Adoption Links DC-infographic6

The Adoptee Citizenship Act

Citizenship For All Adoptees, bipartisan legislative action

As of 2017, Adoptee Rights Campaign is working towards the re-introduction of the Adoptee Citizenship Act bill to the 115th United States Congress, composed of the House of Representatives and Senate. The bill did not pass through all stages in the (2015-2016 ) 114th sessions for Congress.

2015-2016 Background

In November 2015, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and co-signers Senators Dan Coates (R-IN) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced the Adoptee Citizenship Act (ACA) of 2015, S.2275, to the public. Kirsten Gilbrand (D-NY) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Patty Murray (D-WA) also became co-signers.

Together, 2016 initiatives ended with:

  • Organized meetings with 70+ Congressional offices about the bill during multiple Days of Action in Washington D.C. and strategy sessions with the Senate and House bill co-sponsors. The advocacy work led to the introduction of a House bill in June 2016.
  • Coordinated state-specific events, Call-In Days, Postcard and Letter Writing efforts to legislators.
  • Doubled our fundraising goal of $13,000 to support sending impacted adoptees to Washington D.C. to share their stories with legislators, community members and media.
  • Collected over 65,000 signed postcards from across the U.S. supporting the Adoptee Citizenship Act

Representatives Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Adam Smith (D-WA) introduced House companion bill H.R. 5454 in June 2016. In late 2016, six Representatives became co-sponsors, Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Keith Ellison (D-CA), Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Mimi Walters (R-CA) and Jan Schakoswksy (D-IL) all joined Trent Franks and Adam Smith.

View the 114th Congress (2015-2016) Senate bill (S2275) and House bill (HR5454).

The bill could have granted retroactive U.S. citizenship to all internationally adopted individuals regardless of when they were born, addressing the issue that left thousands of adoptees who were born before February 28, 1983 unprotected by the Child Citizenship Act (CCA) of 2000. The CCA took effect February 28, 2001 and called Public Law 106-395. The legislative process of passing a bill into law is shown in the chart below.

[wm_button url=”″ color=”orange” size=”xl”]Sign the 2018 Petition[/wm_button][wm_divider appearance=”whitespace” space_before=”10″ space_after=”20″]