Walking into court for my very last time as a foster youth, I feel like I’m getting a divorce from a system that I’ve been in a relationship with almost my entire life. It’s bittersweet because I’m losing guaranteed stipends for food and housing, as well as access to my social workers and my lawyer. But on the other hand, I’m relieved to finally get away from a system that ultimately failed me on its biggest promise. That one day it would find me a family who would love me.
After 20 Years, Young Man Leaves Foster Care On His Own Terms
Her immigration story is unusual. Cogswell Hill and her four siblings were adopted by an Albemarle County couple in 1989, but Cogswell Hill ended up living away from the family in group homes as a teen.
Her adoptive parents didn’t complete her citizenship paperwork, and as a result, she was first deported after getting into legal trouble, leaving a young son and her siblings behind when she was sent back to her birth country. She knew no one and no longer spoke the language.
Deported adoptee speaks out from Colombia
Dick Fischer was a phenomenal advocate for adoptees and our forever families. I know Sheryl and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with him in writing articles for Adoption Today Magazine. He will be fiercely remembered and dearly missed. To his family, our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
Obituary for Richard Fischer
YEONGJU, South Korea — Kwon Pil-ju is trying desperately to teach herself English before she is reunited in the coming weeks with a son she sent away almost 40 years ago.
“I have so much to tell him, especially how sorry I am,” she said, sitting in her bedroom, which doubles as her kitchen, in her one-floor rural home in Yeongju. “But I am at a loss, because I don’t know English and he can’t speak Korean.”
Her son is Adam Crapser, 41, a Korean adoptee who is awaiting deportation from an immigration detention center in Washington State because he lacks American citizenship, even though he has lived in the United States since he was 3 years old. Last month, an immigration court denied his final request to stay in the United States.
Korean Mother Awaits a Son’s Deportation to Confess Her ‘Unforgivable Sin’ by Choe Sang-Hun
Adam Crapser was brought to the United States when he was 3, to start a new life — new parents, new culture, new country.
But his adoptive parents didn’t complete his citizenship papers. Then they abandoned him to the foster care system.
And now, as a 41-year-old father of four, he’s being deported. Despite his appeals for help, he has been ordered to be sent back to South Korea, a country The Associated Press describes as “completely alien to him.”
Read the full story on NPR here: South Korean Adopted At Age 3 Is To Be Deported Nearly 40 Years Later
If we believe adoptees to be genuine members of American families, they do not deserve deportation. If we don’t believe they are genuine family members, then adoption loses its meaning and integrity. What’s more, the U.S. loses its honor and breaks its promise to these legal immigrants adopted by U.S. citizens. A bill, the Adoptee Citizenship Act, is designed to provide retroactive citizenship to international adoptees, but it has made slow progress through Congress. Recently, more sponsors have signed on, but this session of Congress will soon end. Thousands of international adoptees and their families are affected, and our current anti-immigrant culture doesn’t bode well for the bill’s passage. And that is shameful.
If you have time today, please send an email to the White House or your Congress person to not allow for the deportation of Adam Crapser. His four children need him, and the 35,000 international adoptees without citizenship need for him to stay. We need him as a champion to blaze the trail for new legislation that automatically grants US citizenship to all international adoptees, adopted before 2000.