September 6, 2016
National/DMV: Emily Kessel, firstname.lastname@example.org
California: Jenny Seon, email@example.com
Illinois: Becky Belcore, firstname.lastname@example.org
NAKASEC Supports ARC in Launching the Family Is More Than DNA Postcard Campaign
ANNANDALE, VIRGINIA— On September 6th, the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) joined the Adoptee Rights Campaign (ARC) to launch the Family is More than DNA Postcard Campaign organizing nationwide support for the Adoptee Citizenship Act (ACA). Adoptees, adoptive parents, community-based organizations, religious institutions, and the broader community are encouraged to join the movement by signing postcards in-person and online. The postcards urge Congress to support and prioritize remedying an issue that has plagued the adoptee community for decades; that a significant number of international adoptees lack U.S. citizenship.
Autumn W., an adoptee residing in Arizona and the ARC State Contact for Arizona and Iowa, said: “Lawmakers need to recognize the Adoptee Citizenship Act as a positive solution. By using legislative action, lawmakers assure those adopted by U.S. citizen parents from other countries that without doubt, they belong among their fellow Americans for a brighter future.”
“As an adoptee you spend your entire life trying to find your place in this world and feel a sense of belonging. Not having citizenship has felt so alienating and downright frightening,” said Sara, an adoptee in California. “The compassion of people standing in solidarity with adoptees touches my heart. Each signed postcard gives adoptees, like me, hope that someday soon we will no longer be invisible and afraid, but living life as we should be… as citizens of this great country. I implore everyone to give all impacted adoptees their voice and their rightful place in this country by supporting the Adoptee Citizenship Act.”
Dae Joong Yoon, Executive Director of NAKASEC, said: “We are proud to join the adoptee-led movement that seeks justice for the thousands of intercountry adoptees without U.S. citizenship. These adoptees came as children and many now have children of their own. There are adoptees struggling to support their families, find or keep their jobs, cover legal fees to uncover why they are not citizens, and are subject to being detained or deported to a country they do not even remember. The loophole in the CCA should have been addressed decades ago. We urge Congress to do its job now by granting these individuals what was promised by the U.S. government, sending countries, and adoption agencies: U.S. citizenship.”
Trish Slater, ALDC Board Member, said: “International adoptees are as American as anyone else who was born inside the United States who do not face the threat of being deported to a country they do not know. We spent our childhoods growing up in American schools and churches while pledging allegiance to the American Flag and proudly singing the Star Spangled Banner. The fact that Congress has overlooked the deportation of international adoptees to their birth country is Un-American and does not represent the values that are a part of us. I am proud to be working with Adoption Links, DC to educate the adoption community in the United States about the urgency Congress faces in passing the Adoptee Citizenship Act, so no other international adoptee adopted to America ever has to face the threat of being forced out of their country, through no fault of their own.”
Many adoptees are unaware they lack citizenship putting them at great risk. They are denied financial aid, home loans, public services, passports and voting privileges. They are in danger of being deported to a country without known family, unable to speak the language, in an unfamiliar culture and face great hardships. An estimated 30-40 Korean Americans adoptees were deported back to Korea.
The Family is More than DNA Postcard Campaign will educate and organize support for the Adoptee Citizenship Act, a bipartisan bill introduced into the Judiciary Committees for both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, granting retroactive U.S. citizenship to all internationally adopted individuals regardless of when they were adopted. Beginning September 6th, adoptee leaders in 15 states will ask thousands of community members to sign postcards for future delivery to U.S. Members of Congress urging that the bill pass this year. These states include: Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
To Support the Adoptee Citizenship Act:
- Sign postcard individually and/or endorse as an organization and/or join an action AND share.
- Call (or write to) your Senators and Representatives expressing your support for the ACA
- Donate to support the ACA work: bit.ly/donateACA (Please write “Adoptee Citizenship” in memo box)
To sign postcards electronically, please use the following link: bit.ly/Postcard4ACA. To find an event happening near you, please email email@example.com and write “Postcard Event” and your state in the subject title.