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 firstname.lastname@example.org. (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, email@example.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.