times on their website, and on one page they actually say "Your U.S. passport is your best proof of U.S. citizenship." The US State Department, the Justice Department, and the Social Security Administration all consider a US passport to be proof of citizenship. Citizens who are born in the US can't even get a CofC, so anyone born here would need either a US passport or a certified copy of their birth certificate to prove citizenship. If "the only document that proves citizenship is a CofC," then no one born in the US could ever prove their citizenship!

 

Well actually, a birth certificate proving you were born in the US is proof of citizenship, which is why people born here don't need a CoC.  I meant the only document that proves citizenship for an immigrant is a CoC.  That is what the lawyer told me.  I understand the different US government websites and so on may have conflicting statements.  Personally I would prefer to err on the safe side.

Edited by SKL
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Yes, we were told her order of adoption, US passport, social security card, and her (new) American birth certificate that had us listed as her parents would not be enough proof of citizenship and she needed the C of C in addition to that. The cost of the C of C was much less than, if I remember correctly it was about $400.  They even sent emails out a year or two later before the first rate hike after that reminding all the parents to get it done if they hadn't already. 

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57 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

Here's a fun fact from that link: If the person is 14 or over, they must go in person and swear an oath of allegiance as part of the process for getting the CofC.

 

My local office says the kids get their swearing the oath of allegiance at the Children’s Museum. For us adults it was a line by line repeating the oath with everyone else while standing in front of our seat so it wasn’t scary.

I did opt not to have the line on bearing arms at the USCIS office. It’s a personal belief since birth growing up in a Buddhist family.

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5 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Yes, we were told her order of adoption, US passport, social security card, and her (new) American birth certificate that had us listed as her parents would not be enough proof of citizenship

Enough for what circumstances?  My internationally adopted children have traveled abroad several times with our family and also independently.  One of them lived in Asia doing a NSLI program.  The one who attends college at an out-of-state public school was asked to prove his citizenship before matriculating.  Their US passports have been accepted readily in all of these situations.  Whom do these kids need to satisfy that won't accept a US passport?

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The group I sponsor my kids in Honduras through is going through some of these growing pains.  The parents went to Honduras first in 2001. Theyhad young kids then. And the kids are now married and are now having grandkids. Now it is time to get grandkids their US citizenship.  They wrote a blog about their latest efforts toward this.

https://sowers4pastors.blogspot.com/2019/01/so-you-want-to-be-citizen-blah-blah-blah.html

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45 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

The group I sponsor my kids in Honduras through is going through some of these growing pains.  The parents went to Honduras first in 2001. Theyhad young kids then. And the kids are now married and are now having grandkids. Now it is time to get grandkids their US citizenship.  They wrote a blog about their latest efforts toward this.

https://sowers4pastors.blogspot.com/2019/01/so-you-want-to-be-citizen-blah-blah-blah.html

That is a case of a citizen board abroad, not a case of proving citizenship after adoption from another country, which is what we are discussing.

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2 hours ago, cave canem said:

Enough for what circumstances?  My internationally adopted children have traveled abroad several times with our family and also independently.  One of them lived in Asia doing a NSLI program.  The one who attends college at an out-of-state public school was asked to prove his citizenship before matriculating.  Their US passports have been accepted readily in all of these situations.  Whom do these kids need to satisfy that won't accept a US passport?

I would like to know this as well. The stories I have seen about US citizens being held by ICE have almost all been cases of either mistaken identity (like the poor guy in FL they were trying to deport to Jamaica, even though he was born in Philly and had never been to Jamaica), faulty records, or a situation where the citizen didn't have a passport or BC available and needed help to pull together the records to establish citizenship. And in many cases the clerical errors were compounded by ICE (and other entities) dragging things out unnecessarily even when they were offered proof of citizenship. People who were wrongly held have been released after showing a passport as proof of citizenship. 

Back when a CofC was only $400, and a passport was $100, I could understand adoption agencies urging people to get their adopted kids a CofC (although ours obviously didn't), because a CofC never expires, so $400 for life is cheaper than $100 every 10 years. So it made sense for parents to get a passport right away, which only takes a couple of weeks, so they could change the child's citizenship status with Social Security, then apply for a CofC, which can take 9-10 months. Then if the child never travels abroad they would never have to renew the passport. Now that a CofC is nearly ten times the cost of a passport (and the fee to replace a lost one is $555!), keeping a current passport is easier and more cost-effective, plus it allows travel abroad and serves as both proof of citizenship and a verified ID for air travel, employment, Social Security, driver's license, etc.

