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Adoptees For Justice On the Failure of Congress to Grant Citizenship For All Adoptees

By December 21, 2022No Comments

December 21, 2022
For more information, contact: Rachel Koelzer,, (213) 703-0992

Adoptees For Justice On the Failure of Congress to Grant Citizenship For All Adoptees
Read the statement on the A4J website

Washington, D.C. – As the year comes to an end, the Senate has failed to pass the Adoptee Citizenship Act and provide adoptees and their families with relief. Adoptees For Justice, a project of the national network, NAKASEC, expresses deep disappointment at the failure of Congress to value families and repair its mistakes.

Emily W, adoptee without citizenship: “I am heartbroken at Congress’ refusal, once again, to right their wrongs. The United States promised safety and opportunities for all adoptees upon agreement of adoption. Adoptees should not be treated differently than our parents’ biological children, and had the U.S. fulfilled its promises from the start, this wouldn’t be an issue. Congress, you have failed adoptees and adoptive families. We will continue to fight for our rights and the rights of adoptees and families across the country.”

Becky Belcore, Korean American adoptee and Executive Director of Adoptees For Justice: “The United States’ failure to repair its own oversight is a gross moral and social failure for this country. It is abhorrent that Congress would punish adoptees who were legally unable to advocate for themselves while minors, and then refuse to provide solutions for them in adulthood. Furthermore, it shows a blatant disregard for sending countries, birth and adoptive families, in failing to protect the children entrusted to their care. It is ethically and morally imperative that Congress grant retroactive citizenship to all adoptees, release those in detention, and reunite adoptees who have been deported with their families.”

Background: Introduced in the 117th U.S. Congress in March of 2021, the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021 is a federal bill that would grant citizenship to all intercountry adoptees adopted by U.S. citizen parents and would provide a pathway back to the U.S. for adoptees who have been deported. It would effectively resolve a technical oversight created by an arbitrary age cut-off date in the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Adoptee Citizenship Act in March 2022.


Adoptees For Justice (A4J) 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. A4J is a project of NAKASEC.

Please consider supporting adoptees without citizenship and adoptees who have been deported by donating to the Adoptee Defense Fund, which helps with legal and mental health services; and/or the Emergency Relief Fund that provides support for daily living needs.