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Immigration Issues/Adoption & Citizenship


Thanks so much for the quick replies.  He was legally adopted by my father and has the adoption papers to prove it.  My brother is not married and does not have any children.  So the good news is that it was a legal adoption.  I am just unclear on how to clarify his citizenship status.  Any advise is greatly appreciated!!
Followup To
Question -
My brother was adopted by my father in 1970.  My father is a U.S. citizen and my brother a German citizen.

My question is whether or not my brother is a U.S. Citizen by way of the adoption.  If so, does he need to get some final paper work processed?  Up until now he assumed we was just a permanent resident but has been given conflicting opinions about his citizenship.  

He wants to get a passport to travel abroad but does not know which passport to get considering the confusion over his citizenship status.

I a hoping you can help provide some answers/advice.  Thank you.
Answer -
This is a very complicated question.  The only adoption cases I have handled have generally had to do with adoption of children, and I have found them to be very difficult indeed.

However, I remember reading something about obtaining citizenship after the fact. But the adoption must legal adoption.  Not one of those cases where someone casually adopts a child and treats him as his own.  

There may be a case if there was a legal adoption.  On the other hand, if for some reason the adoption was an informal adoption, there is still hope, and other ways around the problem.  they are rather complicated, and I am not going to get into them now.

By the way, is your adopted brother married?  If so to whom?  Does he have children?  If so what age?

I was rather hoping he was married to a US citizen.  Then this wouldn't matter.  Unfortunately, I don't have the information on the top of my head.  I would need to research it.  It is a very unusual case.

I think any honest attorney would need to research this.  There are probably a handful of such cases.  I suggest you (or your brother) retain an attorney to help you.

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Alexander J. Hay


I am a U.S. lawyer with offices in Houston, Texas and in Belize. I can answer questions on U.S. Immigration, U.S. corporate law, and Offshore Tax and Asset Planning.
If you are on an H or L visa I am NOT GOING TO ANSWER your questions since they are usually highly fact oriented, and also you have a company attorney handling the whole thing. Call your own attorney please! If you disregard this request, don't be surprised if I answer with "homework question".


I am a U.S. attorney with offices in the United States and Belize. I have experience helping to protect assets, reduce taxes, and improve investment performance by utilizing global investment techniques.

Harvard University, A.B. degree; University of Houston Law Center, J.D. Degree; Fulbright Scholar

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