I was adopted years ago and have lived in the United States most of my life, can I be considered a U.S. Citizen?
That will depend on the circumstances of your adoption. Generally, pursuant to the Child Citizenship Act in order for an adoptive child to become a U.S. Citizen, the child must be residing in the U.S. in the legal and physical custody of a U.S. Citizen parent before the child turned 18 years of age.
- If the child was adopted before the child’s 16th birthday where the adoption abroad is considered to be final pursuant to the laws of the country of origin and the United States, and was in the legal custody of and jointly resided with the adoptive parents for at least 2 years, the child will receive a legal permanent resident card and automatically become a U.S. Citizen and be eligible to receive a certificate of citizenship or a passport.
- If the child was adopted by a parent that physically observed the child prior to or during the adoption proceedings abroad, where the adoption abroad is considered to be final pursuant to the laws of the country of origin and the United States the child will automatically become a U.S. Citizen and be eligible to receive a certificate of citizenship or a passport.
- If the child is coming to the U.S. to be adopted, the child will receive a legal permanent resident card and will automatically become a U.S. Citizen upon completion of the adoption in the U.S.
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