Posts Tagged ‘Certificate of Citizenship and adoption’

Certificate of Citizenship

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Certificate of Citizenship, again. The fee doubles on December 23, from $550 to $1,170. The National Council for Adoption has provided a video and PDF with FAQs. Yes, ten days before Christmas is not a convenient time of year to deal with this, but it’s got to be done!

I’m sure you’ve already has secured a COC for your child, but I’m posting the link so I can find it myself in the future. Because someday soon someone will email me with the subject line: Help!

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Certificate of Citizenship, again

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

Certificate of Citizenship, again. Because possessing one is that important!

My friend Caroline Tiffin posted this and gave me permission to share. From Caroline:

I am both an adoptive parent and a former agency founder/director. Over the years since adoptions closed I have been contacted by many adoptive parents who either misplaced their children’s adoption documents from Guatemala or wanted additional certified copies. Some of them had not secured their child’s US citizenship. This week the Adam Crapser case is again in the news – he was adopted to the US from South Korea at age 3; the first adoption disrupted and he was adopted by a second family. Neither secured his US citizenship. He is now facing deportation to a country he does not know with a language he does not speak. I post about this from time to time – PLEASE make sure your child is a US citizen AND that they are recognized as such by the Social Security Administration.

In short, if your child came to the US on an IR-4 visa – meaning if you are a single parent you did not visit him/her in Guatemala before finalization there, or if married, both did not visit, then your child is NOT A CITIZEN if you did not subsequently adopt him/her in the United States.

Adult adoptees are on this page – if you do not have a copy of your certificate of naturalization or citizenship, it is imperative that you talk to your parents and get this. You are an adult and entitled to have it. Leave it with them for safekeeping for now if you want, but you need to eyeball it yourself. If you discover you are not a citizen, contact me privately and I will do my best to assist you.

Adoptive parents – if you need any adoption documents in order to secure your child’s citizenship, or just want some extra copies, I am offering to assist at no charge to you other than what my facilitator in Guatemala charges to retrieve and certify them. I will be traveling to Guatemala in mid March, returning in early April. I am willing to bring documents back with me to save adoptive parents the cost of having them Fed Ex’d from Guatemala.

Here is how it works:

You send me an email with scans of the documents you want, to fourpawstoo@sc.rr.com. (If you don’t have copies to scan ie you have misplaced your originals given to you in Guatemala, explain to me what you need and I will see if it is possible to get them anyway.) Please title the email Adoption Document Retrieval. I will forward this information to the facilitator and she will respond with a quote. If you agree, you send this payment to me. I will bring the documents back from Guatemala and Fed Ex them to you, whereupon you will reimburse me for the Fed Ex.

Available documents are:

- Certified copies of the birth certificate as filed at RENAP, the national vital records department. Generally the cost to retrieve and certify two identical copies is about $60.00 – 75.00
- Certified copy of the Protocolo, which is the last document signed by the birth mother, which finalizes the adoption. Some refer to this as an adoption decree but it’s really not since it is not issued by a court, but, it serves the same purpose. This can only be retrieved if the adoption lawyer properly registered the Protocolo with the government archive; if s/he did not it would be necessary to contact the lawyer, hope they still have their file, and convince them to register the Protocolo.
- Copies of the birth mother’s cedula
- Please inquire via email about any other documents

Note that you can always file, free of charge with USCIS, Forms G-339 and G-884, to get back original documents (and sometimes photos). You can download the forms at www.uscis.gov

Feel free to ask questions [to Caroline at her email, fourpawstoo@sc.rr.com] but I cannot give any quotes except as explained above. If you want to ask me a question privately, please do so via email, not PM. If there is a large response to this and the facilitator will not have time to fulfill all requests in time, I will prioritize ones where the child is not yet a citizen. I will be going back possibly in May, definitely in July and could bring back any remaining ones then.

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Certificate of Citizenship

Friday, September 4th, 2015

Every few years on various Guatemalan adoption listserves, someone will post questions about the Certificate of Citizenship:

“Do we need one?  How do we get it? My child is now 15. Am I too late????”

A recent flurry of such posts prompted adoptive father Tom Rawson to put in one place everything he knows about the Certificate of Citizenship (aka the CoC), which is a lot.  He posted his compendium on The Big List, and with his permission, I’m reprinting it verbatim here. Thank you again, Tom. ~

Please note: The errors in spacing are mine, occurring somehow in the process of copying and pasting Tom’s notes. Apologies!

FROM TOM RAWSON:

Here is a guide to US citizenship and citizenship documents.  This applies
to international adoptees to the US from Guatemala who have at least one
parent who is a US citizen.

[Note that I am not an immigration lawyer nor do I play one on TV -- but I
have been explaining this for years, and I re-researched it before posting
this message.  In other words, if you need legal advice ask a lawyer but
if you want the general lay of the land, I think this is it.

Please do NOT re-post this elsewhere without permission.]