If there has been an actual case where a college or DMV or other entity has literally refused to accept a passport as proof of citizenship and has required a US citizen to obtain a CofC in addition to a passport, I would love to see a link to a report about that.

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I do not know wether this would be the same for people who were adopted, but..

For dh, a naturalized citizen, we have experienced that the US passport is not enough for proof a couple of times.  However it is proof enough at the airport.  It's very confusing.

The one instance I can remember recently is this came light when we looked at getting healthcare on the exchange about 4 months ago.  He's a contractor so we self pay.  They also wanted all the info (original document numbers) proving his chain of steps to become a citizen going back 20 years.  

 

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17 hours ago, TechWife said:

I can't imagine a college not taking a passport as proof of citizenship. How would they even know if a person was adopted, much less if they were born in another country?

My son went to a state uni and was never asked for proof of citizenship, why would a college ask for that? IIRC, the application asked if he was a citizen of the US, but there was no verification process.

Place of birth is asked for on the common app.  Maybe citizenship too--I can't remember.

In the case of my child attending an out-of-state public university, state law there does not allow enrollment of students in certain immigration situations.  Hence the onus on students born out of the US to prove citizenship.   US passport was accepted for this.

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12 minutes ago, cave canem said:

Place of birth is asked for on the common app.  Maybe citizenship too--I can't remember.

In the case of my child attending an out-of-state public university, state law there does not allow enrollment of students in certain immigration situations.  Hence the onus on students born out of the US to prove citizenship.   US passport was accepted for this.

Yes, my son was asked this as well, but he never had to prove it. 

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I don't have any expertise in this area, but might the CoC be most needed in case a person committed a crime since ICE is so concerned now with deporting anyone they deem to be a non-citizen who committed a crime? That's certainly what happened to the young man who was adopted from Korea in the case I mentioned. He got on ICE's radar because he had been involved in a felony. I'm sure no one wants to think they're going to commit a crime... but sometimes things happen. Wrong place, wrong time, bad decision things.

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5 minutes ago, Mbelle said:

I do not know wether this would be the same for people who were adopted, but..

For dh, a naturalized citizen, we have experienced that the US passport is not enough for proof a couple of times.  However it is proof enough at the airport.  It's very confusing.

The one instance I can remember recently is this came light when we looked at getting healthcare on the exchange about 4 months ago.  He's a contractor so we self pay.  They also wanted all the info (original document numbers) proving his chain of steps to become a citizen going back 20 years.  

 

 

Who insisted on seeing all the original documents? Was this someone on the phone at the Marketplace (because they often have no idea what they're doing)? Or an insurance broker? Whoever insisted that a US passport was not sufficient was incorrect — the Healthcare.gov site explicitly states that a US passport is sufficient proof of citizenship. This sample letter lists exactly what documents they will accept as proof of citizenship and it explicitly says you only have to provide ONE of those documents; the list includes US Passport as well as a CofC or CofN.

 

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3 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I don't have any expertise in this area, but might the CoC be most needed in case a person committed a crime since ICE is so concerned now with deporting anyone they deem to be a non-citizen who committed a crime? That's certainly what happened to the young man who was adopted from Korea in the case I mentioned. He got on ICE's radar because he had been involved in a felony. I'm sure no one wants to think they're going to commit a crime... but sometimes things happen. Wrong place, wrong time, bad decision things.

He wasn't actually a citizen, though, was he? I believe that most children adopted from Korea must go through a readoption process in the US, because they do not usually meet the criteria for automatic citizenship. The way Korean adoption is set up, the child is generally brought to the US for adoption, rather than the parents traveling to the child's country and doing the adoption there. In order for a child to get an IR3 visa, which grants them automatic citizenship when entering the US, both parents must see the child prior to the adoption being final in the foreign country. As I understand it, many children who were adopted from Korea were never readopted in the US, so they are not technically US citizens. It's unfortunate that many parents did not follow through on the necessary second step of the process, because the consequences can be truly tragic. 😢

But AFAIK in the case you referenced, and others like them, the issue isn't that they don't have a CofC, it's that they are not actually citizens. If they were citizens, then a passport would serve as proof as well as a CofC.

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In the case of Korea, until an adopted male child becomes a US citizen through the necessary court process (in the US, in most cases), the child remains a citizen of South Korea and is subject to military service.  It isn't just the risk of deportation from the US that is in view if this step is neglected.

