The Child Citizenship Act, approved by Congress, grants automatic citizenship to most adopted children born abroad, provided they are under 18 and at least one parent or legal guardian is an American citizen.

About 20,000 such adoptions occur every year – about 15 percent of the adoptions in the United States – and the average wait for citizenship processing by the Immigration and Naturalization Service has been two years.

The law, which took effect on Feb. 27, 2001, removes a bureaucratic and psychological hurdle for parents who may have waited years and paid thousands of dollars for international adoptions.

See also…

Adoption, guardianships, foster parenting

International Law Issues