WE DID IT!
Thank you so much to the
25 27 people who contributed amounts from $5.00 to $300.00 over the course of the last two days! We made it, collecting a total of $1,575.00 $1,650.00, more than we needed. The amount above the filing fee of $1,170.00 will be contributed to a fund with Adoptees United Inc., which will be used specifically for assisting intercountry adoptees with fees and expenses associated with securing or proving US citizenship. THANK YOU!
I have a client who is stuck, legally in limbo and relegated to such a status because of two things: 1) inequality and indifference that often comes with intercountry adoptees whose parents do not ultimately assure US citizenship for their children; and 2) poverty. My client is a US citizen who was born in India. She became a US citizen automatically in 1988 when her adoption was finalized in a Minnesota state court. She currently lives with her children in New York, but she cannot work, cannot go to school, and cannot move forward without obtaining proof of her US citizenship.
Proof of that citizenship will cost her $1,170, money that she does not have. That’s the USCIS fee to apply for a certificate of citizenship, the ultimate proof for intercountry adoptees and others that you are a US citizen. Normally, my clients can get a “fee waiver” in which a fee is not required. That is proving impossible for various complicated reasons, most having to do with lack of proof of any income as well as lack of identification documents, such as a driver’s license, passport, or even a school ID. These are things most of us take for granted.
She is, as is many intercountry adoptees that I have represented, in a genuine Catch-22. Unable to prove citizenship, she cannot obtain a state-issued ID. Without a state-issued ID, she cannot obtain documents to prove who she is. Without being able to prove who she is, she is stuck and has no ability to do anything toward fixing her situation, let alone work. I had a case last year with a similar situation: an intercountry adoptee whose certificate of citizenship was already approved but she needed a state-issued ID to get into the oath of US citizenship ceremony. It took an incredible effort to persuade the state to issue her a temporary ID so that she could simply attend her citizenship oath ceremony and receive her certificate of citizenship. That’s not been an option in New York for my current client.
This is my ask: help me raise
$1,170 the remaining $445.00 for my client’s USCIS N-600 application fee so we can apply for and obtain her certificate of citizenship. I have donated $100 already, and my legal services have been provided for free in her case, which will continue until we get USCIS to issue her certificate of citizenship. Please consider giving so that we can end the months of limbo she has been in and I can work toward filing her case and getting her exactly what she and her family needs: proof.
You can contribute by completing the form below. Thanks for thinking about adoptees this holiday season, particularly those that face significant obstacles in proving what many of us likely take for granted.