Text: S.1359 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (06/25/2009)


111th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 1359


To provide United States citizenship for children adopted from outside the United States, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 25, 2009

Ms. Landrieu (for herself and Mr. Inhofe) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To provide United States citizenship for children adopted from outside the United States, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act” or the “FACE Act”.

SEC. 2. Citizenship for children adopted from outside the United States.

(a) In general.—Section 320(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1431(b)) is amended to read as follows:

“(b) Citizenship for children adopted from outside the United States.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—A child born outside the United States automatically becomes a citizen of the United States if the Secretary of State is satisfied that all of the following conditions are met:

“(A) The child is adopted by a parent who is a citizen of the United States.

“(B) The child is younger than 18 years of age.

“(C) It is determined that each adopting parent is eligible and suitable to adopt the child, including determining that the parent is able to support the child and has undergone an appropriate criminal background check.

“(D) Prior to the adoption, the child was an unmarried individual younger than 18 years of age—

“(i)(I) whose biological parents (or parent, in the case of an individual who has 1 sole or surviving parent) or other person or institution that retains legal custody of the individual—

“(aa) have freely given their written irrevocable consent to the termination of their legal relationship with the individual, and to the individual's emigration and adoption and that such consent has not been induced by payment or compensation of any kind and has not been given prior to the birth of the individual;

“(bb) are unable to provide proper care for the individual, as determined by the competent authority of the individual's residence; or

“(cc) have voluntarily relinquished the individual to the competent authorities pursuant to the law of the individual's residence; or

“(II) who, as determined by the competent authority of the individual’s residence—

“(aa) has been abandoned or deserted by the individual's biological parents or legal guardian; or

“(bb) has been orphaned due to the death or disappearance of the individual’s biological parents or legal guardian; and

“(ii) with respect to whom the Secretary of State—

“(I) is satisfied that the proper care will be furnished the individual if admitted to the United States;

“(II) is satisfied that the purpose of the adoption is to form a bona fide parent-child relationship and that the parent-child relationship of the individual and the biological parents has been terminated (and in carrying out both obligations under this subparagraph, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, may consider whether there is a petition pending to confer immigrant status on 1 or both of the biological parents);

“(III) is satisfied that there has been no inducement, financial or otherwise, offered to obtain the consent nor was it given before the birth of the individual; and

“(IV) in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is satisfied that the individual is not a security risk.

“(2) CITIZENSHIP FROM BIRTH.—An individual who becomes a citizen of the United States pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be deemed to have been a citizen of the United States at birth and shall be issued a United States Consular Report of Birth.

“(3) SPECIAL RULE FOR ADOPTEES WHO ARE OLDER THAN 18 YEARS OF AGE.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—A person described in subparagraph (B) shall be deemed to have been a citizen of the United States at birth after the approval of an application filed within the United States or with a United States Embassy.

“(B) PERSON DESCRIBED.—A person described in this clause is a person who—

“(i) is older than 18 years of age;

“(ii) was born outside the United States and was adopted by a parent who is a citizen of the United States before the date on which the person reached 18 years of age; and

“(iii) was described in subparagraph (E), (F), or (G) of section 101(b)(1).

“(4) NO LIABILITY FOR PRIOR TAXES.—An individual who becomes a citizen of the United States pursuant to paragraph (1) or (3) may not be liable for any taxes that the individual would have paid to the United States as a citizen of the United States before the date on which the individual becomes such a citizen.”.

(b) Conforming amendments.—

(1) HEADING.—The heading of section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1431) is amended to read as follows:

children born outside the united states; conditions under which citizenship is acquired

(2) SECTION 301 OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT.—Section 301 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1401) is amended—

(A) in subsection (g), by striking “and” at the end;

(B) in subsection (h), by striking the period at the end, inserting a semicolon and “and”; and

(C) by adding at the end the following:

“(i) a person deemed a citizen at birth pursuant to section 320(b).”.

(c) Clerical amendment.—The table of contents of the Immigration and Nationality Act is amended by striking the item relating to section 320 and inserting the following:


“Sec. 320. Children born outside the United States; conditions under which citizenship acquired.”.

SEC. 3. Nonimmigrant status for children brought to the United States to be adopted.

Section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)) is amended—

(1) in subparagraph (U), by striking “or” at the end;

(2) in subparagraph (V), by striking the period at the end and inserting “; or”; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

    “(W) an individual brought to the United States as a child to be adopted by a citizen of the United States.”.

SEC. 4. Appeal of notice of intent to deny an adoption.

(a) Requirement To provide opportunity To appeal.—If the Secretary of State determines that a covered individual is not eligible to be adopted by a citizen or national of the United States on the basis that the conditions described in subsection (c) are not met, the Secretary shall provide—

(1) a notice of intent to deny the adoption of the child to such citizen or national of the United States; and

(2) an opportunity for such citizen or national to appeal the determination.

(b) Covered individual defined.—In this section, the term “covered individual” means an individual who—

(1) is younger than 18 years of age;

(2) was born in a foreign country; and

(3) is seeking to be adopted by a parent who is a citizen or national of the United States.

(c) Conditions for adoption.—The conditions described in this subsection are met if—

(1) the covered individual’s biological parents (or parent, in the case of an individual who has 1 sole or surviving parent) or other person or institution that retains legal custody of the covered individual—

(A) have freely given their written irrevocable consent to the termination of their legal relationship with the individual, and to the individual’s emigration and adoption and that such consent has not been induced by payment or compensation of any kind and has not been given prior to the birth of the individual;

(B) are unable to provide proper care for the individual, as determined by the competent authority in the country of the individual’s residence; or

(C) have voluntarily relinquished the individual to the competent authorities pursuant to the law of the country of the individual’s residence; or

(2) the covered individual, as determined by the competent authority in the country of the individual’s residence—

(A) has been abandoned or deserted by the individual’s biological parents or legal guardian; or

(B) has been orphaned due to the death or disappearance of the individual’s biological parents or legal guardian.

SEC. 5. Rule of construction.

Nothing in this Act, or in any amendment made by this Act, may be construed to—

(1) abrogate any citizenship rights provided to an adoptee by the adoptee’s country of origin; or

(2) nullify the facts of the adoptee’s birth history.

SEC. 6. Sense of Congress.

It is the sense of Congress that the government of each foreign country from which children are adopted by citizens of the United States should provide documentation of the adopted children’s original birth history to the adoptive family in accordance with the laws of such country.