(1) If the adoption was finalized in Guatemala AND both parents (or the
parent for a single-parent adoption) visited the child prior to the
finalization, then the child was issued an IR-3 visa (the type of visa is
shown in the entry stamp in the Guatemalan passport, and on the “green
card” if your child got one).  These children MAY be readopted in the US,
but readoption is not generally required.  For these children:

    * If the child was born prior to February 28, 1983 s/he must apply
    for citizenship (naturalization) using form N-400.  Citizenship is
    not automatic.

    * If the child was born on or after February 28, 1983, AND entered
    the US on or before February 26, 2001, AND resided in the US with
    his/her parents on February 27, 2001, AND had not previously applied
    for citizenship, then s/he automatically became a citizen on February
    27, 2001.  This provision was retroactive for all children who met
    these conditions.  To obtain a Certificate of Citizenship (CoC) the
    parents (or the child if now over 18) must apply using form N-600.

    * If the child entered the US between February 27, 2001 and December
    31, 2003 then citizenship was automatic upon the child’s arrival in
    the US.  To obtain a CoC the parents (or the child if now over 18)
    must apply using form N-600.

    * If the child entered the US between January 1, 2004 and the present
    then citizenship was automatic upon the child’s arrival in the US,
    and the CoC was sent automatically to the parents. (Incidentally, for
    these children there is a useful USCIS page at
    http://tinyurl.com/o9x3ta6 explaining what to do about various
    kinds of errors in the automatically-created CoC.)

(2) If the adoption was finalized in Guatemala BUT both parents (or the
parent for a single-parent adoption) did NOT visit the child prior to the
finalization, then the child was issued an IR-4 visa.  These children MUST
be readopted in the US because, under the definitions used by US Customs
and Immigration Services, the adoption is not considered final in the US
because the parents did not “see and observe” the child prior to
finalization of the adoption in Guatemala.  For these children: 

    * If the child was born prior to February 28, 1983 s/he must apply
    for citizenship (naturalization) using form N-400.  Citizenship is
    not automatic.

    * If the child was born on or after February 28, 1983, AND the US
    readoption was completed on or before February 26, 2001, AND s/he
    resided in the US with his/her parent(s) on February 27, 2001, AND
    s/he had not previously applied for citizenship, then s/he
    automatically became a citizen on February 27, 2001.  This provision
    was retroactive for all children who met these conditions. To obtain a
    Certificate of Citizenship (CoC) the parents (or the child if now
    over 18) must apply using form N-600.

    * If the US readoption was completed between February 27, 2001 and the
    present, then citizenship was automatic upon completion of the
    readoption.  To obtain a CoC the parents (or the child if now over
    18) must apply using form N-600.

Additional notes:

    – *Whether your child is a citizen* and *whether you have a CoC to
    prove it* are not the same thing.

    – Passports:  A child who is a citizen can get a passport without
    getting a CoC. They just have to prove citizenship to the passport
    office. The documents required are similar to, but not exactly the
    same as, those required for obtaining a CoC with form N-600. Once a
    passport is acquired, it can be used as proof of citizenship in almost
    all cases.  However, as others have noted, the passport expires
    whereas a CoC does not.

    – Social Security:

            For a child who is issued a Social Security card AFTER
            becoming a citizen, the Social Security Administration (SSA)
            records should show that child as a citizen, and no further
            action should be required related to SSA and citizenship.

            For a child who is issued a Social Security card BEFORE
            becoming a citizen, SSA records will show that child as a
            non-citizen.  This can affect their ability to get work once
            they turn 18, if not before.  This status can ONLY be changed
            by providing proof of citizenship to the Social Security
            office. It is NOT affected automatically by later events such
            as a readoption that triggers automatic citizenship,
            application for a CoC, etc. — it is a separate record from
            all that.  Usually a passport suffices to prove citizenship
            to SSA, but they have been known to interpret the rules
            differently from office to office so some might require a CoC
            (or if you have the option you can just try going to a
            different office).


Tom

 

 

 

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Certificate of Citizenship, now more than ever

Friday, January 6th, 2012

The recent news story about a 15-year-old Dallas, Texas teen who was deported to Colombia after giving immigration officials a false identity reinforces the importance of obtaining a Certificate of Citizenship for any child who is adopted internationally. If your child was admitted to the United States under an IR-3/IH-3 visa, you should receive a Certificate of Citizenship automatically within 50 days. If you didn’t receive a Certificate of Citizenship within 50 days, or if your child’s name has changed, you will need to fill out a Form N-600. I won’t try to walk you through the process, but I will post a few helpful links from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):

Overall explanation of Certificate of Citizenship for your Internationally Adopted Child

Adoption Based Forms

Application for Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-600)

Application for Replacement of Naturalization/Citizenship Documents (Form N-565)

While you’re at it, you can also apply for a Return of Original Documents by filling out the G-884. The process can take months or years–I won’t bore you with my number of go-rounds before the CD containing the information arrived–but believe me, the reward of a complete adoption file is worth it. And, unlike almost every other form you’ve filled out, this one is free. ~

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