Can I have your attention please, Korean adoptee bloggers?! As you know, we are a reflection of the massive Korean adoptee community. We are part of a worldwide community that is marked by diversity of opinion when it comes to anything relating to adoption. Some of us are “pro-adoption.” Some of us are “anti-adoption.” Some of us “don’t give a shit.” However, I suspect we Korean adoptee bloggers can agree when it comes to this: “The deportation of adoptees is fucked up.” Yes, the statement is crass, but am I wrong?
With this in mind, I ask you to join us folks here at Land of Gazillion Adoptees to talk about adoptee deportation/citizenship at least once during the month of June. Talk about our fellow Korean adoptee Russell Green. Talk about our fellow adoptee Kairi Abha Shephard. Talk about adoptee deportation/citizenship in a broader context. Talk about other deportation cases. Talk about the need to reform the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. Talk about the fact that others are talking about adoptee deportation/citizenship. Talk about the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) statement:
Utah resident Erlene Shepherd adopted her daughter, Kairi, from an orphanage in India when the child was just three months old. When she was eight-years-old, Kairi’s mother passed away from cancer. Unfortunately, prior to her death, Erlene did not finalize her daughter’s citizenship despite the fact that Kairi was eligible to become a permanent United States citizen. Now 30-years-old and suffering from multiple sclerosis, Kairi faces deportation to India because—at age 17—police arrested her for cashing fraudulent checks. She has since served her sentence for this crime.
“In adopting Kairi, her family promised her a forever home and, in effect, the United States guaranteed her a forever home country,” said Kathleen Strottman, Executive Director of CCAI. “A failure to submit the proper paperwork, over which Kairi had no control or knowledge of, should not mean that she is forced back to a country she does not know and to a place where she has no family or support system. However, this case should underscore the importance of securing citizenship for every individual adopted by an American family to ensure that these children are entitled to the benefits afforded to all United States citizens.
Talk about the National Council For Adoption (NCFA) statement:
Kaira Abha Shepherd was adopted from India at the age of three months. She was raised by parents who were U.S. citizens and was eligible for citizenship herself, but her family never took the steps necessary to finalize her citizenship. Due to indiscretions as a minor, for which Ms. Shepherd has already fulfilled the penalty, deportation has been ordered.
A return to India will not be an easy transition for this young woman, who has no recollection of her birthplace and no remaining connections in India. “Kaira Abha Shepherd should be considered and treated as an American citizen, as should every internationally adopted child of American citizens should be,” said Chuck Johnson, president and CEO of NCFA. “To deport her to a country to which she no longer has family members or a meaningful connection is a betrayal of all that intercountry adoption is supposed to be. This difficult case should serve to remind us of the importance of ensuring citizenship for every person adopted by American parents, now, in the past, and in the future.”
Talk about Adam Pertman’s statement:
People who break the law should unequivocally pay an appropriate price for their offenses. But I think it can fairly be argued that the reason some are being ejected from the only country they’ve ever known is not because of the crime they’ve committed – but because they were adopted.
This feels grievously wrong. We should be shocked, we should be outraged, and we should do whatever is necessary to halt the cases already in progress and to prevent this from ever happening again. (source)
More than mere talk, I personally challenge you to join us here at Land of Gazillion Adoptees in stepping up the blogging game during the month of June. I challenge you to show the naysayers in the adoptive parent and adoption establishment communities who believe that we just whine about our lives. I challenge you to demonstrate to the broad adoption community that we, along with other international and domestic adoptees, are fully capable of leading the discussion about adoptee deportation/citizenship.
Land of Gazillion Adoptees is in. Are you?