The board of Adoptees United Inc. has preliminarily approved the following position statements on three important issues affecting adopted people in the United States. We now seek any public comment on the statements before we adopt them as official positions of the organization. Please let us know your thoughts, either in the comments below, by email at [email protected], or by contacting us through our contact form.
Issue: Pre-Adoption Original Birth Certificates
Position: Adult Adopted People in the United States Have the Right to Request and Obtain Unaltered Copies of their Own Original Birth Certificates (OBC), Without Discriminatory Conditions.
Adopted persons as adults are able to request and obtain their own original birth certificates without discrimination in ten U.S. states: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island. In all other states and the District of Columbia, adopted persons must obtain a court order, use ineffective and outdated registry systems, or are subject to parental control, removal or erasure of identity information, or encounter other discriminatory provisions that restrict the right to obtain the adoptee’s own vital record. These provisions, based in secrecy and shame and often used to humiliate and further stigmatize adopted people, have never aligned with best practices in adoption. All fifty states and the District of Columbia must enact equal rights legislation to secure the right of all adult adoptees to obtain an unaltered copy of the pre-adoption birth certificate. Adoptees United will work with state and national organizations to educate legislators and the public on this issue, build strong coalitions around legislative efforts, and provide logistical and data support to organizations and others who also endorse AU’s non-discriminatory position on this issue.
Adoptees United Inc. will not support any effort or organization that endorses discriminatory provisions in OBC-related legislation.
- Adoptee Rights Law Center PLLC
- American Adoption Congress
- Bastard Nation: the Adoptee Rights Organization
ISSUE: U.S. Citizenship for Intercountry Adoptees
Position: Any Person Who Is or Has Been Legally Adopted by U.S. Citizen Parents Shall Automatically Acquire U.S. Citizenship.
Adult adopted people must be treated equally under U.S. law. Nevertheless, tens of thousands of people legally adopted by U.S. citizen parents lack U.S. citizenship, despite legal entry to the United States and life-long residency in the country. Thousands of others face extreme difficulties in proving U.S. citizenship. Without secure U.S. citizenship, intercountry adoptees are unable to participate fully in U.S. society. They cannot vote, may lack sufficient work authorization to secure employment, and cannot travel outside of the United States without risk of being barred from returning home. The United States has also deported intercountry adoptees to countries where they had never lived more than a few weeks or months and where they do not have family, friends, or community support.
Adoptees United commits to work as a strong ally with intercountry adoptees and with established intercountry adoptee organizations. Adoptees United supports closing the date-based loophole in the Child Citizenship Act. U.S. Congress must pass legislation to grant all intercountry adoptees automatic citizenship, regardless of an adoptee’s age.
ISSUE: Identity Documents
Position: Adopted People in the United States Must Be Treated Equally to All Other People in their Ability to Secure Necessary Documents for Identification, Including US Passports, State-Issued Drivers’ Licenses, and State and Federally Issued Identification CarDs.
Adoptees United reaffirms the core principle that a full and equal right to identity applies to all adopted persons, whether adopted domestically or transnationally. Adoptees United commits to working with state and national organizations to ensure that adopted persons in the United States are treated equally to all other persons in securing needed identity documents, particularly securing U.S. passports, obtaining state-issued identification, or complying with documentation needed as part of the implementation of the REAL ID Act of 2005.
We will be taking comments on these positions for the next few weeks, answering questions, and adopting the final position statements after this process. Please comment in the comments section below, email us at [email protected], or submit comments through our contact form.