FACE Act

Thanks to Joy Roh for alerting me to this act in favor of the total erasure of U.S. international adoptees’ history and identity. What it means is that on paper intl adoptees would look like they were born in the U.S. Anybody who is onboard for dual citizenship rights of adoptees should be against this one. If you are in the U.S., please go over there and give lawmakers Landrieu, Inhofe, Watson, and Boozman a piece of your mind in person.

As you may recall from the responses for the Family Immigration petition, lawmakers apparently need folks to come into their offices many times and talk with them in person. They do not respond to email or snail mail so well. Please go to their offices and talk story.

This is copied and pasted from the Ethica site.

Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act (FACE Act)

introduced in the Senate as S. 1359 (Senators Landrieu and Inhofe) and in the House as H.R. 3110(Rep. Watson and Boozman):  A bill to provide United States citizenship for children adopted from outside the United States, and for other purposes.

Ethica opposes passage of the FACE Act.  Ethica believes the FACE Act, if passed, would harm adopted persons and their birth- and adoptive families in a number of ways, including:

  • The bill is intended to eliminate the U.S. immigrant visa process, which means it eliminates the safeguards put in place to help ensure that children placed for adoption are legally in need of homes abroad
  • By conferring citizenship retroactive to birth, Ethica believes the bill creates a legal fiction anddiminishes adoptees’ birth history
  • While eliminating the visa process may save adopting families a small amount of money toward the large costs of adopting, there is no guarantee that the Department of State will not charge similar or even higher fees for services it will provide under this bill.
  • The bill may create additional hurdles and costs for adopted persons in the future as they attempt to claim benefits and privileges they are otherwise entitled to in their countries of birth
  • Eligibility for adoption of a particular child is generally determined by the “competent authority” of the child’s country of origin.  The bill does not address eligibility for adoption in countries that have not designated a competent authority
  • The suitability of the adopting parent is based on the person’s ability to support the child and appropriate criminal background checks.  The bill does not address existing federal requirements for homestudies of prospective adopting parents.
  • Enacting this bill may stall adoptions in process:  It is unclear how this bill will affect provisions of the Intercountry Adoption Act (which implemented the Hague Convention).  Instead of speeding up processing by bypassing the visa system, confusion in interpretation and the development of new processing procedures, particularly for Hague countries, will likely create delays for adopting families and children.

Ethica believes that adoptees and other immigrants should be able to become President, but pursuing the right to presidency should be done in a way that does not erase personal histories.

Ethica also wholeheartedly agrees that citizenship procedures should be improved for adoptees, and believes that adoptees not covered under the Child Citizenship Act (including adopted persons who have been deported) should be conferred U.S. citizenship. However, this bill goes far beyond these measures and has the potential to hurt more than help.

This bill is being considered in two committees in the House of Representatives and one committee in the U.S. Senate:

In the House:

House Committee on Foreign Affairs:
Phone:  (202) 225-5021
Email:  http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/contact.asp
Members on the Committee who are also available to hear your opinions:
http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/members.asp

House Judiciary Committee:
Phone:  202-225-3951
Find members of the committee who would be happy to hear your opinions:
http://judiciary.house.gov/about/members.html

In the Senate:

Senate Judiciary Committee:
Phone:  202-224-7703 (Democrats) or 202-224-5225 (Republicans)
To find members of the committee who would be happy to hear your opinion:
http://judiciary.senate.gov/about/members.cfm

Consider joining this Facebook group formed in opposition to the FACE Act.

4 responses to “FACE Act

  1. Pingback: Sorry, Honey, Mommy’s busy opposing some bad adoption legislation « My Minivan Rocks!

  2. I think Ethica is completely offbase on its objections to FACE. FFOA is not a good act, but FACE does none of the things Ethica contends it does (or to be more precise, contends it MIGHT, since they provide not a shred of evidence or legal analysis to support their “objections.”

    1. Elimination of the visa process does not “eliminate the safeguards put in place to help ensure that children placed for adoption are legally in need of homes abroad.” The visa process is primarily duplicative work on the suitability of the adoptive family which is already handled in the homestudy process. There is next to no investigative work done by CIS on the needs of the adoptive child beyond the acceptance of the foreign decree of adoption. That would still be required to obtain citizenship documents, so the process at that end would essentially not change.

    2. A piece of legislation cannot diminish an adoptee’s birth history. That is wholly and completely in the hands of the adoptive parents. If they honor it, there is absolutely no difference in the point in time at which U.S. citizenship attaches.

    3. Ethica states “it may create additional hurdles and costs for children in the future as they attempt to claim benefits and privileges they are entitled to in their countries of origin.” I don’t know where to start with this objection. A concrete example or some evidence would be nice. In countries that permit the retention of dual citizenship, it will not matter when U.S. citizenship attaches. In countries that do not, the child is cut off at the time of US citizenship regardless. Without some concrete evidence of the legal basis of that statement, I must disregard it completely. I repeat, in countries that permit retention of dual citizenship after adoption, FACE will have no impact AT ALL on those countries’ laws.

    4. Finally as to issues regarding the Hague, this bill does not amend the IAA at all. It addresses immigration issues and citizenship issues which are completely separate and internal to the country at issue. It does NOT impact Hague compliance in the least. This is a red herring.

  3. Thanks for posting this, Jane.

    Just a bit of AP entitlement in Scott’s comments – I particularly dislike the notion that an adoptee’s birth history would be “wholly and completely” in the hands of the adoptive parents. Um, shouldn’t it be in the hands of the adoptee?

    Apart from the obvious, which is that this bill attempts to downplay the real history of an adopted person, which includes the citizenship of their birth, recent events in international adoption ought to make it pretty clear that eliminating visa requirements is a bad idea.

  4. I support the Face Act wholeheartedly due to the fact that its intention is to protect the adopted children as a equal member of the United States. Especially those that have been adopted at a young age and due to unfortunate circumstances are facing deportation or have been deported. How can the US deport those that have been adopted by US citizens? Anyways, the Face Act has a special provision to allow those who have been deported to reclaim their right of US citizenship.
    As for the history and identity of those who have been adopted. No one can take that away. There is no indication of force for such thing.
    But, there is force to remove the adopted child (who is now over 18) from the US if he/she does something criminal.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I no longer have time to update this blog regularly, but I appreciate your comments, even though I cannot respond to all of them. All comments (except spam) have been allowed to go through unmoderated since June 16, 2014. Any comments you see prior to that date have been read and approved by me. Thanks again, and wishing you peace and blessings.

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