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Citizenship and your adopted child: The Child Citizenship Act

As a person looking to adopt, something extremely important to you is obtaining citizenship for your children. You will want to make sure your child becomes a citizen in as quick a manner as possible, helping him or her stay in the country permanently.

If you do not obtain citizenship for your child quickly, you could cause your child to lose the right to college scholarships or other rights afforded to American children. For that reason, you should apply for your child's citizenship through the Child Citizenship Act.

Your child can receive citizenship if he or she is under age, lives with you in the United States and comes into the United States as a lawful permanent resident. The adoption must be final before you can receive citizenship for your child. Interestingly, you won't need to have your child go through a naturalization process, because the Child Citizenship Act eliminates the need for that first.

Are there any children who can't seek U.S. citizenship through the Child Citizenship Act?

There are some cases in which children are unable to seek citizenship through the Child Citizenship Act. Those who were 18 or older as of Feb. 27, 2001, didn't get their citizenship through this process. If your child is 18 or older, he or she will need to go through naturalization instead.

Getting citizenship isn't always an easy path, but getting started early helps. Children under the age of 18 are able to obtain citizenship more easily than adults and older teens, so it's worth looking into citizenship as soon as possible.

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