NATIONAL

Korean Consulate makes progress in helping 18,000 adoptees to get US citizenship

By Chyung Eun-ju
  • Published : Jul 26, 2018 - 18:03
  • Updated : Jul 31, 2018 - 17:05

A bill to help 18,000 adoptees from Korea living in the US without US citizenship is making progress, according to the Korean Consulate General in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

The Glendale City Council unanimously passed a resolution to support the Adoptee Citizen Act of 2018, a bill that would provide US citizenship to individuals born outside of the US who were adopted by American parents.

The Glendale City Council passed a resolution to support the Adoptee Citizen Act of 2018 on Wednesday (Korean Consulate General in Los Angeles )

The bill was introduced on March 8, 2018 in the US Senate and in the US House of Representatives. The bipartisan bill would fix a loophole that did not allow some adoptees the right to citizenship.

The bill would amend the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, which guarantees US citizenship to qualifying adoptees born outside of the US under the age of 18. Several adoptees failed to get citizenship because the CCA did not apply to adoptees who were over the age of 18 when the law went into effect in Feb. 27, 2001.

As a result, around 18,000 Koreans are not US citizens. A total of an estimated 35,000 adoptees who were legally adopted by US citizens do not have citizenship.

“This is a humanitarian issue,” said Hwang In-sang, the Deputy Consul General at the city council. Hwang brought up a story of an adoptee who died by suicide after he was deported because his parents had not applied for citizenship. The adoptee was adopted in 1983 by US parents.

Hwang said the bill would grant international adoptees social stability and opportunities.

The Consul General Kim Wan-joong has been working toward getting the support of the members in Congress, General Assembly and city council.

There were around 160,000 adoptees from Korea from 1955 to 2016, according to the consulate.

By Chyung Eun-ju (ejchyung@heraldcorp.com)