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?