According to current law, anyone adopted and brought to the United States is automatically a U.S. citizen. However, that law wasn't always the case and is not retroactive for those brought over and adopted before the law was enacted. For one man adopted at age three and brought to the United States, this could mean a possible deportation. Anyone in Maryland who was the subject of an international adoption may want to follow the case.
The man, now a 40-year-old father with a wife and an additional child on the way, was brought over and adopted along with his sister. The man and his sister were abandoned by their adoptive parents and put in foster care. The sister was adopted, and her new parents finalized her citizenship. However, the man was left in the foster care system, and his citizenship was never finalized.
Regrettably, he was homeless for some time and got into trouble with the law. This caught the eye of immigration officials once the man tried to make his status legal. He now faces deportation to Korea, though he does not know the country and does not speak its language. Two U.S. Senators are working to pass legislation that would grant citizenship automatically to every international adoptee. Nevertheless, he still has an immigration hearing scheduled, meaning his status remains unclear.
The deportation process can be complicated and upend the lives of the immigrant and any other family members, whether in Maryland or elsewhere. While laws are periodically enacted or amended regarding citizenship and deportation, it is important understand their applicability to one's particular circumstances. Professional assistance is available to address these important legal issues.
Source: ktla.com, "Oregon Father Adopted From South Korea As Child Faces Deportation", April 5, 2015