Asian American Adoptees Without Citizenship


Joy Alessi is 50 year-old Korean American adoptee, born in South Korea, and adopted at 7 months old to U.S. citizens. She assumed like many, that she was an American citizen, but like others, found out she didn’t have citizenship.

“From my earliest memories, I knew that as a foreign adoptee others perceived me as an “Alien.” I grew up in a predominantly “white” environment, and although I felt American on the inside, I always felt treated as an inferior outsider.”

“When I was 15, I wanted to travel overseas on a youth mission trip, but my parents prevented from going because (as I have since learned) they never filed naturalization papers after my adoption. Today, nearly 35 years later, I discovered that my mother contacted the adoption agency for proof of citizenship, but neither they or my parents took measures to resolve this. My parents also told me that a birth certificate was not available for adoptees, an error that I recently uncovered. I finally located my (archived) “Delayed Birth Registration,” and after nearly 50 years, I have the birth certificate I was meant to have. Had my parents asked for a copy following the adoption proceedings, my entire life would have been different. As explained to me by the state, this record proves my citizenship through legal adoption.”

Click here to read the full article.

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *



There was an error submitting your comment. Please try again.