Similarity in legal status
The majority of us are issued visas permitting us to enter the U.S. because an immediate relative is sponsoring our migration, just as the majority of non-adopted immigrants are. This is true even if the “relatives” are not legally related to us until the adoption is finalized. If we came to this country before the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 was in effect, we were permanent residents, or green-card holders, before we were naturalized (if we did change our citizenship from our original one to that of the U.S.) If we do not have U.S. citizenship before we turn 18, we also must pay approximately $1500 to be naturalized.
Some of us did not change our citizenship, so like all other non-citizens, we are deportable. Adoptees have been deported because they were not naturalized when they committed minor offenses. In extreme cases, even citizenship may possibly be revoked.
Cultural similarities that adopted and non-adopted immigrants share
As adults we may prefer to live apart from the mainstream and within ethnic enclaves with others who share our nationality. These communities offer a respite from dealing with racism and stereotypes. They also supply cultural necessities. But often these neighborhoods lack the best amenities like parks, good schools, proximity to work, access to transportation, quality retail stores, well-stocked supermarkets, and other services which cater to the privileged.
Some of us may need to learn English when we arrive here. Like other children who immigrate to the U.S., our success in school may depend on good services for English language learners. If our communities include large populations of immigrants, services are much more likely to be in place, better equipped and experienced in providing language support for newly arrived school-age international adoptees.
The immigration debate and the adoption community