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Stephanie Drenka

#AdopteeProblems – Am I a U.S. Citizen?

#AdopteeProblems – Am I a U.S. Citizen?

Korean adoptee Spencer Stevens graciously created this easy-to-follow flowchart to help foreign-born adoptees determine whether or not they have United States citizenship. Thank you, Spencer! (Also, shout out to the non-profit organization he works for: Connect-a-Kid)

If you’ve changed your name (marriage, return to Korean name, etc), then it’s recommended to file a N-565 for a replacement with the new information at your earliest convenience. There are fees associated with these forms and if paying for any of them creates a financial hardship, see if you apply to the requirements for the I-912 form to get the fee waived.

I’ve been in this country since I was 3 months old. The thought of anyone questioning the citizenship of adoptees had never crossed my mind until this administration. But all bets are off when the President’s closest advisor (white supremacist Steve Bannon) says things like, “We’re going to war in the South China Sea … no doubt.”


I think I’ve taken my citizenship for granted, because I don’t remember anything about life before being American. And even though it gives me a sense of comfort to know that my parents did take the proper steps to ensure that I was naturalized, the terrorizing rhetoric against other Asian countries right now is leaving me feel vulnerable anyway. All I keep thinking about with the #MuslimBan and talks of a registry is Japanese American Internment camps– and CITIZENS being stripped of their property, jobs, and lives as they knew it. Trump surrogates are on record citing Japanese internment camps from WWII as “precedent” for the Muslim registry.

Yellow Peril is back in full-force, and I can’t help but feel a sense of doom. We have to keep our guard up for the next 4+ years, and do everything in our power to fight discriminatory policies — even if it doesn’t directly affect us. Everything is a precedent. This is only the beginning.

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