From The Morning Call:
Fifteen-year-old Allie Mulvihill has a mom, a dad, a sister, two yappy
dogs, and a home in West Allentown. But she has no country.
The Central Catholic freshman’s quest for American citizenship has been
stymied since she was adopted from Guatemala by Lori and Scott
Mulvihill 14 years ago.
At the core of their struggle is the question of whether, unknown to
the Mulvihills, Allie might have been stolen from her biological family
and given up for adoption by a woman posing as her birth mother in a
At the heart of it are the hopes and dreams of a teenager with no
citizenship or green card, who can’t get a driver’s license when she
turns 16 in two months and can’t work legally or travel abroad. Unless
her case gets resolved, she won’t be eligible for financial aid when
she goes to college and won’t be allowed to vote when she turns 18.
This is a big deal to me – and lately seems to be everywhere in my life. On some of my list-serves, there is talk about adult adoptees in their 20s, 30s and 40s whose adoptive parents never completed their naturalization and so they are now concerned about being deported to a country where they have no family, no language and no resources. At work I am dealing with a South East Asian teenager who was adopted and the adoptive parents did not naturalize her. The child is no longer living with her adoptive family, but is in the care of a guardian and the citizenship issue came up when the teenager tried to get a summer job.
Why on earth there are any international adoptees – whether adult or still children – who are in this position is beyond my comprehension. Sometimes it’s the adoptive parent’s fault – but in this story it’s squarely the US and Guatemalan government’s fault.
You can read the entire article here.