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1 hour ago, vonfirmath said:

The group I sponsor my kids in Honduras through is going through some of these growing pains.  The parents went to Honduras first in 2001. Theyhad young kids then. And the kids are now married and are now having grandkids. Now it is time to get grandkids their US citizenship.  They wrote a blog about their latest efforts toward this.

https://sowers4pastors.blogspot.com/2019/01/so-you-want-to-be-citizen-blah-blah-blah.html

 

The parents who went to Honduras in 2001 and had children there, if they were U.S. Citizens and if they met the existing requirements at that time, probably were able to transfer U.S. Citizenship to their children.

However, unless the regulations have changed since that time, their children do not meet the U.S. Residence requirement (living in the USA a certain number of years after the age of 14, and different rules for Mothers and for Fathers) to transfer U.S. Citizenship to their children.

NOTE: There is a way, the Grandparents may be able to transfer U.S. Citizenship in this case. A childhood friend of mine was able to do it for 2 of 3 grandchildren.  They had to be under the age of 18 at the time of the ceremony.  He had the help of his U.S. Congressman to get this done and it was, if my memory is correct, quite complicated. They had the swearing in ceremony in the state where my friend lives now.

ETA: As you are probably more than well aware, things are extremely bad in Honduras and in some other countries in Central America. El Salvador, Guatemala, etc.  

Edited by Lanny
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1 hour ago, TechWife said:

That is a case of a citizen board abroad, not a case of proving citizenship after adoption from another country, which is what we are discussing.

It is most likely the case of parents not having met the residency requirements to pass on their US citizenship to children born abroad.  This happened to my brother.  He (like all of us siblilngs) got his own US citizenship by virtue of being born to US citizens abroad.  But we can't pass on our citizenship to children born overseas unless we live in the US for a certain amount of time.  My brother had not met the requirement.  And the country where they lived does not give automatic citizenship to babies born in the country.  My niece and nephew had no citizenship or passport for the first ten years of their lives.  It took a US Congressman (like Lanny mentioned) to get them US citizenship.  And their citizenship came with a Certificate of Citizenship which is exactly what we are discussing. 

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11 hours ago, Lanny said:

On one occasion, some people from the ACS in the U.S. Embassy came here, about 6 or 7 years ago and we went to get a Renewal Passport for DD.  I thought that I had all of the paperwork with me. The woman needed the original CRBA.    I didn't want to ship it to Bogota, but I had to do that and fortunately got it back OK with the new Passport.

For future reference, you actually don't need to provide the original CRBA for a child's passport renewal. The current passport serves as proof of citizenship, and you can use a certified copy of the birth certificate as proof of parental relationship. I totally get the reluctance to let the CRBA out of your sight, since they are not replaceable if they're lost or damaged — that's exactly why I refused to send DS's CRBA with his passport renewal!

He got both his CRBA and his passport at the same time at the Embassy in London when he was a year old, and we have renewed his passport at 6, 11, and 16. An employee at the post office tried to insist that I send the original CRBA as well as his passport and foreign birth certificate with the renewal application and I told him that the State Dept accepts either the CRBA or the foreign BC as long as the BC lists both parents. He was adamant that the renewal application would be rejected without the CRBA, and I had to insist rather forcefully that he send the application with the documents I provided. I received DS's new passport two weeks later with no problem. For DD's renewal, I provided her passport and a certified copy of her FL adoption decree, and there was no problem with that either.

Here is a list of required documents for passport renewals for children under 16. You can see that a CRBA is not required as long as you have other proof of citizenship (like a passport) and proof of parental relationship (BC or adoption decree)  

Edited by Corraleno
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I did not read every reply so sorry if I repeat.  Children can come to the US on two different types of visas.  My children, adopted from Korea, all had their adoptions finalized in the US and they we applied for a certificate of citizenship.  It was to be the final piece of paperwork completed.  Multiple families I know were surprised that they needed to do this step still after 2001 but it is essential.  I will also say it was expensive so I think some families put it off because of that as well.  If parents didn't apply on their child's behalf then they are not a citizen.  

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When applying for college and drivers license many families needed to show their certificate of citizenship to move forward.  My kids are between 12 and 24 so our friends kids are similar ages.  Drivers license was usually the first time they heard they needed it and that passport wouldn't do, then if they got through that hoop without the CoC they heard it again from colleges.  I also was asked to show it when applying for their passports.

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