The following is a letter written by Monica Ross. She is a client, long-time Baltimore resident, and one of tens of thousands of intercountry adoptees who are denied U.S. citizenship despite being adopted as children by U.S. citizen parents. This letter is part of her efforts to secure passage of the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.Galatians 6:2
My name is Monica Ross. I’m writing to ask for your assistance in helping me and thousands of others in this world who have lived in the United States since being adopted as children. Some of us, as we got older, knew we were adopted. But who would have thought to ask our parents or anyone else about our citizenship? I guess my parents may have thought that, since I arrived in the US in 1960 and they were already US citizens, I too was a citizen. That turned out not to be true.
I am an intercountry adoptee. I was raised like you. I had a sister, cousins, nephews, and childhood friends. I was educated in Catholic schools, went to high school and college. Adopted people like me went to school with you, worked with you, went to church with you, socialized with you, shared holidays and social gatherings with you, and may have served in the military with you.
On September 19, 2019, a year after retiring from the Social Security Administration—where I served the public for 23 years—my world got turned upside down. REAL ID had been put into place in Maryland, and in order to renew my drivers’ license after 37 years of driving, I could not prove that I was a US citizen. I cried, prayed, and had no idea how to get the documents the Maryland DMV requested from me. Not knowing what to do. I contacted an immigration attorney in Baltimore. She referred me to an attorney and advocate for adopted people in the US. He told me for the first time at age 64 that I was not a US citizen.
HR 1593 and S967, the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021, will allow me and thousands of adoptees like me to become US citizens, some of whom came to the US more than sixty years ago. I’m requesting that you support me and other adopted people like me. Please share this letter and send it to your US Senators and Representatives. I need your support and your help to get the Adoptee Citizenship Act passed. Support me and thousands of other adoptees who are in the same situation.
Thank you for your consideration.
Monica Ross is a client and intercountry adoptee who was adopted from Germany in 1960. She currently lives in Baltimore with her husband, King Ross, where she has lived for more than 60 years. She is working to secure U.S. citizenship for herself and all intercountry adoptees, no matter when they were born. She wrote and co-produced this content and asks that you support her in her efforts to enact the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021.