Landmark Bill Introduced to Grant International Adoptees Automatic US Citizenship

K-Nealis-quote

Many outside the adoptee community are surprised when they learn that this country can and will deport international adoptees. Yet, that is exactly what could happen — and has already been happening — for an untold number of adult adoptees.

The US government reports that there have been approximately 250,000 international adoptions recorded in the past 15 years, most adopted before the age of 2. For most of the late twentieth century, the vast majority of these infants were adopted from South Korea; this trend began after the Korean War left many children orphaned. Today, China has overtaken Korea as the most popular country within which prospective parents seek to adopt: nearly one-third of international adoptions involve children born in China. Thus, America’s international adoptees are predominantly Asian American, and the political issues faced by this community deserve our attention and our advocacy.

Most Americans — including many prospective adoptive parents — assume that international adoptees acquire automatic US citizenship with the completion of adoption paperwork. That is simply untrue. The citizenship of international adoptees is dependent upon whether or not their American citizen parents have separately sponsored their petition for US citizenship, even after adoptees have already begun life in America.

Continue reading “Landmark Bill Introduced to Grant International Adoptees Automatic US Citizenship”

#KeepUsHome Campaign Launched to Protect Adult Adoptees From Deportation

Adam Crapser and his family. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka)
Adam Crapser and his family. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka)

Last month, I shared with you Adam Crapser’s story. Adam was adopted at the age of 3 from Korea by two American families, both of whom subjected him to years of physical and psychological abuse. Now, Adam — who turned 40 last week — is senselessly facing deportation to Korea: a country on the other side of the world, that Adam does not know, and that is not his home.

Since Adam Crapser’s fight to stay in the only country he knows first appeared on this site, his story has taken off. Coincident with his first deportation hearing, Adam’s story was picked up by the Associated Press and has (finally) made it into major news outlets. Advocates for Adam partnered with 18MillionRising (@18MillionRising) to start a petition demanding that the deportation proceedings against Adam Crapser be dropped. Adam faces his second court appearance before an immigration judge — who will ultimately decide his fate — in June.

Many have characterized Adam Crapser’s struggle as an immigration reform issue. To the extent that changes to immigration law that grant automatic citizenship to all transnational adoptees would protect adoptees like Adam, this story does intersect with immigration law and the immigration reform lobby. However, in my mind, Adam Crapser’s story is less about immigration reform; to me, it is mostly about adoptee rights.

For me, the calculus is simple. Adam Crapser’s fate symbolizes how we — as a country — choose to treat our adoptee brothers and sisters. Do we choose to welcome adoptees fully as members of our personal, political, and national families? Or, do we choose to reinforce the disparaging narrative that even in their adopted countries and families, adoptees still don’t quite belong?

Continue reading “#KeepUsHome Campaign Launched to Protect Adult Adoptees From Deportation”

Petition: Stop Deportation of Adult Adoptees and #KeepAdamHome

Adam Crasper as a child. (Photo via Gazillion Strong)
Adam Crasper as a child. (Photo via Gazillion Voices Radio)

Last week, I wrote about Adam Crapser, an adult Korean American adoptee who as a child survived years of incredible physical, sexual, and emotional abuse committed by two separate foster families. As a lasting part of their abuse, neither set of foster parents completed Adam’s naturalization paperwork or have been willing to give him his adoption papers.

Consequently, for his entire adult life, Adam Crapser — now married with three children — has been forced to live as an undocumented American. On April 2nd, he faces a deportation hearing with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE plans to deport Crapser — a Korean American adoptee — to Korea, the country of his birth but to which he has no ties.

My post on Adam’s story went amazingly viral last week and today, Adam’s plight was also covered by NBC News where advocate Kevin Vollmers says:

“It’s a travesty that the promise hasn’t been kept for individuals like Adam Crapser,” said Vollmers, “who in my mind is a victim of the inadequacies of the broken U.S. adoption system that doesn’t necessarily serve the individuals it says it cares about the most.”

Outraged, many readers have been asking what they can do to help Adam stay in America and receive documentation.

I’ve got great news: a social media campaign has now been launched to try and #KeepAdamHome.

Continue reading “Petition: Stop Deportation of Adult Adoptees and #KeepAdamHome”

Pending Deportation of Korean American Adoptee Highlights Major Loophole in Immigration Law

Adam Crasper as a child. (Photo via Gazillion Strong)
Adam Crapser as a child. (Photo via Gazillion Strong)

By his own admission, Adam Thomas Crapser has had a difficult journey; but through it all, he has worked hard to create what he calls a “a semblance of a ‘normal’ life”.

In 1979, Adam arrived in the United States with his older sister as a transnational and transracial Korean American adoptee. Through most of his childhood — and through two placements — Adam was forced to endure unspeakable physical and emotional abuse. In 1991, Adam’s adoptive parents, Thomas Francis Crapser and Dolly-Jean Crapser, were arrested, charged and ultimately plead guilty to multiple counts of child rape, child sex abuse, and child abuse. Adam is a survivor of the Crapsers’ violence.

Adam’s life bears the scars of that torture and what it took to survive; but, Adam has emerged today as a married father of three, with a fourth child due in May. He is, by all accounts, living that “normal” American life.

Yet, that’s not how the federal government sees it. In January of this year, the Department of Homeland Security served Adam with deportation papers. In just one month, Adam will face a hearing regarding deportation to a country he has never known.

Continue reading “Pending Deportation of Korean American Adoptee Highlights Major Loophole in Immigration Law”