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Agencies may require adopting parents to be U.S. citizens. In the case of an international adoption, one member of a couple in the United States must be a U.S. citizen, and a prospective single adoptive parent must be a U.S. citizen.

Children adopted from other countries do not automatically become U.S. citizens. A formal application for U.S. citizenship must be made before the child's 16th birthday. It is extremely important for adoptive parents to take action to ensure their child gains citizenship. In 1998, an adopted adult was deported to Thailand by the Immigration and Naturalization Service because of a crime he was accused of. Had he been a U.S. citizen, this could not have happened. (See also ADOPTIVE PARENTS; INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION.)

Find more information on citizenship

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