FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Taneka Jennings, firstname.lastname@example.org
Adoptees For Justice and NAKASEC’s Statement on the Passage of the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021 in the U.S. House of Representatives
NATIONWIDE – On February 4, the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021 passed in the U.S. House of Representatives as an amendment to the America COMPETES Act of 2022. For the past eight years, the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and its intercountry adoptee-led project, Adoptees For Justice, have been organizing to pass the Adoptee Citizenship Act, which would grant citizenship to thousands of adoptees who were legally adopted and brought to the U.S. as children by their U.S. citizen parents. If passed in the Senate and enacted into law, the content of the Adoptee Citizenship Act will enable thousands of adoptees to access critical supports like disability benefits, social security, housing, and education loans, and provide a pathway for adoptees who have been unjustly deported to return home and be reunited with their families.
Korean adoptee without citizenship Emily Warnecke shared: “After working on this bill for so many years, it is a huge relief that it has finally passed the House of Representatives. As an impacted adoptee, I have been worried every day about how I will survive in my senior years. If this legislation becomes law, it will literally be life-changing for me.”
Deported Brazilian adoptee without citizenship Daniel Wilson reflected: “I am an American and have been since the moment I was adopted and brought as a child to the U.S. After 17 years of living in limbo, I may finally get to feel America’s embrace.”
Adoptees For Justice Campaign Director Taneka Jennings stated: “The Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021 is a long-overdue piece of legislation that resolves a technical oversight caused by an arbitrary age cut-off date in the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. It is a lifeline for many adoptees without citizenship, and affirms that intercountry adoptees should be afforded the same basic rights and protections as their U.S. citizen parents’ biological children.”
NAKASEC Co-Director Becky Belcore added: “We wish the bill would have passed as stand-alone legislation. Still, today’s passage of the Adoptee Citizenship Act in the House of Representatives is a huge step forward for adoptees without citizenship and a hard-fought victory for our adoptee community.”
Adoptees For Justice is an intercountry adoptee-led organization whose mission is to educate, empower, and organize transracial and transnational adoptee communities to achieve just and humane adoption, immigration, and restorative justice systems.
Adoptees For Justice is a project of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), whose mission is to to organize Korean and Asian Americans to achieve social, racial and economic justice.