HISTORY of INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION CITIZENSHIP DAY™ 

Once upon a time there were a man and a woman who very much wanted to have a baby. It did not happen, so they went to the People’s Republic of China and adopted a baby in the spring of 2000. The man and woman were now a “Mommy” and “Daddy”. They now had a child they could call their very own and love with their whole hearts. They wanted their baby to become a United States citizen. They readopted her in the United States in August of 2000 and applied to INS for her United States Citizenship on September 20, 2000. The went to the Social Security Office and applied for her Social Security Card. On February 27, 2001, when the Child Citizenship Act became effective, their child automatically became a U.S. citizen. The Mommy and Daddy were very happy about this. They had grandparents who took a long trip on “the boat” and came to America from “across the water” to live. wars for America. Being an American citizen and living in the United States of America was a privilege. The Mommy and Daddy wanted to celebrate their child’s new U.S. citizenship so they dressed her in red, white, and blue, gave her an American flag, and took her to the State Capitol in Madison Wisconsin. They visited the Secretary of State across the street from the Capitol, State Representatives, State Senators and the Governor’s office. They took pictures everywhere they went and asked everyone where the ceremony and celebration were for the Child Citizenship Act. None knew. After a special treat at the Hilton, they went home. Now the Mommy decided she would do something about a celebration and ceremony herself. She wrote a Proclamation to send to the Governor for the first ever International Adoption Citizenship Day in Wisconsin. She wrote to the legislative staff, Secretary of State, and Governor, and sent them the pictures they took on 2/27/01 and asked them to help support her Proclamation for International Adoption Citizenship Day. She also wrote to adoption agencies and other international adoptive families and asked for their support. In April she was told the Governor would sign the Proclamation. She could start planning the celebration and ceremony for the first ever International Adoption Citizenship Day in Wisconsin.

 

The Mommy received a permit and reserved the State Capitol Building for July 28th. She invited the President, the Governor, the Secretary of State, the Mayor of Madison, all the U.S. Senators and Representatives, all the State Senators and Representatives, judges, all the adoption agencies licensed in Wisconsin and their adoptive families, all the international family groups she could find, all the media, and anyone else she could think of.

 

On June 22, 2001 the Mommy, Daddy, and their child were invited to Governor Scott McCallum’s Office for a public signing of the Proclamation for the first ever International Adoption Citizenship Day (see photos). The Governor’s Office said the Mommy could invite some people to join them on June 22nd.

 

She invited representative families from China, Korea, Guatemala, India, Russia and some local adoption agencies to join the Proclamation signing. The Governor spoke Chinese to the Chinese children and talked to all of the children adopted from around the world. He was very kind and lots of fun. All of a sudden the newspapers, radio stations, and television stations were there and helped us get the word out about the first ever International Adoption Citizenship Day Ceremony to be held at the Wisconsin State Capitol Building on July 28, 2001 at 1:00 PM.

 

The Mommy and child went to the U.S. Post Office and applied for the child's U.S. Passport.  It was issued on July 5, 2001.

 

FINALLY the BIG DAY arrived. On July 28, 2001 children from around the world and their parents and grandparents dressed up in red, white, and blue. They came to the State Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin with plates of cookies to share and boxes of juice. They looked at the displays on citizenship and international adoption. They sang the National Anthem, and recited the Pledge of Allegiance and Oath of Citizenship. The children received American flags and special certificates signed by the Governor and the Secretary of State. The families who were at the Capitol on June 22nd helped the Mommy and Daddy roll all of the certificates and tie them with a red ribbon. Another special family from Madison Church Supply donated special programs with the American flag and the Statue of Liberty on the cover. The Post Adoption Resource Center provided coffee, creamer, and cups. Some other nice ladies helped the Mommy make corsages for the speakers. The Daddy hauled in special sound equipment he had borrowed from a local church. He set-up special patriotic music which was played over the sound system. Another church donated the use of their coffee urns and office equipment. The child’s grandparents took pictures. Another special family took the video.

 

The children and their parents watched the Madison Eagle Heights ChineseSchool, Special Chinese Class perform. They listened to the Mayor of Madison, Susan J.M. Bauman, the Secretary of State, Doug LaFollette, Senator Feingold’s Rep, Jenny Hassemer, Senator Kohl’s Rep. Scott Hooks, Danling Cai, Manager of Children’s Home Society of Minnesota’s China Program, Meg Groves, Lutheran Social Services South Inland Regional Director, Jessica Godek, Post Adoption Specialist with Catholic Charities and Post Adoption Resource Center, and Colleen Ellingson, Executive Director of Special Needs Adoption Network. Susan Dreyfus, was the Governor’s Surrogate and read the Proclamation. Judge Lee Dreyfus, Jr. led us as we said our Oath of Citizenship.

 

The children at the Capitol had been born in far away places like India, Russia, China, Korea, Guatemala, Columbia, Thailand, Viet Nam, Lithuania, Canada, Romania, the Philippines, Greece, and Paraguay. All of the children and their parents had wonderful stories to tell about how they had become a family through international adoption. Now they were celebrating both their country of birth and their new country, the United States of America. Once again the media did a beautiful job telling the stories of the families and the first ever International Adoption Citizenship Day in Wisconsin. The purpose of the event was to celebrate international adoptions and United States citizenship granted by the Child Citizenship Act to internationally adopted children in Wisconsin.

 

An estimated 17,718 immigrant visas were issued to orphans (children who have lost their parents or children who have been legally released for adoption) in FY 2000. From the Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State, the top five countries of origin were: China (5,053 immigrant visas were issued to orphans), Russia (4,269), South Korea (1,794), Guatemala (1,518), and Romania (1,122). Also, from the Division of Children's and Family Services, State of Wisconsin, in the State of Wisconsin, there were 362 international adoptions in 2000, 318 in 1999, and 371 in 1998.

