Their family, their friends, their community is here.

Their citizenship should be, too.



Closing the Loophole

Through no fault of their own, some people who were adopted internationally by U.S. citizen parents, still lack U.S. citizenship today. As a result, these individuals have had to endure numerous problems including difficulty attending college, accessing banking services or starting their careers. Without their rightful citizenship, they are unable to vote or access critical government supports and services such as the unemployment benefits that helped so many families during this time of financial crisis. Many of them only find out they lack citizenship when they do things like fill out a FAFSA, join the Armed Services, apply for a passport or apply for benefits. The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 was only a partial fix because it only granted automatic citizenship to foreign-born adopted persons who were under the age of 18 at the time the bill was enacted. Thus, leaving an entire population of adopted individuals without U.S. citizenship, and sending the wrong message to foreign governments who entrusted their children to loving, adoptive U.S. families.


About the Legislation

The Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2019 (S. 1554/H.R. 2731) closes the loophole to provide immediate citizenship to these children already adopted by U.S. citizens yet left out of the previous bill. This bill provides equity to these individuals who should have every legal right of any other child of a U.S. citizen. It amends the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 in order to give citizenship to individuals brought to live in the U.S. through intercountry adoption who were excluded under the current law, and ensure automatic citizenship for every full and final adoption by a U.S. citizen. Securing permanent citizenship for these individuals demonstrates due respect for the intercountry adoption process and strengthens the U.S. position as an advocate for adoption to ensure every child has a permanent, loving family.

Helpful Links

Click to the links below to see the full text of the bills and download our factsheets on the impact of the Adoptee Citizenship Act.



Increase Your Impact

Every piece of legislation must go through a Committee review process before being brought to the full House or Senate floor for a vote. The more bipartisan co-sponsors, the better the chances of the bill passing.  Building the number of co-Sponsors is critical, but the support of Committee members is equally important. It’s important to have this background information on your members of Congress before contacting them. ​

Have your members of Congress already supported this legislation?
Determine if your members of Congress currently co-sponsor the Adoptee Citizenship in the Senate or the House of Representatives.​ If they are a co-sponsor, send a message to thank them!

Do your members of Congress play a special role in the review process?
See if your member of Congress is on the Senate Judiciary Committee or House Judiciary Subcommittee currently reviewing the ACA. ​If your member is on one of these committees, please request that they co-sponsor the bill and that they urge their Committee chairs to bring the bill up for Committee review and vote.


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