Tuesday, June 3, 2008

No Country for Young Boy

Next week, our family will celebrate our Family Day, commemorating one year since Destructo Boy's adoption became final. As I look back at that day, I remember how happy I felt. Destructo Boy was officially and legally my son and I thought all of the logistical stuff was over. Well, theoretically.

One year later we are still waiting for one more piece of paperwork - Destructo Boy's Certificate of Citizenship. I've already vented about this in a previous entry, but I bring it up now because the issue is still not resolved. Even though the law says my son is a U.S. citizen because of the adoption, I have no way to prove it. Unlike with my daughter, I just can't show up the Social Security Administration with his birth certificate and get him a social security number. I can't get him a U.S. passport. Why not? It says his birthplace is South Korea.

But get this...he's not a Korean citizen either. When I took him out of the country, I sat in the South Korean immigration office and officially took him off their citizen list (standard policy - if he remained on the list he would have to serve in the Korean army). So my son has no county, at least on paper.

10 months after we applied for a Certificate of Citizenship, we finally heard from the Department of Homeland Security. We have to show up in person for an "interview" and we were told to bring his green card and passport to the agency in order to receive his COC. Ummm....why does he need his green card? He is already a citizen because we adopted him. And passport? What passport? He never had a passport because he relinquished his Korean citizenship when we left the country. When I tried explaining this to the agent when I called the so-called "Help Line" at the DHS, I was told I would have to make an appointment to ask this particular question in person. So I try to make an appointment with our local office, but the next available appointment comes AFTER our scheduled interview. My faith in the Federal government shrinks each passing day.

This whole situation has caused me to have some crazy thoughts....if Destructo Boy was deported, where would he be sent to? Would he be forced to wander the terminal at the airport like in that mediocre Tom Hanks movie? Really...all I want is to get my kid a passport and a social security card so he can grow up and become a participating citizen. Why must it be so difficult?

Did I mention a Certificate of Citizenship costs over $400?

1 comment:

The Senakams said...

Wow, sorry to hear about the plight your son's in! Government bureaucracy is just too much. I've dealt with the INS when I first moved here from Hong Kong, they can really be obnoxious and some of them feel the need to treat you like a second class citizen. Hope you get it resolved soon!