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PRESS RELEASE | NAPABA Supports Bipartisan Introduction of the Adoptee Citizenship Act

News Release

For Immediate Release
March 8, 2018

                                                    For More Information, Contact:
                                                    Oriene Shin, Policy Associate
                                          , 202-775-9555

NAPABA Supports Introduction of the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2018 
by Senators Blunt and Hirono, and Representatives A. Smith and C. Smith


WASHINGTON — Today, lead sponsors Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.), and Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.) introduced the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2018.

The legislation addresses an oversight in the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, which was intended to help thousands of individuals who were not properly granted citizenship at the time of their adoption by American parents. The Child Citizenship Act guaranteed automatic citizenship to certain international adoptees, but excluded adoptees over the age of eighteen when the law took effect in 2001. The Adoptee Citizenship Act addresses this problem by making international adoptees eligible for automatic citizenship, regardless of how old they were in 2001, unless they have been found guilty of a violent crime and have been deported.

“35,000 international adoptee children of American parents have lived without their U.S. citizenship for too long due to a glitch in a law that was intended to help them,” said National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) President Pankit J. Doshi. “Congress now has a chance to correct this oversight and change their lives. We thank Senator Blunt, Senator Hirono, Congressman Adam Smith, and Congressman Chris Smith for their leadership and commitment to these adoptees. We urge all Member of Congress to support the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2018.”

“The Child Citizenship Act left thousands of internationally-adopted children, who are now adults, in an untenable position, facing everything from difficulty applying for a passport to possible deportation,” said Senator Roy Blunt. “These men and women were raised by American parents in the United States, and should have the same rights provided to other adoptees under the CCA. By fixing current law to meet the original goal of the CCA, we will help ensure these individuals have the security, stability, and opportunity their parents intended for them when they welcomed them into their families.”

“International adoptees who were adopted by American parents and raised as Americans should have the same rights of citizenship as biological children,” said Senator Mazie Hirono. “I’m proud to work with Senator Blunt to close the loophole in the Child Citizenship Act and right this wrong.”

“I am proud to introduce the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2018 with a bicameral and bipartisan group of my colleagues,” said Representative Adam Smith. “Closing the existing loopholes in the Child Citizenship Act will ensure international adoptees are treated equally under U.S. law. This bill will positively impact thousands of Americans, by granting citizenship they should have had in the first place and fostering stability in their lives and communities. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this important legislation.”

“I have been working in adoption my entire career and I know that significant obstacles still persist in the daily lives of those who don’t benefit from the Child Citizenship Act purely because of their age, despite their having been legally adopted by U.S. citizens and raised in the United States,” said Representative Chris Smith. “This important law will fix those obstacles for many residents here who meet its standards and who should be granted citizenship.”

NAPABA is grateful to Senators Blunt and Hirono, and Representatives A. Smith and C. Smith for their leadership and sponsorship of a bill that will help thousands of American families. NAPABA also acknowledges the efforts of the co-chairs of the NAPABA Asian American Adoptee Network—a network of attorneys interested in adoptee issues—Emily Howe, David Lloyd, Liani Reeves, and Greg Schwartz.

For more information, the media may contact Oriene Shin, NAPABA policy associate, at 202-775-9555 or

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of almost 50,000 attorneys and over 80 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).