Frank’s Story, New York

My name is Frank and I was born in St. Kitts, West Indies in 1974. My birth mum died and my birth mum died and my birth father was never around. I was raised by my aunt until I left St. Kitts in 1987 to come to the US via a private adoption facilitated by a lawyer. I was adopted by an American family. In 1989, at the age of 15, I was given a final Order of Adoption, a Certificate of Adoption, and a New York birth certificate.

It never crossed my mind that I might not be a US citizen! I went to school, had a social security number, and my adoptive mother told me I was a citizen because she adopted me. In 2008, I got in trouble with the law and after serving my 6 months, ICE came. In March 2017, I was deported back to St. Kitts.

I have a 10 year old daughter who is left behind. It is so hard for me to be in a country that I left 30 years ago and do not know much about. The only life I have is in New York. I always thought I was a citizen because my adoption papers said, “Be regarded and treated in all respects as the lawful child of [adoptive parents].


Frank and other retired adoptees need your help to claim U.S. citizenship.

  1. Share #CitizenshipForAllAdoptees and sign the 2018 Petition
  2. Donate online
  3. Share your story as an adoptee without citizenship (or spouse/parent/child of an adoptee lacking citizenship) who served as part of the US Armed Forces. Email or submit online
  4. Call or write a letter to lawmakers. November 11 is Veterans’ Day

Are you or your family members retired and astounded for Emily? Send legislators a personal message on an our petition today!

Share your own story (adoptees without citizenship, parent(s) of adoptee(s) without citizenship, spouses and children of adoptees without citizenship, etc) Email (Please write “Story Collection” in the Subject line).

Note: Remember to spread the word via social media using the #citizenshipforalladoptees

*Names may have been changed to protect privacy.

For more information, email us at