While applying for a passport in my twenties, I discovered that despite having been adopted in 1967 by US citizens, the US does not consider me a citizen. Discovering my lack of citizenship was traumatic and confusing and the only advice USCIS provided was to hire a lawyer. After consulting with several, it became apparent that the process would be cumbersome and expensive.
Adoption in my case was not salvation. My childhood was both turbulent and abusive, I was rehomed in my late teens and homeless as a young adult. Living without citizenship is similar to living with a congenital disability. It challenges and limits my way of life in many ways, worst of all; it denies my voice as an American. At the age of 50, I still struggle with restrictive adoption and immigration laws, and an absence of effective resources. Ultimately, I am still fighting for the rights promised to me as the heir of US citizens.
My message to Congress
I have spent my entire life here; I have invested in this country in every way possible. My father served in the US Navy, my mother’s family were proud southerners. America, honor your promise for citizenship through foreign adoption sanctions. Please uphold the judgment of your civil servant, Honorable Parker Stillwell, of the United States Superior Court of Los Angeles who through legal decree, ordered the same rights to me as a natural born child of US citizens.
Joy’s Story, Texas
Updated on 2017-09-28T12:44:46+00:00, by .