EACH - Equality for Adopted Children

Child Citizenship Act – Why was it Needed?

Prior to the passage of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA), foreign-born children adopted by U.S. citizen parent/s were not granted automatic U.S. citizenship. Instead, these foreign-born adopted children had to be naturalized. This was true even though their parent/s were U.S. citizens and had their parent/s given birth to them overseas, they would have been automatic citizens. Passage of the CCA was needed to rectify this inequity.

Passage of the CCA eliminated the need for adoptive parents to go through the bureaucratic, paper intensive, and costly naturalization process for their legally adopted children. This change was a huge step in the right direction towards receiving equal treatment of foreign-born adopted children with children born abroad to U.S. citizen parent/s. However, for foreign-born adopted children to be treated the same as biological children born abroad, more changes need to be made.

For example, a biological child born abroad to U.S. citizen parents who can transmit their citizenship to their child, simply show their child’s birth certificate, and proof of the parent/s U.S. citizenship to a consular official at the American Embassy and the biological child is given a U.S. passport and a Consular Report of Birth. Unlike a foreign-born biological child, a foreign-born adopted child of the same U.S. citizen parent/s has to apply for and be granted an immigration visa (more paper work, more costs, more hoops to jump through) to immigrate to the U.S. Once the visa is granted and the child arrives in the U.S. to “reside permanently” with the adoptive parent/s, then provided the adoption was full and final, then the parents can apply for a U.S. passport for their foreign-born adopted child. But instead of a Consular Report of Birth which acts as a foreign-born biological child’s birth certificate and proof of citizenship, the adoptive parents have to go through another paper work process, more costs and often another full adoption in a U.S court in order to get a U.S. birth certificate.

The proposed Intercountry Adoption Reform Act (ICARE) provides for these much needed changes to the CCA


S.1485, The Adopted Orphans Citizenship Act as introduced in the Senate on September 21, 1999 (this was the original language which was later amended and became the law known as the Child Citizenship Act of 2000)

S.1485, Bill Summary and Status

S.1485, Senate Cosponsors

S.1485, Introductory Statement of Senator Landrieu

S.1485, Passed Senate without amendment on October 26, 1999

H.R.2882, The Adopted Orphans Citizenship Act as introduced in the House on September 21, 1999

H.R.2882, as reported out of committee in the House (name of bill changed to Child Citizenship Act of 2000)

H.R.2882, House Report: 106-852

H.R.2882, Bill Summary and Status

H.R.2882, House Cosponsors

H.R.2882, The Child Citizenship Act of 2000, as passed by the House and Senate http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=106_cong_bills&docid=f:h2883enr.txt.pdf

The Child Citizenship Act of 2000, Public Law 106-395, signed into law by the President on October 30, 2000

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