Thanks for visiting our web site and reading our story about International Adoption Citizenship Day in Wisconsin, a labor of love for our internationally adopted children.

Our best to you,

 

“Daddy”, “Mommy”, and “Baby”

Madison, Wisconsin U.S.A.

 

2002 International Adoption Citizenship Day

On March 9, 2002, at the age of 2½ years, "baby" finally received her Certificate of U.S. Citizenship. It was handed to her by our friendly, neighborhood postman. It arrived through certified mail.

Upon seeing that Wisconsin had 523 International adoptions in 2001 and 19,237 nationally, the "Mommy" decided to organize another International Adoption Citizenship Day in 2002.

 

In April of 2002, our web site, http://www.international-child.org was up and running with special thanks to our webmaster (troy@originwebdesign.com), his wife, and son, from Korea.  

On July 11, 2002 Governor Scott McCallum once again signed the Proclamation for the event.  We reserved a Corporate size tent from 10am - 1pm at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin on July 28, 2002.  Registration began at 10am (all registrants received a free ice cream treat for each child).  There was an estimated 350 plus people at our 2002 International Adoption Citizenship Day, including people from Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin.  Susan J.M. Bauman, State Senator Jon Erpenbach, and Scott Hooks (U.S. Senator Kohl's Representative) led us in a U. S. Citizenship Ceremony beginning at 10:30 AM.  We sang the National Anthem and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.  Each child was presented with an American flag and a certificate signed by Governor McCallum and Secretary of State LaFollette.  We encouraged families to bring a flag representing their child's country of origin and a Parade of Flags was held.  There were performances by Julie Wu's Sunflower dance group (click here for information on Sunflower day care or contact Julie via email).  An old-fashioned cake walk, limbo contest, beanbag toss, face painting, the hokey pokey, zoo animals, prizes, and free ice cream treats were all part of the fun and games each family enjoyed.  Jessica Godek represented Catholic Charities who donated prizes.  The Henry Vilas Zoo is a wonderful place for families to gather, see the animals, and share many fun memories.

At our 2002 event there was a special welcoming to all children who had been internationally adopted since the 2001 event and to "waiting" families. 

Issues of concern expressed by the international adoptive families at the 2002 event were:

  1. Presidential eligibility for internationally adopted children.

  2. Automatic certificates of U.S. Citizenship.
  3. An annual Nationally recognized International Adoption citizenship Day (like Mother's Day)
  4. Translation available in the public schools for older internationally adopted children and other English as the Second Language (ESL) students.

These concerns were relayed by the families in attendance to our local state and U.S. legislators.

Special thanks to our webmaster, his wife, and son, from Korea. 

 

2003 International Adoption Citizenship Day, Inc.™  

 

Our "Baby" is now 3 1/2 years old and loves rainbows.  It seemed fitting for our new logo to include a rainbow along with the American flag.  The rainbow represents our internationally adopted children.

On March 18, 2003 we officially became a Corporation and known as International Adoption Citizenship Day, Inc.™  The Internal Revenue Service notified us on April 16, 2003 that our 501(C)3 non-profit status had been approved.

 

Governor Jim Doyle officially proclaimed July 12, 2003 as International Adoption Citizenship Day.  Over 500 people attended our July 12th, 2003 event at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, WI, which the "Mommy" organized.  People came from Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and even China to celebrate their internationally adopted children and U.S. Citizenship.  

(See Home Page).

 

On September 30, 2003 the "Mommy" and " Daddy" received the Prestigious Angel in Adoption™ Congressional Awards in Washington, D.C. by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.  They were selected by U.S. Senator Herb Kohl.

Our Mission Statement is:

In response to the federal child citizenship act of 2000 and founded in 2001, International Adoption Citizenship Day™ is a non-profit 501(C)3, volunteer organization whose mission is to provide resources, education, information, support and a public citizenship ceremony and celebration yearly for our newest internationally adopted child citizens in the USA.

For more information please see the following newspaper articles: 

  • Sertoman magazine/Winter 2004, International Adoption Citizenship Day TM
    p.2 and p.3.
  • "Automatic Citizenship: International Adoptions become a bit easier" by Bill Dunn, photos by Henry A. Koshollek, The Capital Times, July 2, 2001 
  • "Young Immigrants Celebrate Life in U.S., as Americans" by Andy Hall, Wisconsin State Journal, July 29, 2001 
  • "Family Matters: Local Couple Honored for their Work with Adoptive Families" by William R. Wineke, photos by Craig Schreiner, Wisconsin State Journal, November 17, 2001 
  • "North side Couple Adopts Baby From China", Northside News , August/September 2000 
  • "Celebrating the Blessings of Family", Ni Hao Newsletter , Children's Home Society of Minnesota, April 2002, http://chs.nonprofitoffice.com
  • "Adopted Kids are Red, White, and Blue", by Matt Hagengruber, The Capital Times, July 29, 2002.
  • "International Adoption Citizenship Day slated Sunday in Wisconsin", Boscobel Daily, July 25, 2002.
  • "U.S. adopts citizens.  Youngsters come here from all over the world" by Lee Sensebbrenner, photo by Mike DeVries, The Capital times, July4, 2003
  • "International Adoption Citizenship Day" by Jason Storbakken, Madison Times, August 1-7, 2003
  • "A Special Day for Adoptive Families", Dane County Kids, July 2003

Disclaimer:

International Adoption Citizenship Day, Inc.(IACD) does not recommend or endorse any specific agency, professional or other resource listed within this web site, nor does IACD accept responsibility for the actions or personnel of any listed agency, professional or other resource, nor vouch for the accuracy of the the data provided by the listed resources.

 

Copyright 2003 © International Adoption Citizenship Day, Inc.